Travel Oregon Awards $853,000 to Local Tourism Projects

Salem, Ore. – July 23, 2018 – Travel Oregon has awarded more than $850,000 in grant funding to 12 projects through its Competitive Medium Grants Program.

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.”

“Travel Oregon’s mission is to inspire travel by sharing the stories of Oregon’s people and places, delivering world-class experiences and strengthening the tourism industry to better Oregon’s way of life,” said Todd Davidson, Travel Oregon CEO. “These projects allow us to restore and preserve some of Oregon’s iconic places, further develop trail systems and improve the overall visitor experience, creating a positive economic impact in communities, big and small, across the state.”

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

Association of Oregon Counties to execute phase II of completing the Oregon Coast Trail hiking route along Oregon’s Coast, which includes identifying best alternatives for connecting the trail and developing statewide capacity to coordinate segment-specific trail work.

Butte Creek Mill Foundation to rebuild and restore the Butte Creek Mill so that it’s fully operational, maintains its historic integrity and includes ADA accessibility and an interpretive center highlighting local history and Native American culture.

Cascades Raptor Center for a feasibility study to determine expansion possibilities for the day facility that fosters a connection between people and birds of prey.

City of Amity to develop a brand identity to solidify the Amity area as a premier tourist destination to help drive year-round visitation locally and internationally.

City of St. Helens to install new signage and improve existing signage, as a result of an existing branding and wayfinding master plan. These signs will entice visitors to pull off of Highway 30 and St. Helens/Columbia Boulevard and into the historic downtown district.

Coos County to further develop “Whiskey Run,” a single-track mountain biking trail system along the Coast, that will stimulate the local economy by delivering a bucket-list-worthy outdoor recreation experience to attract visitors year-round.

Friends of the Oregon Caves and Chateau to create documentation and a historic preservation plan to restore the Oregon Caves Chateau and retain the character of the National Historic Landmark Lodge.

Lane Council of Governments to further develop the U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) by implementing Oregon’s first designated USBR. The route will connect seven Oregon Scenic Bikeways: Willamette Valley; McKenzie Pass; Sisters to Smith Rock; Crooked River; Old West; Painted Hills; and Grande Tour.

Liberty Theatre Foundation Inc. to complete construction and restoration of La Grande’s Liberty Theatre. Upon completion, the theatre will open for public use, providing a cultural resource for the region.

Portland Parks Foundation to build an artistically inspired 190-foot footbridge over West Burnside Road providing more than 80,000 users of the popular Wildwood Trail an uninterrupted trail experience between destinations like Pittock Mansion, Washington Park, the International Rose Test Garden, the Oregon Zoo and the Japanese Garden.

Salem’s Riverfront Carousel to assist in planning and completing a feasibility study in order to expand the carousel’s facilities, programs and economic impact in the community.

Warm Springs Community Action Team to relocate the hundred-year-old Old Commissary building in Warm Springs to a strategic site near Highway 26 and to create video and audio content for a multimedia visitor kiosk to be located in the building once complete.

Travel Oregon’s next grants cycle will open July 30, 2018 with applications due for its 2018-2019 Competitive Small Grants program (requests up to $20,000) on Aug. 29, 2018.

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

About Travel Oregon
The Oregon Tourism Commission, dba Travel Oregon, works to enhance visitors’ experiences by providing information, resources and trip planning tools that inspire travel and consistently convey the exceptional quality of Oregon. The commission aims to improve Oregonians’ quality of life by strengthening the economic impacts of the state’s $11.8 billion tourism industry that employs more than 112,000 Oregonians. Visit to learn more.