Missoula bests Branson to earn spot in final round for social media symposium


MISSOULA, Mont. - The Garden City came out victorious when Missoula went head-to-head with Branson, Missouri, Tuesday in the Final Four voting round to host the Social Media Tourism Symposium (SoMeT13US). By a vote of 4,953 to 4,250 Missoula earned a spot in the final round.

Huntsville, Alabama, and Cleveland, Ohio, square off in the second day of Final Four voting this Thursday. Then the winner of that round will face Missoula for a chance at the top spot. The final round of voting is April 2, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Businesses and organizations kept busy Tuesday, sending representatives around town to inform the public of the vote.

Representatives for tourist attractions like A Carousel for Missoula say the effort now will be worth it if Missoula wins the opportunity to host the symposium.

"If those people are coming to find out what Missoula is about, most of them are going to wind up at the carousel at some point," Theresa Cox, executive director for the carousel, said. "If they're sending out tweets, putting stuff on their Facebook about the carousel, then more people learn about the carousel."

Folks at the Missoula Downtown Association say the final round will be the real challenge.

"If we have to go up against Huntsville, Alabama, they have NASA," said Missoula Public Library's public relations director Mary-Drew Powers. "It would be like our national parks against NASA."

When voting resumes you can cast your vote by going to the SoMeT13US Facebook page. You will have to log into Facebook to cast your vote. NBC Montana will continue to keep you posted on this story.

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