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TSO Strategic Investments 2022

In August 2022, Travel Southern Oregon announced the Strategic Investment Fund. This fund was put in place to provide timely support for high-value destination development or marketing projects to make positive short-term impacts in Southern Oregon as a destination. For the 2023 cycle, investments that focus on visitor-facing outdoor recreation work, diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that will make Southern Oregon a more welcoming destination; capacity and event support for new or impactful culinary and cultural experiences will be seen as strategic priorities.

Travel Southern Oregon encouraged all non-profits, non-governmental organizations, Recognized Tribes, and private businesses located and serving Southern Oregon to apply.

At this time, we are pleased to announce the following projects have been funded.

Lake of the Woods Resort – ADA Fishing Pier

In partnership with the United States Forest Service, Oregon State Marine Board, and the Oregon Department of Fish and Game, Lake of the Woods Resort will be constructing ADA-compliant pathways to connect existing parking areas to the shoreline, ADA-compliant access for fishing, and non-motorized boating. The new access point will reduce boater and fisherperson conflicts by allowing broader and almost year-round access to fishing at Lake of the Woods Resort.

Lake of the Woods Resort, Klamath Falls:

Illinois Valley Community Development Organization – Rough and Ready Botanical Restoration and Wheelchair Trail

With ten years of community support, the Rough and Ready Botanical Restoration and Wheelchair Trail is nearing completion.  Illinois Valley Community Development Organization (IVCanDo) sought gap funding to cover the difference in the increased cost of building materials. Plans for the project include installing a six-foot-wide wheelchair-accessible trail, log benches at intervals allowing all to rest on the path, and developing interpretive wayside panels to increase visitor understanding and appreciation of this unique area. The expanded trail and educational opportunities will help restore botanically sensitive areas previously trampled by off-trail traffic.

Destination Applegate – Visitor-Facing Website

After holding listening sessions in 2020, an Applegate Valley Business Steering Committee developed the original idea for Destination Applegate. Representing wineries, lavender farms, artists, outdoor recreation enthusiasts, representatives from the Rogue Valley Food Trail, and the Applegate Valley History Trail, a plan was developed to communicate with visitors about the rich potential the Applegate Valley holds. A new visitor-facing website will allow for direct, accurate, and precise information about how to best experience the Applegate Valley. The newly formed Destination Applegate working group will advise on content to create a site that channels tourism to benefit the people to live and work in the valley. The requested funds will be used to work with a local web designer to make the Destination Applegate website a reality.

Neuman Hotel Group – Brine, Brew, and Barrel

Brine, Brew & Barrel is a brainchild of the Neuman Hotel Group Sales & Marketing team and was created with the idea of attracting visitors to Southern Oregon in January. The first festival occurred in January 2020 in Medford and was a huge success. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the decision was made to wait to host this culinary and educational event. Now, on January 14 & 15, 2023, vendors, speakers, and visitors will be welcomed to Ashland at Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites. Offering overnight packages, lectures, workshops, Friday night dinner, chef demos, opportunities to taste different products showcased by vendors, and much more. Funds will be used towards marketing, event production, travel cost for VIP speakers, and PR.

Brine, Brew, and Barrel Festival 2020 Photo Credit: Neuman Hotel Group

Siskiyou Mountain Club – Volunteer Vacations

For 12 years, the Siskiyou Mountain Club has successfully created programs aimed at reopening trails on public lands throughout Southwest Oregon. In 2023, volunteer projects targeting out-of-area visitors will be developed. Allows for easy-entry experiences that connect people with the Siskiyou region. While working on the Illinois River National Recreation Trail, the Wild Rogue Loop, the Boundary National Recreation Trail, and the Upper Rogue National Recreation Trail, the Siskiyou Mountain Club will provide evening natural history lessons and a semi-catered experience to attract new volunteers who are interested in the area and are likely to return. Funds requested will be used to pay staff, provide field supplies, food for volunteers, and transportation.

Talent Business Alliance – Boost and Amplify Program

In partnership with Business in Talent, The City of Talent, and Talent Urban Renewal Agency, the Talent Business Alliance created the Boost and Amplify Program. Designed to increase the visibility of Talents downtown commercial district in order to help sustain businesses as they rebuild infrastructure and revitalize the economy post the 2020 Almeda Fire. In addition to music events, the Boost and Amplify Program also provides grants to local businesses for organizing other events, such as pop-up markets and multi-cultural celebrations. The requested funding will allow the Talent Business Alliance to extend the Boost and Amplify programming throughout the city as businesses and events seek to recapture their patron and visitor bases negatively impacted by the Almeda Fire.