Reedsport, OR, a city of approximately 4,154 people, is situated on the estuary of the Umpqua River and is named after a local settler who founded the city in 1912, Alfred W. Reed.
At that time, the Southern Pacific Railroad lines extending south to Coos Bay led to the development of Reedsport, which was originally a camp for railroad construction workers before the post office was established that same year.
Like many communities on the coast of Oregon, Reedsport historically was economically dependent on Oregon’s timber industry and has been subsequently impacted by the industry’s decline. In the past two decades, however, Reedsport has experienced an increase in tourism due to various nearby points of interest and the large amount of outdoor recreational opportunities available. The Umpqua River supports one of the largest recreational fishing ports on the coast of Oregon and is the largest river between Sacramento and the Columbia.
Reedsport also sits in the heart of the Oregon Dunes National Recreational Area; therefore there are many opportunities to explore, hike, ATV, and more on the Dunes.
Reedsport is arguably most notably known for the famous Dean Creek Elk Viewing area, which is just three miles east of town on Highway 38. The Dean Creek Elk Viewing area is owned and managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is a popular stop for tourists along the highway. Throughout the year, visitors are treated to up-close views of Roosevelt elk grazing and resting in their resident meadow. Roosevelt elk are the largest of the four North American elk subspecies.
The herd at the Dean Creek Elk Viewing area sometimes reaches as many as 120 elk, and other wildlife that visitors often see include beavers, muskrat, mallards, Canada geese, and great blue heron. To learn more about the Dean Creek Viewing area, visit the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife’s visitor guide.
Members of the South Coast Tourism Steering Committee met in Powers on July 18.
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.
Members of the South Coast Tourism Marketing Action Team met at the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance on Monday afternoon, July 10.
Members in attendance were Marie Simonds, Michael C, Tim Scahill, Marcie Nunnelly, with Sea Grant interns Catie Michel and Dustin James. Members to participate in the discussion over the phone were Fiona B, Julie M, Alexa, Andrew, and Kelda of Travel Oregon.
Julie Miller of the Bandon Chamber of Commerce provided a subcommittee report that expressed initiative to apply for a small grant to hire an individual to organize and update OTIS data and files. The goal is to establish an efficient, long term system to maintain management of the ORB/OTIS data.
Marcie Nunnelly of the photography subcommittee provided information about a Survey Monkey that was filled out by the 9 DMOs of the South Coast (including Florence). The results of the survey highlighted the DMOs need to have more professional media assets at their disposal, the desire for collaboration to market the region as a whole, and a training component to educate on how to access these assets. Sea Grant intern Dustin James provided an update on the current Wild Rivers Coast Photo Project which is expected to be completed by end of August. Members of the committee expressed a need for a similar photo project to take place in the northern portion of the South Coast.
Lastly, Marketing Action Team lead Marie Simonds discussed the small grant application for a Local DMO Collaboration and Capacity Development project. This grant would be used to conduct a survey of DMOs in Wildlife Rivers Coast and South Coast Regions to assess current staffing, desired training, desired use of new photo and video assets, marketing goals, as well as the use of OCVA and Travel Oregon resources. Creation of a promotional video showcasing cycling and mountain biking routes in the South Coast is also in the works.
To get more information about the Orb visit: http://industry.traveloregon.com/industry-resources/the-orb/
Associate Professor - Tourism and Business Development
College of Forest Ecosystems & Society
Oregon State University Extension - Oregon Sea Grant
Equal Opportunity/Accessibility https://extension.oregonstate.edu/equal-opportunity-accessibility