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Travel Lane County Visitor Industry Update
Kari Westlund
Kari and Liz VIC
Kari and Gov Kotek

Join Us in Celebrating 28 Years of Service to Lane County

You are invited to a special celebration of President & CEO Kari Westlund's 28 years of service to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. Let's pack the house as we celebrate Travel Lane County's success under Kari's three decades of leadership.

The Travel Lane County's Visitor Industry Celebration & Summit will be May 17, 2024 from 8 am - 1:30 pm. at the Graduate Eugene. The Industry Summit features Molly Alexander as the keynote breakfast speaker. Molly will dive deeper into her work around "Return on Emotion" as she leads one of three breakout session tracks. Two additional breakout session tracks will offer education and networking opportunities throughout the morning.

Lunch will focus on recognizing our 2024 Visitor Industry Award recipients and special recognition of Kari and her incredible tenure here at Travel Lane County. Registration opens in March, so watch for an invitation and be sure to sign up early. 

new pickleball facility at LCC rendering

Travel Lane County Charitable Fund Debuts with Pickleball Donation

The Travel Lane County Charitable Fund is proud to announce its first major gift to a public benefit project that will enhance engagement for residents and visitors: the regional pickleball complex being built at Lane Community College by the Emerald Valley Pickleball Foundation! Slated for completion in 2025, this tournament-quality facility featuring 24 lighted courts will be open and available to the public, transforming lives through fun physical and social activity. As one of the largest dedicated pickleball facilities in the Pacific Northwest and with 10 of its 24 courts covered, it is expected to draw visitors to tournaments year-round.

The Travel Lane County Charitable Fund is an inclusive public benefit nonprofit organization organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes. By donating to the Fund, you will help bring projects to life that will have a lasting positive impact on our community as a place to live and visit for years to come. Watch for information on how you or your organization can support projects throughout the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region.

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Semi-Annual Report to County March 5

President/CEO Kari Westlund will present the Travel Lane County semi-annual report to the Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday, March 5 during the morning session. The report will be posted to the Industry Reports & Research page of the Travel Lane County website. Watch the presentation live in Harris Hall or online.

GovCon's OTTA Fundraiser Needs You

The Oregon Tour & Travel Alliance (OTTA) is an independent non-profit membership networking organization. Their primary fundraiser each year is our regional basket raffle conducted during the Oregon Governor’s Conference (being held in Salem from March 11-13, projected attendance 500+). These baskets offer tremendous exposure to those in our industry such as DMO’s, visitor information staff, hoteliers, travel writers, and tour operators –the very people you want to help spread the word about your business. Items from Travel Lane County partners will be in either the Oregon Coast or Willamette Valley Basket.

The assembled baskets typically range from $1,800-$3,000 in value, making them both well viewed and well sought after. Donations can be a gift certificate for goods or services and/or physical items such as sweatshirts, glass floats, or food/beverage items. If you are interested in offering a donation, please complete the donation information here.

The deadline to submit a donation is March 4. You can mail it in or we can hand-carry your item(s) if received at our office no later than March 9. 

sidewalk art in downtown Eugene

Arts Grants Available for Programming and Projects

Lane Arts Council’s 2023 annual report is now available.  Additionally, two grant programs are now open for applications.

  • The 2024-2025 Community Arts Program Grant provides operating support to Eugene’s small and mid-sized community arts organizations. The primary purpose of this year's grant is to support nonprofit arts organizations in their strategic development and organizational goal fulfillment.
  • Lane Arts Council's 2024-2025 Community Arts Project Grant provides funding support to projects that emphasize accessibility to underserved audiences and provide programming that takes place in the City of Eugene. This grant is open to arts organizations, artist collectives, cultural organizations, and individuals.

Completed applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 19, 2024. The grant cycle is between July 1, 2024 and June 30, 2025. All proposals, including all activities that involve the public, must be completed within this time frame. 

Inclusion & Diversity

Wildish Theater Hearing Loop Coming Soon

Travel Lane County established its hearing loop program in early 2023 by dedicating $20,000 to install hearing loops at hotel front desks and attractions. After successfully securing a Travel Oregon accessibility grant for $50,000 the program was extended into FY24. Additional hotels were looped, along with museums, visitor centers and attractions. With time running short on the grant, Travel Lane County expanded the program to include larger installations that included performing arts venues. A partnership with Wildish Theater allowed us to fund our largest project to date! We are excited for Wildish Theater guests to experience this amazing technology. 

Travel Lane County plans to continue this accessibility work in FY25 by offering hearing loop subsidies as part of our member benefit program

Member News

Hathaway Graduates U.S. Chamber Academy

Congratulations Mitzi Hathaway, director of tourism development for the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce, who recently returned from the Western Association of Chamber Executives (W.A.C.E.) academy graduation held in Garden Grove, California. She was one of 34 graduates from around the country.

Travel Lane County Welcomes Kylie Hendrickson

Kylie Hendrickson, becomes Travel Lane County's Visitor Center Manager on March 11. Kylie worked outreach events for Travel Lane County in the past and most recently worked at Keifer Automotive Group in a digital marketing role. Welcome Kylie! 

Graduate Eugene Welcomes Nina Vallin

The Graduate Eugene welcomed Nina Vallin as their new sales manager. Congratulations to Denley Nagata and Courtney Northup on your recent promotions!   

ORLA & AAHOA Keep Watchful Eye on Use of TLT

The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) are collaborating to keep a watchful eye on lodging tax spending by local governments across Oregon. Currently, there are over 100 different local lodging taxes in jurisdictions across the state which generate over $220 million in revenue for city and county governments of all shapes and sizes. 

“The task of staying on top of local lodging tax spending across Oregon is one of our most crucial roles,” said Jason Brandt, President & CEO for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. “Our friends and joint members at AAHOA are an important national ally. Oregon Asian Americans own 60% of all hotels in the state and as such, AAHOA serves as a critical partner in navigating the various formulas for our industry taxes while monitoring the way in which those dollars are spent in local economies.”

For more information on how local lodging taxes must be expended in accordance with Oregon's state law, watch the Oregon Lodging Tax Defined video or visit the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association’s website at Review the history of the lodging taxes in Lane County.

Oregon Heritage Conference 2024

Oregon Heritage Conference: Make Space.
April 17 – April 20, 2024

Get conference details and registration information here.

  • Enjoy a lively exploration of word histories, linguistic differences, and bias toward non-mainstream dialects with Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett from A Way with Words.
  • Celebrate with the Oregon Heritage Excellence Awards!
  • Build understanding with Matika Wilbur and Project 562
  • 20 sessions, 6 topical networking meet ups, 5 workshops, 2 demonstrations, 6 tours, and a celebration of amazing heritage preservation work across the state.
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Weekly Update Sent to Your Inbox

Travel Lane County has a robust events calendar, but sometimes it's hard to remember to go to and look ahead at all the amazing things happening throughout Lane County. Well, we've got you covered with our new What's Happening email. Once a week an email will drop into your inbox and it will highlight a few events taking place in the week ahead. If you want more inspiration, just click through to the full calendar. Sign up today!

Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission

The Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Commission assists local event organizers develop and grow their events and actively markets our region to sports planners throughout the nation. Stay abreast of Sports Commission activities by signing up for this monthly e-newsletter.

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