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Travel Lane County Presents Annual Visitor Industry Awards

Published: June 23, 2014
June 23, 2014      

For Immediate Release        
Contact: Lisa Lawton, Director of Community Relations
541-484-5307; 1-800-547-5445;

Travel Lane County Presents Annual Visitor Industry Awards

Eugene, Ore. - Travel Lane County honored local businesses, organizations and individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the local visitor industry. The 2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Visitor Industry Celebration was held Thursday, June 19, at Lane Community College's Center for Meeting & Learning. Tourism and community leaders presented awards in seven categories.

This year's recipients and award videos are as follows:

2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Appreciation Award
Grant McOmie, "Grant's Getaways"
Travel writer, producer and author Grant McOmie, of "Grant's Getaways," received the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Appreciation Award. Grant produces stories and programs about the people, places and outdoor activities in Pacific Northwest. His programs run weekly on KGW NewsChannel 8 and stream from Travel Oregon's website. A fifth generation Oregon native, Grant has produced nearly two dozen television features on Lane County alone bringing to life the history, culture and adventures throughout the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region.

2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Hospitality Award
Eugene Running Store & Willamalane Swim Center Front Line Staff
In recognition of their outstanding customer service, the staff of the Willamalane Swim Center and the Eugene Running Company each received a Eugene, Cascades & Coast Hospitality Award. The two were not only honored for the high value they place on the customer experience, but also for their exemplary commitment to building a healthy and active community.

2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Enrichment Award
The innovative team of Sprout!, and supporting partners of NEDCO, were honored for their leadership, inspiration and successful business farm-to-table business model with a Eugene, Cascades & Coast Enrichment Award. Recognized for their outstanding support of local farmers, food producers and chefs, the Springfield-based food hub has not only nurtured authentic culinary experiences for locals and visitors alike, but has enhanced the economy and vitality of downtown Springfield.

2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Partnership Award
McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee
Acknowledged for their outstanding teamwork, the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce Tourism Committee received the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Partnership Award. The group has been responsible for cooperative marketing programs that has enhanced the region's identity and increased visitor traffic along the corridor. New marketing campaigns and strategies have built awareness of key McKenzie events and recreational opportunities, including those centered on cycling, track and field, hiking and river experiences. The group's partnerships with Travel Oregon, Travel Lane County, and cross promotions with other countywide communities, were also noted as significant contributing factors for their recognition.

2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Destination Award
Heceta Head Light House Scenic State Park
Heceta Head Light House supporters, from business and community leaders to preservation experts and tourism advocates, were recognized for their outstanding work in restoring the century-old beacon. Oregon State Parks representatives accepted the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Destination Award on behalf of the agency's leadership, as well as its numerous public and private partners and volunteers who collectively made the project possible. The restoration effort, which closed the lighthouse for a two-year span, took place between August 2011 and June 2013. Today the lighthouse and surrounding scenic trails welcome more than 800,000 visitors a year. 

2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Convention Leadership Award
PEO  Sisterhood

Resident chapter members, who helped bring the 2013 Philanthropic Education Organization's (PEO) Annual State Convention to Eugene, were honored with the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Convention Leadership Award. The five-day conference brought more than 650 visitors to Eugene and the surrounding area. Convention delegates and their family members generated more than 463 room nights and more than $388,000 in economic impacts. In addition to conference-related spending, delegates and guests took part in a variety pre and post activities, including fishing, shopping, golfing, winery, brewery and coastal excursions providing both economic impacts and increased awareness of local attractions, recreation and culinary experiences.

2014 Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Leadership Award
Oregon MLK Volleyball Team Classic
The University of Oregon women's volleyball program, known as Spike! was honored with a Eugene, Cascades & Coast Sports Leadership Award for successfully hosting its fifth annual Oregon MLK Team Classic in Eugene. The three-day event attracts nearly 180 high school volleyball teams from across the western United States, as well as college recruiters, during the Martin Luther King holiday weekend. The classic has grown to become one of the most prestigious, early-season club tournaments in the Northwest. This year's event generated over 2,475 room nights and close to $600,000 in economic impact.

Travel Lane County Visitor Industry Celebration presenting sponsors included Bank of the Cascades and InnSight Hotels Management Group. Additional sponsors included Attic Media, Inc., Green Solutions Printing, Robert Canaga Studio. Table sponsors included Frank & Kathleen Johnston, Hilton Eugene, Holiday Inn Express - Eugene, McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce, City of Springfield & Springfield Chamber of Commerce, Turell Group and Valley River Inn.

For photos and additional information, contact Lisa Lawton, Director of Community Relations, at 541-484-5307.