Washington State has awarded a $150K tourism PR pact to benefit communities hit by a deadly March mudslide that captivated the country.

OsoWashington National Guard members search wreckage from the Oso mudslide in March.
(Photo: WNG)

BrandQuery, an integrated marketing shop with offices in Mount Vernon and Seattle, landed the contract with the Economic Alliance Snohomish County. The state is picking up the tab, according to the (Everett, Wash.) Daily Herald, which said five firms bid for the work.

The towns of Oso, Arlington and Darrington are dependent on the summer tourism season, which contributes more than $930M annually to the county, mainly through outdoor recreation.

The March 22 landslide killed at least 41 people as it severed the key artery of State Highway 530 near Oso along the Stillaguamish River.

President Barack Obama visited the site of the disaster in April and declared it a major disaster.

Gannet's NWCN reported May 9 that officials are trying to strike a balance between access to the region and discouraging visitors from "making the trip just to get a peek at the slide zone."