tourism

Cycling wins big in statewide tourism recovery grants

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 4th, 2021 at 9:03 am

Riders crest Snow Mountain (elev 7,146 feet) during the 2018 Skull Gravel 120 race in Harney County. The local chamber of commerce won a $27,000 grant for the event.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Oregon’s tourism commission Travel Oregon has just announced $2.4 million in economic recovery grants to help create more Covid-safe tourism opportunities. Among the 60 winners, many of the awards will improve cycling trails and riding destinations all over the state.

Here are the projects (emphases mine):

Central Oregon Trail Alliance ($25,000) to construct a new multi-use trail near Sunriver to help disperse crowds from heavy-use areas and accommodate the use of adaptive mountain bikes.

Cog Wild Bicycle Tours ($7,962) to upgrade outdoor meeting areas in Bend and Oakridge to provide ADA accessible porta-potties and hand-washing stations.

Coos County ($100,000) to construct five miles of trail, improve physical distancing by building one-way loops and increasing signage on the Whiskey Run Trail System on the South Oregon Coast.

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Harney County Chamber of Commerce ($26,869.80) for outdoor infrastructure to support a COVID-19 safe outdoor Skull 120 gravel mountain bike event.

Newport Trail Stewards ($79,500) for phase I of a project that will construct a series of multi-use and bike-specific trails, improve parking access, add restrooms and install wayfinding and trail signage at the Big Creek Trail System in Newport.

Port of Cascade Locks ($99,998) for parking lot and trail improvements to ease congestion on the Easy CLiMB family-friendly mountain bike trail in Cascade Locks.

Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce ($11,622) to install a bike hub at the visitor center at the Prineville Crook County Chamber of Commerce.

And these are just the projects that focus specifically on cycling. Several I didn’t list here will improve the experience of visiting many of the small towns and other destinations that make Oregon such a magical place to ride a bicycle. Have a look at the full list here.

Last week we shared how the City of Portland won a $47,600 Travel Oregon grant to improve their outdoor dining street plazas.

An analysis by Dean Runyan & Associates of how the pandemic has impacted the Oregon tourism economy found that employment related to travel declined by 22% last year and total travel spending declined 50% between 2019 and 2020.

Do you part to help Oregon recover: Plan a bike trip today!

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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Bicycling for recreation contributed $1.5 billion to Oregon economy in 2019

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 20th, 2021 at 3:55 pm

Riders enjoy roads in the Clatsop Forest near Vernonia in 2019.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

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

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 19th, 2021 at 11:51 am

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

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New website is latest piece in the carfree Columbia Gorge puzzle

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 9th, 2018 at 11:37 am

As the Portland region grows, so too has the popularity of the Columbia River Gorge. That’s a good thing; but not if too many people visit it by car.

Thankfully, Oregon’s tourism and transportation agencies understand this. Two summers ago, faced with congestion and overflowing parking lots, the Department of Transportation launched the Columbia Gorge Express bus service to encourage people to experience the Gorge without a car. That’s been such a huge success they’ve upgraded service and features each year.

Now comes another piece of the puzzle: ColumbiaGorgeCarfree.com, a website funded in part by a grant from Travel Oregon.

The site (still partly under construction) features carfree itineraries for popular Gorge destinations. As of now, there’s a turn-by-turn guide to hiking the popular Dog Mountain trail without a car. The itinerary comes with a detailed map and is based on biking and walking the four miles from Cascade Locks to the West End Transit (WET) shuttle bus stop on the Washington side of the river. If you can wait until May 25th, the Columbia Gorge Express will carry you and your bike from the Gateway Transit Center in east Portland to Cascade Locks.

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There’s also a very helpful page that lists all the buses and transit options that serve the Gorge.

This new website is the work of Heidi Beirle and a, “geeky team of transportation professionals.” Beirle is a carfree tourism consultant who also works with the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce.

If you’re keen on going to the Gorge carfree this season, keep this website handy. And if you want to make bus service to the Gorge even better, please take the latest Columbia Gorge Express survey.

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

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Oregon designates new ‘scenic bikeway’ route in central Oregon

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 14th, 2017 at 4:57 pm

Cycle Oregon 2014 - Day 6-31

Leaving Maupin, the route heads north along the Deschutes River on a BLM access road.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s 16th State Scenic Bikeway rolls through river canyons, sacred tribal fishing grounds and the small-town splendor that rural Oregon is known for. Travel Oregon and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department announced the Sherar’s Falls Scenic Bikeway today.

Here’s the official map and route description:
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Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway named Oregon’s 15th official route

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 24th, 2016 at 2:29 pm

Treo Bike Ranch trip Day 2 - John Day River Valley-36

A section of the route just east of Spray on the John Day Highway.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A state parks advisory committee that met in Salem today voted to officially designate the Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway. The new bikeway becomes the 15th route in the scenic bikeways program which is administered by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
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State of Oregon might lose “bikeway” designation for Metolius River route

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 5th, 2016 at 2:40 pm

bikewaysignlead

Detail of a signage plan for the
Metolius River Loops Scenic Bikeway.

Oregon’s Scenic Bikeway program is about to shrink by 7 percent.

Since becoming an official state program in 2008, Scenic Bikeways have become magnets for bike tourists. They pumped $12.4 million into Oregon’s economy in 2014. There are 14 officially designated routes promoted by the state’s tourism board as recreational attractions and economy boosters for the communities they pass through.

But one of them, the Metolius River Loops Scenic Bikeway, is likely to be dropped off that list for an odd reason: fear that it will attract too many people.
[Read more…]