Businesses, individuals recognized for contributions to travel, tourism

The Clackamas County Tourism Development Council presented its 2013 Tourism Recognition Awards May 6 at the Abernethy Center in Oregon City. The event was part of the county’s celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week.

The awards went to area recipients who were nominated for their contribution to the region’s travel and tourism industry.

Award categories included Marketing Innovations, Product Development, Partnership, Individual Customer Service and Chairman’s Award.

Winners were:

Marketing Innovation: Oregon Horse Country.

This organization started in 2009 with a $3,500 Community Partnership Program Grant from Clackamas County Tourism.

Now their branding, marketing and promotional efforts help bring in an estimated $10 million annually through shows, clinics and other activities, as well as raise thousands of dollars for equine and horse-related nonprofit groups and programs throughout the state.

Product Development: First City Cycles.

After attending one of CCTCA’s Bicycle Tourism Studios, owner Blake Meier was inspired to open a full-service retail bike shop last July. In less than a year of opening in downtown Oregon City, this bike shop owner is working to remodel the Oregon City train station into a market place/bike bistro/resource center and is working with several partners to lay the groundwork for a potential downhill mountain bike park in Newell Creek Canyon.

Partnership: End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center. With the vision and leadership of Clackamas Heritage Partners, key partnerships were formed to reprogram and re-open the End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center this June with help from The Lennox Foundation, Juan Young Trust, the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde, Travel Oregon, Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs and the city of Oregon City.

Customer Service: U.S. Forest Service Ranger Chris Doyle. Doyle’s customer-first attitude is evident every day he steps into the ZigZag Ranger Station on Mount Hood National Forest.

He creates custom itineraries, hiking suggestions and driving routes for travelers, as well as sharing photos to help visitors plan their trips.

Chairman’s Award: Jennifer Johnson. Former tourism director and visitor information center manager for the Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce, Johnson expanded its satellite brochure program and launched a local geocaching program.

As local administrator of the county’s Community Partner Program, she contributed to the development of numerous tourism projects, most notably, Oregon Horse Country.

“It’s always a thrill to reflect on all that has been accomplished throughout the year,” said TDC Chairwoman Daphne Wuest. “It’s especially great to see so many success stories stem from Clackamas County Tourism efforts, such as Oregon Horse Country and the Bicycle Tourism Studios.”

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