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“Bicycle Oregon” to focus on tourism

Posted by on February 27th, 2006 at 2:07 pm

Officials from Travel Oregon, Cycle Oregon and other bike groups are behind a movement to establish Oregon as a major destination for two-wheeled tourism. Working behind the scenes for about 2 years now, they have announced a day-long “Bicycle Oregon Summit” in Eugene this March April.

The goal of the summit – which will feature a keynote speech by congressman Peter DeFazio – is to introduce their vision to industries that stand to gain from the economic impact of “bicycle destination travelers.” These industries include bicycle and parts manufacturers, bike shops, bike clubs, bike tour companies, local tourism boards, wineries, breweries, hotel companies, airlines, and so on.

Here in Oregon, we’ve already got six cities on the official Bicycle Friendly Communities List (Corvallis, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Beaverton, Bend) and with Cycle Oregon, we’ve got a marquee event that showcases Oregon’s spectacular riding to the rest of the country. Add to that Portland’s growing national prominence as a cycling mecca and you’ve got the recipe for success.

The only missing ingredient so far is the huge budget it will take to launch a national marketing campaign. But judging from the heavy-hitters lining up behind this effort (including Jonathan Nicholas, Jay Graves, and Jerry Norquist), I’m sure they’ve got that part figured out.

What effect would this have on Portland? I hope it gets the Portland Oregon Visitor’s Association website to finally include biking info (it currently barely mentions them). I can also see increased revenue for local businesses as tourists fly into PDX and use Portland as the base of their bikey travels. There might also be opportunities for local entrepreneurs who can figure out a way to turn our abundance of great urban trails and fun bike events into some sort of tour business.

Whatever happens, you can bet we’ll be hearing a lot more about “Bicycle Oregon” in the months to come.

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Comments
  • Dan Porter February 27, 2006 at 4:56 pm

    I hope that this summit includes mountain biking interests as well (ala a bike park within the city limits). There is so much great riding just outside of the city (PDX) that could draw tourists the way such meccas as Moab, Fruita, Whistler, etc. do that it behooves us to develop som ‘real’ trail riding within the city limits. A great way to get these tourists “tuned” for a full mountain biking adventure after they step off the plane and board max to take them to their downtown hotel (with mountain bike in tow).

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  • Nate February 27, 2006 at 8:22 pm

    This is exciting and has the potential to be huge. My dream is tourism dollars fueling the development of a segregated multi-use bike path system statewide – similar to the Dutch system. How I long to peacefully ride to the ocean without feeling I’ll be creamed at any moment by a logging truck. Looking forward to hearing more about this.

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  • Roger Louton March 1, 2006 at 12:42 pm

    Dan,

    as the Western OR Rep for http://www.IMBA.com, I have been involved specifically for that exact reason: to make sure the fabulous MTB opportunities in this state are marketed just as much as the roads and pathways we have in this state. The singletrack within an 80 mile radius of Hood River have been quoted as ‘the finest in the universe’ by BIKE magazine (July 2004 issue), so why do all these travelers on their way to BC, Moab and Fruita drive on thru our state? Stop by, we’ll show you what good riding is all about.

    If you or anyone you know wishes to find out how this program could help the bottom line of your bicycle or travel related business, contact me at rwleleven@msn.com for more information.

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