State’s Covid-era tourism grant program focuses on bike-friendly projects

Lead photo on “Destination Ready” program website. (Source: Travel Oregon)

Looking to boost Oregon tourism this coming summer season, Travel Oregon has launched a $250,000 grant program to encourage “visitor experiences that are COVID-19 appropriate.”

The Destination Ready initiative targets six specific types of tourism experiences and “bike-friendly destinations” is one of them. The lead photograph on the program website shows several bike riders enjoying a stop in wine country while wearing masks. According to the project website, a host of cycling projects are eligible for grant funds. They include:

– Development (by contractor or local lead) of a curated set of bike routes for integration into tourism platforms and other apps/websites.
– Investments in bike hubs that may include racks, fix-it stations, signage, water, bathrooms, camping etc.
– Efforts to increase quantity of Bike Friendly Businesses in the destination.

Project awards can range from $10,000 to $50,000 and must be completed within six months of the grant contract being signed. The program is open to specific types of Oregon-based tourism promotion organizations, nonprofits and government entities.

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State subsidy of bicycle tourism is nothing new for Travel Oregon. We first wrote about a statewide bicycle tourism conference in 2006. Among the many results of that effort was the Ride Oregon website and the “Bike Friendly Business” program. Travel Oregon staff have traveled to Washington DC as part of Oregon’s delegation at the National Bike Summit, the agency has commissioned a bicycle economic impact study, and in 2013 they convened a committee to develop gravel road routes.

As an aside, Travel Oregon’s current interim VP of destination development is none other than Scott Bricker. Bricker is a former advocacy director and executive director for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance (now called The Street Trust).

For more on how to apply for this exciting new grant program, check out the official website.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Christian Samuel
Christian Samuel
1 year ago

I wonder if they will be promoting downtown Portland as a biking destination. Special tour of plywooded businesses and antifa/anarchist mayhem. Might be a big draw. The garbage and drug needles probably not as as much.

Christian Samuel
Christian Samuel
1 year ago

I concede my comment was a bit negative and sarcastic. Yes, it could have been more inspirational. However, calling it “false and harmful” is a reach. I would argue that it is the violent rioters that have been dragging our city down not my unvarnished comments. I still ride downtown just not sure how many tourists would want to see it in the current condition.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 year ago

Yeah, I’d hardly say “false and harmful” more like truthful. I’ve been in the 3rd world China/Old Town area several times during COVID and even though the riots haven’t touch it as much, it still a place I would rather avoid.

Christian Samuel
Christian Samuel
1 year ago

Just thought of a great bike tour they could put in the brochure. The “BROKEN WINDOW” tour. This would allow tourists to use the bike infrastructure (which is good and getting better) to see many parts of the city. Start at the ICE building in SW observing graffiti and burnt plywood barriers, cruise over to Hawthorne to see the broken windows of many small businesses, head up to NE Sandy to see the desecrated Democratic Party office with a detour to see more broken storefront windows. Swing by newly renovated Grant High School which was defaced with spray paint. Cruise up to see dumpster violence and Molotov cocktail central at the North Precinct police station. Then end the tour at the Pantheon of destructive violence….,the Justice Center in downtown. Yep, that one might be popular. 🙂

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago

So clever.

mark smith
mark smith
1 year ago

Sitting outside with masks on..with our water bottles…. (what..we drink them with a tiny straw?) Sign my up for that tourism right now!