The Oregon Coast Visitors Association (OCVA) is pleased to announce seven grant awards totaling $72,000 to organizations implementing high-value destination development projects that align with OCVA’s strategic goals. The awards were made through OCVA’s Strategic Investment Fund (SI-Fund), which is a new grant program established after the passing of Oregon House Bill 4146 in 2016.
“These grants will greatly accelerate destination development work along the Coast,” says Marcus Hinz, OCVA executive director. “We can infuse projects with funding at strategic moments, such as when a product is at its infancy or is at risk of failing.” The program is a direct response to the feedback OCVA received through the 2017 Oregon Coast Stakeholder Survey, according to Hinz. “Tourism-based organizations clearly expressed a need for investment in destination-focused products.”
Eligible projects must directly address one or ideally several goals in the 2017-2019 RCTP Oregon Coast Plan:
- Identify and execute strategies to increase off-peak season visitation.
- Identify and execute strategies to increase availability of a skilled workforce.
- Develop new tourism products and experiences.
- Enhance sustainability programs.
Hinz notes that the Strategic Investment Grant Fund, is different from other grant programs in that both for-profit and nonprofit organizations can apply; there is no deadline; and, OCVA staff are willing to consult with applicants to help them determine how competitive their project might be, based on its alignment with the 2017-2019 RCTP Oregon Coast Plan.
“If we see promise in a proposal, we’re willing to work with the applicant to help them understand how their proposal could align better with RCTP goals and grant guidelines,” he says. “That said, it’s extremely important that applicants understand the criteria and make sure their project meet as many of the criteria as possible before applying.”
2017-18 Strategic Investment Fund grant recipients
Cannon Beach Arts Association in partnership with the City of Cannon Beach’s Haystack Rock Awareness Program to create a public art piece made of marine debris collected during interpretive walks. The project creates a new visitor experience, during the shoulder season, enhances sustainable tourism programs, and is a great partnership.
Evo Cooking School to create six, 3-minute videos about culinary experiences one might expect to have along the Coast, from field to table. The project creates a new visitor experiences during the shoulder season, enhances sustainable culinary tourism programs, promotes a key tourism sector (agri-tourism), and is a great partnership involving many businesses and nonprofits.
Oregon Coast Aquarium to construct and install a biker/hiker pod that matches the design of pods installed by Oregon State Parks along the Coast. The creates a new experience for hikers/bikers, who can now can bike to the aquarium and have a place to securely store their gear. The project enhances sustainable tourism programs and is replicable at other sites.
Redfish Rocks Community Team to purchase an all-weather outdoor audio post for installation at Battle Rock Park in Port Orford that will share information about the Redfish Rocks Marine Reserve, marine ecology, the local fishing fleet, migrating whales and many other possible topics of interest. The project creates a new visitor experience while enhancing an existing visitor center, enhances sustainable tourism programs, and is replicable at other sites.
Surfrider Foundation Newport Chapter in partnership with the City of Newport for interpretive trail signage that educate visitors about the natural history and beach etiquette. The project enhances sustainable tourism programs, improves visitor safety and accessibility, replicable along the entire Coast and is a great partnership.
Tillamook County Pioneer Museum for “Celebrate Route 6”, a year-long festival of arts and cultural events that raise awareness about the historical significance, recreational opportunities, unique ecology, and activities along Route 6 and Route 131. The project enhances sustainable tourism programs, creates a new visitor experience, and dovetails well with local partners’ efforts to establish a new Scenic Byway along Route 6, which would encourage tourism in the off-season.
Wild Rivers Mushroom Festival to assist with marketing efforts for this off-season event in its second year. The project enhances a relatively new off-season visitor experience, ready and well positioned for expansion, promotes a key tourism sector (agri-tourism) and involves numerous local businesses and organization.
Starting in July, organizations along the Coast are invited to apply for the next round of grants available through the Strategic Investment Fund. Go here to review the grant guidelines. If you have questions, please contact Marcus Hinz, OCVA executive director, at Director@ThePeoplesCoast.com, or 541-264-0543.