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
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.