Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 20th, 2011 at 4:42 pm
Sandy, Estacada, Molalla, West Linn and Wilsonville are among the cities in Clackamas County lining up to learn more about how to position themselves as bicycle touring destinations.
Travel Oregon, an organization that promotes tourism statewide, is co-hosting a 'Bicycle Tourism Studio' event on November 8th along with Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs. The Bicycle Tourism Studio concept is part of Travel Oregon's focus on tourism development in rural communities. Funded by our state's 1 percent lodging tax, the initiative aims to train local agencies, governments, and organizations to capitalize on sustainable tourism.
Kristin Dahl is Travel Oregon's Sustainable Tourism Development Manager. She says Clackamas County has a big advantage over other counties when it comes to bike tourism. "They've got public transportation connections to Portland like the MAX line and the Springwater Corridor."
Dahl says that wide open roads and mountain biking have also helped make two-wheeled tourism popular in these communities - which in turn helps convince policy makers that bikes mean business. The newly developed mountain bike trails at Sandy Ridge, for instance, have quickly made that one of the most popular biking destinations in Oregon.
An invite to the November 8th kickoff event in Oregon City reads:
"The program is crafted to bolster awareness of the growing cycling tourism market, foster key connections with regional, state and national organizations and focus a community’s energy on the development of appropriate cycling infrastructure, business services, and marketing activities."
With its proximity to Portland, many cities in Clackamas County are already very popular as destinations for people doing training rides, all-day excursions, and even overnight bike-camping trips. Thanks to the focus on bicycle tourism by Travel Oregon — and the enthusiasm for bicycling as a path to economic development by cities throughout the state — we can rest assured that it will only get better.