Kari Westlund, Travel Lane County President/CEO, will present the organization’s annual report to the Lane County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, September 26. Fueled by record-breaking visitor spending that surpassed $1 billion, the report highlights unprecedented achievements and a strategic vision for the future.
The fiscal year commenced with the spectacular World Athletics Championships Oregon22, uniting athletes, coaches, volunteers, and spectators from around the world. This multi-day event generated an impressive direct economic impact of $153.4 million, solidifying its status as a key economic driver for the region. Travel Lane County proudly accepted the Governor's Tourism Award for its role in this remarkable endeavor, alongside government agencies, the Oregon22 local organizing committee, and countless volunteers. This epic track and field event not only captivated audiences but also kick-started a year of remarkable success.
The visitor industry in Lane County continues to flourish and is poised to be the region's fastest-growing sector in the coming decade. Over 11,000 dedicated individuals are actively engaged in creating exceptional experiences for residents and visitors alike. Collaborating with workforce partners, Travel Lane County aims to attract and retain a future workforce that will continue to make Lane County a premier destination for years to come.
In addition to these successes, leisure travel took the lead, contributing significantly to the region's record visitor spending. Accommodation spending, driven by lodging rates and room demand, reached an exceptional level. Yet, food and beverage spending stole the show, with 35 cents of every visitor dollar being spent in this sector.
Lane County’s lodging supply experienced changes, including closures and the Valley River Inn fire, which temporarily removed hundreds of rooms from inventory. Lane County looks forward to the re-opening of Valley River Inn and, the region’s first new hotel in several years, TownePlace Suites.
Lane County's natural beauty has always been a cornerstone of its visitor economy, but now, the region's built environments are playing an increasingly vital role. Communities across Lane County are recognizing the importance of investing in infrastructure that fosters year-round tourism. From Oakridge's mountain biking ambitions to Lowell's high-caliber rowing events at Dexter Reservoir, and Eugene and Springfield's plans for additional conference space and sports facilities, Lane County is shaping a dynamic future for tourism.
Travel Lane County extends its heartfelt gratitude to industry partners, residents, and elected officials who support our mission to make the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region an unrivaled visitor destination. We eagerly anticipate the coming year as we prepare to welcome millions of visitors to this extraordinary place we call home.