John Day River Territory Community Success Stories

In 2010-11, the John Day River Territory participated in Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio. As a result, the region which previously consisted of 19 isolated communities, was able to join together under one common identity to stimulate their local economy through tourism. Areas in which they focused – and continue to work on – include regional branding, large-scale events, and bicycle tourism.

Visit John Day River Territory’s Rural Tourism Studio page to see what workshops took place in their community to lead to the following results.

JDRT ad_Page_1Regional Brand

United by a new regional brand and network of informed, enthusiastic local champions, diverse small businesses in the region grow through their new connection with the Eastern Oregon Visitors Association.  Relationships built while working together on the new John Day River Territory brand as a distinct part of Eastern Oregon has also led to successful new product development to enhance the visitor experience, including a set of self-guided itineraries.

Resources and Tools

Tough mudderLarge-Scale Event

A really small town surprises itself when a really big event arrives on its doorstep. The tiny community of Fossil Oregon, population 466, successfully hosts an extreme sporting event that drew 5-6,000 visitors on a single weekend in June 2013. Creative and collaborative mobilization of expanded visitor services for the weekend is the key to success.

Resources and Tools

Old West Scenic BikewayBicycle Tourism

One of the Oregon’s first Scenic Bikeways – the Old West Scenic Bikeway – serves as a conduit for tangible economic development in communities along the route. Based on the uniqueness of its particular location and topography, the area is now building upon the Scenic Bikeway as an anchor tourism draw for a much wider range of bicycling activity.

Resources and Tools


The video above, produced in collaboration with Write to Know Consulting and Maser Films, highlights the inspiring efforts of the John Day River Territory, Oregon; a region working together to stimulate their local economy through tourism. Please feel free to use this video in your communications and outreach. You may link directly to the video on YouTube here, or download it here

Want more information about John Day River Territory Community Success Stories?

If you have additional questions or comments about John Day River Territory Community Success Stories, please contact the appropriate member of the Travel Oregon staff listed below.

  1. Kristin Dahl