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Latest Travel Oregon vid shows power of bike tourism for rural communities

Thursday, April 10th, 2014
Riding the gravel roads of eastern Oregon.
(Still from video - Watch it below)

Remember last August when I had the very good fortune to sample the Treo Bike Ranch in eastern Oregon? I didn't mention it at the time, but during that trip we were joined for one of the days by a professional film crew that was shooting for Travel Oregon.

It turns out our riding at Treo was just one of several pieces of an impressive new video just released by the statewide tourism agency. Communities Powered by Travel: Bicycle Tourism highlights several bike tourism success stories. It features business owners and community advocates that graduated from Travel Oregon's Rural Tourism Studio training program which the agency says, "is designed to assist rural communities in sustainable tourism development."
The three success stories in the video are Treo Bike Tours, the Old West Scenic Bikeway, and First City Cycles (based in Oregon City). Watch it below...
(more...)

As Portland tourism booms, county data shows an odd twist: car rentals haven't

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014
Portland now has several bike rental and tour shops downtown, offering both city and road bikes.
(Photos by M.Andersen and J.Maus/BikePortland)

Tourism to Portland is soaring. But who is coming here, and why?

County tax records offer a clue to part of the picture: Even as Portland has become a more popular destination for travelers, the records show, spending at local auto rental services has dropped.

Aggregate revenue at Multnomah County's hotels and motels is up 26 percent since 2001, after adjusting for inflation. Real car rental revenue, meanwhile, has fallen 13 percent.

(more...)

A closer look at Oregon's plans for a 'bike pod' network

Monday, March 10th, 2014
A mockup of one of 12 "Deluxe Overnight Bike Pods" Oregon State Parks wants to build across the state.

Looking to take bicycle tourism to the next level — and to solidify the direct connection between bicycling and economic development — Oregon State Parks wants to create a network of covered bike facilities they say will "redefine the cycling experience." The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) call these facilities "bike pods" and "bike hubs" and if all goes according to plan there will eventually be 19 of them throughout the state, with the first one set for construction this summer.
(more...)

Columbia River Hwy State Trail gets major endorsement

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014
Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-58
A new section of the path just opened last fall.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The momentum to complete the remaining 10 miles of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail — a route that will ultimately provide a pleasant bicycling connection between Troutdale and Hood River without ever forcing riders onto Interstate 84 — got a major boost on Friday. In a unanimous vote, the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) approved a resolution (PDF) that puts the project atop the Department of Transportation's priority list.

The resolution calls for ODOT to fund and construct the final segments and called it, "a project of statewide and national significance." (more...)

Proposal for Portland-to-coast path advances in Salem

Thursday, February 20th, 2014
The Salmonberry Corridor would connect Banks
to Tillamook on the Oregon Coast.
(Map by Oregon State Parks & Rec)

A bill to begin planning the Salmonberry Corridor — an 86-mile rails-to-trail project that would link Washington County's Banks-Vernonia corridor to the Pacific Ocean — seems to be coasting through the state Senate, The Oregonian reports.

It's backed by one of the body's most influential members, centrist Democrat Betsy Johnson of Scappoose, who happens to be an occasional hiker and horse lover and says the path "could be a national, if not an international, draw" of tourism through her district.

(more...)

Bicycle tourism news roundup: Bikeway vids, bike-packing 101 and more

Tuesday, February 18th, 2014
Sandy Ridge loop-9
Slowly but surely bicycling is
becoming welcome on roads near Mt. Hood.
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

How can you tell that bicycle tourism has hit a tipping point in Oregon (besides being a loyal BikePortland reader and following our steady stream of coverage on the topic)? We now have enough tourism-related news on our desks that we have to put it all together in a roundup.

This is the first time we've ever done a roundup on this topic and let's hope it's far from the last.

So here it goes...
(more...)

Clackamas County wants your input on biking and walking connections

Tuesday, February 11th, 2014
A map of possible routes along the Clackamas River.
"Principal" proposed routes are in red and "alternative"
routes in green. See below for more maps.

A two-week virtual open house launched Monday to give people who bike and walk in Clackamas County a chance to share their expertise and opinions on the best routes for the county to improve.

It's part of the county's year-long Active Transportation Plan, an effort to improve healthy mobility, access, safety, and tourism in the county on the south side of the metro area.

For the new virtual open house, much of the focus is on a series of possible walking and biking routes that have been selected from many submitted earlier in the process.

(more...)

Travel Oregon launches USA's first statewide bike-friendly business program

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014
One of the customizable signs available to
participating businesses from Travel
Oregon. The program is free; signs cost
$26 to $56.

After a two-month pilot effort in Estacada and Cottage Grove, Oregon's public tourism agency is going statewide with a program that publicly recognizes businesses for bike-friendly practices.

The idea is to create a well-recognized brand that can identify the state's bike-friendly businesses by a sign in the window — which will, in turn, help bike tourists thank the businesses with their dollars.

In the long run, organizers hope, it'll foster a culture of welcoming bikers at the state's roadside diners, small-town hotels and big-city bars, similar to the 500 hotels now affiliated with Quebec's "Welcome Cyclists" program. And that'll help Oregon further improve its niche in the growing bike tourism industry.

"Enhancing the biking experience for visitors and Oregonians is one of our top initiatives at Travel Oregon," Scott West, Travel Oregon's chief strategy officer, wrote in a news release Tuesday.

(more...)

Mount Hood leaders map their course to become a bike-recreation Mecca

Saturday, January 25th, 2014
Sandy Ridge loop-6
The Sandy Ridge MTB Trail System is one of the Mount Hood area's many bright spots.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

WELCHES - The slopes south and west of Mount Hood could become Oregon's next great bike tourism destination, Clackamas County leaders said Saturday at a half-day conference here in the old volcano's foothills.

"We are tourism-driven," said George Wilson, a director of the Villages at Mount Hood and the organizer of the event. "It's our only industry."

It's also an industry that currently booms each summer and winter and slackens during the "shoulder seasons," as fall and spring are sometimes called in the Mount Hood area.

(more...)

Bus service, advocacy group are latest signs of cycling boom in Mt. Hood area

Friday, January 10th, 2014
Come aboard (with your bike),
they're expecting you.

The City of Sandy and the Mt. Hood area are in the midst of a transportation revolution and bicycling is playing a major role.

Thanks to the huge success of the Sandy Ridge Trail System, the burgeoning popularity of adventure road riding, and bicycle tourism efforts, cycling has reached a tipping point. The excitement around cycling has spurred investment and attention from government officials, inspired a new bike advocacy group, and has had an economic impact on area businesses. Add to that the Oregon Department of Transportation's ongoing work on the Mt. Hood Multimodal Transportation Plan and you've got the ingredients for change.

Two developments we're keeping tabs on in this area are the launch of a new, bike-friendly bus service along Highway 26 and the growing energy around the Mt. Hood Bicycle and Pedestrian Coalition. (more...)

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