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Tourism funds are put to use

County tourism allocated $13,000 to be used by city for tourism projects

The coming year might see an increase in tourism in West Linn. The city used $13,000 in Clackamas County tourism development money in 2011 to beef up its tourist traffic.

The funds went to the West Linn Chamber of Commerce, where a tourism committee discussed and approved various ways to use the money. These included brochure printing, event shuttling and an investment in geocaching, according to Linda Neace, chamber president chairwoman of the tourism committee.

'We need to put West Linn on the map,' Neace said. 'We have a lot of history here, and these projects promote the things to see and do here.'

The tourism committee approved three projects to spend the funds. One is a brochure and map that lists the various restaurants, parks and hotels in the area. The composition and printing of 15,000 fliers to be distributed around the state cost $7,000.

'It's a tourism brochure to develop West Linn as a tourist destination,' Neace said. 'We've known for a long time we've needed a map piece, and that's what this is.'

Another area where funds were spent was on event shuttling. Neace said the committee planned to have the shuttle available for four events - such as the Old Time Fair - and so far the ridership has been good. The shuttling service for all four events cost $4,000.

'The response from the shuttling service has been positive, and we've gotten comments asking for us to continue that service,' Neace said.

Finally, funds went toward expanding West Linn geocaching. Geocaching is an activity where people search for boxes of souvenirs that have been hidden in specific places in a city or area. People research GPS coordinates online and then set out to find the caches.

When they do, they can write in the log and are expected to leave behind a souvenir. West Linn is supposedly a hub for geocaching activity, and so the chamber decided to boost interest in the activity.

'Geocaching is a new thing to me, and we have a lot of people coming to West Linn looking for that,' Neace said. 'So, we discussed ways to expand it.'

What the chamber came up with was to put coins in various caches, sort of like collectibles.

On one side, the coin features the West Linn city emblem and on the other, it features the Clackamas County Tourism Development emblem. The total cost for the coins was $2,500.

Neace said the chamber plans to again submit a request for funds next year.

'We want to do it different this time, we're working closely with the city, and we want to have more community involvement,' Neace said.