Recent Work

Golden Shovel Agency Helps Electric Cooperative Fuel Economic Recovery With PlaceVR Technology

Golden Shovel Agency Helps Electric Cooperative Fuel Economic Recovery With PlaceVR Technology Main Photo

29 Jul 2020

News, PlaceVR, Press Release, Recent Work

Visitors Can Take a Virtual Reality Tour to Explore Rural Oregon With 360-Degree Video

Despite travel concerns due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, it’s possible to visit Union County Oregon right now through a new 360-degree video released by Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative (OTEC). This area in Northeastern Oregon might become your next vacation destination or site for your business relocation after you experience all this rugged and diverse area has to offer.

OTEC worked with Golden Shovel Agency to produce the video that simulates the feeling of being there in person when viewed with virtual reality goggles. The goggles let you look up, down, and all around you just as if you’re there in person.

“The video really lets you experience the diversity of the landscape, as well as the activities and cultural opportunities that make this part of northeastern Oregon unique,” said Lea Gettle, Manager of Administration and Strategic Services for the electric cooperative located in northeastern Oregon.

It might be surprising that an electric cooperative spearheaded this Familiarization (FAM) Tour project to help Union County organizations step up their marketing outreach, but economic development strongly supports the mission of the Oregon Electric Cooperative.

“Our objective is to elevate the perception of our communities to attract visitors, investors, and new businesses. By utilizing Golden Shovel Agency’s PlaceVR technology, we’re able to take that perception up to a whole new level that makes our message more memorable, and reaches more people,” said Lea.

The immersive nature of PlaceVR technology creates an intense experience for the viewer that fires the same brain activity as if the person were really in a new place. The result is that people remember what they’ve seen and heard, and they’re open to taking action - like booking a trip to visit in person.

“This has been a great collaboration with people who recognize that innovation fuels progress,” said Aaron Brossoit, CEO of Golden Shovel Agency.” The increased visibility that Union County will get as they promote their community with virtual reality technology is absolutely essential if they’re going to grow.”

Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative partnered with numerous Union County businesses and organizations to create the video.


Visit Northeastern Oregon - Union County from PlaceVR on Vimeo.


GOLDEN SHOVEL AGENCY is a Minnesota-based full-service economic development firm specializing in workforce attraction for economic and community development. The Economic Gateway Web system includes an expandable and on-demand content management system (CMS) and a robust social media implementation strategy. Learn how you can bring VR technology to your organization here.

OREGON TRAIL ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE is a not-for-profit, member-owned electric cooperative that serves over 31000 homes and businesses in four counties in Eastern Oregon. Headquartered in Baker City, OTEC has district offices in Burns, John Day, and La Grande. Learn more here.

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