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Travel Oregon Awards $400,000 for Local Tourism Projects

September 21, 2017

SALEM, Ore. – Sept. 21, 2017 – Increased signage, a Columbia River Gorge trails restoration program and access points to the East Applegate Ridge Trail are a few of the products that will soon be available for Oregonians and our visitors to enjoy. The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon awarded $400,000 in matching grant funding to organizations around the state to enhance, expand and promote the visitor industry.

The competitive grants program awards eligible applicants funding for projects that contribute to Oregon’s tourism economy in communities throughout the state that support Travel Oregon’s vision of “a better life for Oregonians through strong, sustainable local economies.” More than $1.5 million have been awarded through Travel Oregon’s grants program over the past nine years to 125 projects across the state.

“The grants we awarded this year help us to fulfill Travel Oregon’s mission to inspire travel that drives sustainable economic development,” said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO.  “By supporting these innovative projects, we are better able to share the stories of Oregon’s people and places, deliver world-class experiences, strengthen the industry and ensure the preservation of Oregon’s way of life and its natural places.”

The 29 grant projects awarded this year will be completed by October 2018.

The Travel Oregon Competitive Small Grant awardees and their projects are:

  • Applegate Trails Association to construct and pave an access road and parking area for the East Applegate Ridge Trailhead at Hwy. 238
  • Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) to implement Phase I (stakeholder outreach, preliminary project organization and prioritization) for the development of the unfinished segments of the Oregon Coast Trail
  • Butte Creek Mill Foundation contribution to the rebuild and restoration of the historic Butte Creek Mill to make it accessible to all through appropriate modifications in structure while preserving the historic integrity
  • Cascade Pacific Resource, Conservation & Development to develop marketing materials to help educate the public, elected officials and visitors on the serious impacts invasive species have on the Oregon dunes and the importance of preservation of open sand
  • Discover Your Northwest (dba Discover Your Forest) to support Deschutes Trails Collaborative (DTC) efforts in convening diverse stakeholders to find socially equitable and economically feasible solutions to create a sustainable trails system in Central Oregon
  • Dunes City to repair and install signage at the Siltcoos Lake boat ramp and along the Siltcoos river
  • Eastern Oregon Visitors Association for development of an Eastern Oregon microsite and presence on the Brand USA website –
  • Edúcate Ya to create partnerships with tourism businesses that have primarily English and Spanish speaking staff. Offsetting 75 percent of costs for partner businesses will give staff the opportunity to complete both Spanish and English language training, as well as Latino cultural competency trainings
  • Friends of the Columbia Gorge for development and marketing of Columbia River Gorge car-free itineraries that promote the Gorge’s transit system – especially in high-visitation sites – and to guide travelers to less visited eastern areas
  • Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection to design and install signage at the entry points to the Rogerson Clematis Garden and provide interpretive signage throughout key areas of the garden
  • Go Wild: American Adventures LLC for participation in the 2018 Go West Summit trade show, to connect with the world’s top international tour operators
  • Hanthorn Cannery Foundation to install signage at the Pier 39 Hanthorn Cannery Foundation site in Astoria that will welcome visitors to the museum and gift shop
  • Josephy Center for Arts and Culture to promote the Northeast Oregon Arts Trail through a marketing campaign on OPB’s radio, television and online channels
  • Maupin Area Chamber of Commerce to expand the video library of outdoor recreation assets to use for marketing the Maupin area online and on television
  • Mid-Columbia Economic Development District for development of a brand and collateral that inspires visitors to come to Dufur
  • Oregon State Parks Foundation to construct two bike pods strategically placed along the Oregon Coast Bike Route at Fort Stevens State Park and Cape Lookout State Park
  • Portland Playhouse for a marketing and advertising campaign to promote the Portland Playhouse’s newly renovated space (and 10th anniversary season) through website optimization and a presence in their key target markets of Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix and Minneapolis
  • Trailkeepers of Oregon to develop a “$1 for Gorge Trails” program that collects money, one dollar at a time, at participating Columbia River Gorge businesses through online reservations, resort fees and point of sales expenditures. Funds will directly support trail work projects in the region
  • Trans-Cascadia Backcountry Mountain Bike Guiding and Outfitters LLC. for participation in the 2018 Go West Summit trade show, to connect with the world’s top international tour operators
  • Travel Medford to host a Medford area familiarization tour for sporting event decision makers
  • Umatilla Chamber of Commerce for creation of a destination development plan that will allow them to map assets, identify niche travel markets, and prioritize product development
  • Visit McMinnville for website redesign and enhancement that will incorporate the Oregon Tourism Information System database and additional trip-planning tools
  • Chehalem Valley Chamber of Commerce to develop a multimedia marketing and advertising campaign to inspire travel to Newberg and the surrounding area during the shoulder season
  • Douglas County Parks Department to develop and install wayfinding signs for recreational assets in Winchester Bay and the Windy Cove Recreation area, as well as the development of an informational kiosk
  • Oregon Coast Visitors Association to purchase American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute (AHLEI) curriculum for Waldport High School students to be trained on, and certified in, job-ready tourism and hospitality skills. Classes and training certification will also be available for adults in the central coast seeking employment and career advancement
  • Oregon Environmental Council to create a public art tourism loop to celebrate Oregon’s legacy of environmental protection, including the Beach Bill, Bottle Bill and Bike Bill
  • Oregon International Port of Coos Bay for the purchase of weather-resistant ADA picnic tables at the Charleston Marina RV Park
  • Restore Oregon to develop marketing materials for a statewide historic theater conference, while also making attendance more accessible by providing registration and lodging costs for those in financial need
  • Salem Brewery Association to develop a marketing and advertising campaign to promote the Salem Ale and Cider Trail and its passport program

Travel Oregon’s next Competitive Small Grants funding cycle will open in July 2018.

For more information on Travel Oregon’s grants program, contact Michelle Woodard at or visit: