7 Wonders, 7 Days
Ron last week visited Oregon’s “Seven Wonders,’ meeting with local businesses at each stop to hear their ideas on how to build on the state’s growing recreation economy -- as well as taking in the beauty of Oregon’s natural icons.
Listening to Oregon's Businesses
In addition to holding those listening sessions in his visits to Crater Lake, Mount Hood, Smith Rock, the Painted Hills, the Wallowas, the Columbia River Gorge and the Coast, Ron also held similar gatherings in Portland and in Eugene.
At each of the nine sessions, Ron and officials from Travel Oregon - who designed the "Seven Wonders” campaign -heard how Oregon’s travel and tourism economy has grown to the point that it’s become a huge economic engine in every corner of our state. Travel Oregon estimates that travel and tourism contribute to about $10.3 billion to the state’s economy.
“This is a big economic multiplier,” Ron said, citing the outfitters, gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and brewpubs, hotels and motels, and shops that all benefit from recreation and tourism.
“The reality is 100,000 jobs in Oregon depend on this industry,” Ron said.
Among the many themes Ron heard throughout his weeklong trip were the needs for recreation permitting to be simplified, for more infrastructure, and to make sure recreation is always accessible so that all Oregonians - children, seniors, families and veterans - can experience the many benefits of getting outdoors in our great state
He also heard at each Wonder how Oregon’s recreation and tourism businesses have room to keep growing.
At the start of the trip heading into the Fourth of July weekend, Ron said he hoped to hear directly from people on the ground about what actions he could take that would create the economic climate for them to continue doing what they do well—providing an unmatched experience for visitors and creating jobs in every part of our state.
That hope was clearly met with all the feedback he gathered. Ron will take all that input and work in the months ahead on legislation, or other actions, that incorporates all the good suggestions he heard.