Success stories: Wine destination, art highway

February 22, 2007 12:00 am

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David Beurle has built a large portfolio of his work with communities that want to redevelop themselves economically. Among the success stories:

•Martinborough, New Zealand, built itself into a wine center and marketed itself as the place for Kiwis to taste the wines of that nation's Wirewrappah regions. It is now the No.1 weekend destination spot in New Zealand.

•Hayden, Western Australia, began its new life as a town of 600 at the edge of the settled portion of its corner of the nation. But it had a rock formation, Wave Rock. From that snapshot opportunity, the town has grown into an international tourist destination as the prime place to get an Australian country town experience.

•Hayden's neighbor, Coolen, is almost as far into the sticks – well, the bush. Its success started from bored farmers making horse sculptures out of scrap metal and placing them along their roads as a way to attract people to their bush races. The result? Travel the Tin Horse Highway to the bush races.

•Corrigen, at the end of Hayden's Tin Horse Highway, decided to try for a bizarre (well, to Americans anyway) world record. Its goal was to assemble the most pick-up trucks with a dog in the back. Called the Dog in the Ute (pick-up) competition, it brought 6,000 people to the town of 500. From the attempt came Corrigen's one distinguishing feature: a dog cemetery.

– Cornelia de Bruin