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Grant money comes to the Mountain for cycling tourism

The Clackamas County Tourism Development Grant has allocated $100,000 to make the county a bicycle tour destination.

The move is a response to other Oregon communities and their success with bike tourism, said Diane Lotking, a member of the Government Camp Marketing Council.

“The town of Oakridge has rebranded itself as a bike tourism mecca,” Lotking said. “Looking at their success, the county took on a tourism bike initiative. So in concert with Travel Oregon, they hosted a number of tourism studios to talk about how to make Clackamas County a bike destination.”

To be considered, grant applicants were asked to emphasize outdoor recreation, agritourism or cultural and heritage tourism. A panel of Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs staff, as well as Clackamas County Tourism Development Council board members, along with representatives from the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition, Travel Portland and Travel Oregon, reviewed and approved the applications in March.

The grant money came from a county transient room tax. Twenty-three projects applied for a piece of the grant money. Eight were funded.

“As is usually the case, there is always more demand than funds available,” Lotking said. “We were very pleased with the quality of the projects that got funded this year.”

One of the funded projects is the Barlow Bike Racks, a series of Cascadia-themed iron racks to be created by Timberline Lodge blacksmith-in-residence Darryl Nelson. Once completed, the racks will line Main Street in Government Camp. The project was awarded $8,000, and Lotking and the Mount Hood Cultural Center wrote the grant application.

Once the bike racks are completed and installed, the museum will cede ownership to the Government Camp Road District, Lotking said.

The Arts Cabins also received grant money. In fact, the cabins, used to offer classes in various creative and artisan pursuits, received the largest amount. The cabins have $30,000 to perform needed structural repairs.

The other groups receiving grant money are the Historical Outreach Foundation; We Love Clean Rivers; Oregon Farm Loops; the Estacada Chamber of Commerce; Earth Crusaders; and the Clackamas County Historical Society.