Members of the South Coast Tourism Steering Committee met in Powers on July 18.

Kat Hoppe, Michelle Martin, and Kay Clayborn in Powers

The Outdoor Recreation Team shared information on the Coos Flow Trail, a 30 miles mountain biking trail that is currently under construction between Bandon and Coos Bay. The Team will be pursuing a Travel Oregon Rural Tourism Studio grant to support this and other efforts including a ribbon-cutting opening event for the completion of the first 11 mile segment which is expected to take place in the fall. The Marketing Action Team, discussed the Team’s two priority goals: 1) To create up-to-date information on the Travel Oregon website for businesses and restaurants and 2) To develop high quality photography to represent the South Coast. The logistics of both projects are still in the process of being finalized. The agritourism team also provide an update on efforts related to creating Farm Trails to help market local producers and farm experiences. The Team is looking to receive funding for a Farm Dinner, an agritourism development program that seeks to connect producers, buyers, hotels, and other businesses. The Committee will meet again on August 23rd in Coos Bay to finalize the details of the proposal and are planning to have the grant finalized and submitted mid-September.

Florence, OR is a coastal city located at the mouth of the Siuslaw River about midway between Newport and Coos Bay. With a population of approximately 8,466 people, Florence is a historic riverfront town that provides a diverse array of activities for locals and visitors.

Heceta Head Lighthouse. Image Source.

While the logging, commercial fishing, and agricultural industries have served as the historical pillars of Florence’s economy, tourism is becoming increasingly significant. There are a variety of businesses, points of interests, and parks in and around Florence that offer unique experiences and outdoor recreation. One can enjoy headliner entertainment at the Florence Events Center or Three Rivers Casino Resort after exploring the Heceta Head Lighthouse State Scenic Viewpoint and the Heceta Head Assistant Keeper’s House. The park features a seven mile network of hiking paths that join the short hike to the lighthouse. The Keeper’s House functions as both an interpretive center and a bed and breakfast. Guided tours are offered by knowledgeable docents during the summer to educate visitor’s about the iconic lighthouse and its rich history.

The Sea Lion Caves. Image Source.

A must see attraction located fifteen minutes from the Florence city center is North America’s largest sea cave, which is a privately owned wildlife preserve and bird sanctuary, and is inhabited throughout the year by as many as 200 Stellar sea lions. Visitors can take an elevator ride descending 200 feet down into the Sea Lion Caves, which is as tall as a 12-story building and as wide as a football field. As the Sea Lion Caves are part of the Oregon/Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve, the Caves are not a zoo; the wild animals are protected and come and go as they please and follow their natural . During the summer, the sea lions can be found lounging in the rookery areas (along the rock ledges outside) with their young. In the fall and winter, they can be found inside the cave’s natural amphitheater. This sea cave is the only known mainland home of wild sea lions in the world and is a must see for visitors of Florence.

 

Travel Oregon Requests Your Input For Expanding Outdoor Recreation In Oregon

In March 2017, Travel Oregon launched the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative, a new statewide effort to bring together businesses, agencies, land managers, conservation groups and recreational user groups around the goal of expanding access to outdoor recreation and increasing the economic impact and sustainability of Oregon’s outdoor recreation economy.

To prepare for this launch, Travel Oregon convened the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Leadership Team from June 2016 to February 2017. The Leadership Team developed initial drafts of the 15-Year Vision, 5-Year Outcomes and 2-Year Strategies for the Oregon Outdoor Recreation Initiative.

We are now interested in hearing from Oregonians on what they would like to see improved to enhance outdoor recreation in Oregon. Additionally, we are seeking feedback on the priority strategies that have been proposed by the Leadership Team. To gather this information, we are  conducting five statewide public outreach meetings. In addition, we have also created a survey for this purpose.

We welcome you to provide your perspective by completing this online survey by Monday, May 22nd Date

Through this survey we hope to better understand what opportunities you see for expanding outdoor recreation in Oregon, along with any barriers you feel impede our ability as a collective to achieve a world-class and sustainable outdoor recreation industry for our state.

The findings from both the survey and the public outreach meetings will be shared with the Leadership Team and utilized to fine tune the direction of this initiative.

In the future, we plan to invite stakeholders to remain engaged with this initiative through regular gatherings and opportunities to work collaboratively on priority strategies.

Contact Information
Destination Development, Travel Oregon
Development@TravelOregon.com
971.717.6212