OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

News & Press

  • Oak Grove Rest Area closure schedule

    Over the next several days, both sides of I-5 Oak Grove Rest Area will be closed for repairs. The temporary closures will be staggered as contractors work to perform necessary upgrades to a faulty sewage system.
    The first closure begins today, Tuesday, December 16th and continues through tomorrow, Wednesday, December 17th, and affects southbound traffic.
    The second closure will occur on the northbound side of I-5 tomorrow, December 17th and continue through …

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  • Suncrest Rest Area reopens after storm

    UPDATE: Friday, December 12, 2014: Staff have reopened the Suncrest Rest Area following a high-wind storm that ripped apart branches and downed trees at the rest stop. Thank you for your patience.
    Suncrest Rest Area on southbound I-5 near Medford has been shuttered for the rest of the day. High winds have ripped through the area and have caused extensive damage with downed trees and power outages. Please use extreme caution when …

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  • Santiam and Gettings Creek open

    Both I-5 rest areas have reopened following brief closures this evening. High winds in the Willamette Valley caused trees and branches to fall on power lines. Staff worked to clean up debris and ensure the parking areas and buildings were safe for the public. Suncrest Rest Area near Medford remains closed at this hour. Suncrest is slated to reopen Friday.

  • Holiday OTE staff blog steering-wheel

    Why the OTE Highway Sign Program works

    On a recent Turkey Day road trip to visit relatives, I discovered that once you’ve crossed over the border of Southern Oregon, finding essential services such as gas, lodging or food becomes much more difficult.
    We found only a few precious highway logo signs located in northern California—those big blue and white signs that help tell you what businesses are located at the next exit—and …

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Oregon Travel Information Council

Oregon Travel Experience’s governing body is known as the Oregon Travel Information Council in Oregon Statute. Ten members are appointed by the governor and one position represents the Oregon Transportation Commission. Their mission is to create a great visitor experience by providing directions to destinations, connecting travelers with Oregon’s resources, and ensuring safe and convenient travel. Find out when our governing council will meet next or review minutes from the last meeting.

Accepting nominations for 2015 Maynard Drawson Award

Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) and the Oregon Heritage Tree Program have established a new statewide award in Maynard “The Tree Man” Drawson’s name. The annual award will honor individuals (or groups) who have championed Oregon’s trees with the same fervor and success as Drawson. For more information about the nomination and the application process for 2015, please link to our Maynard Drawson Award nomination web page.

The 2013 – 2015 OTE Fiscal Year adopted budget

You may download and review a PDF of the Council adopted and amended budget for the agency. The accompanying staff report summarizes budget content. If you need further information about this document please contact us.

Rest areas do more than revive

visitorsIf you are going to be on an Oregon highway or byway this fall, you might be curious about some of the more un-known features at our rest areas. We’ve had recent email from prospective visitors who wondered if they could sleep or set up BBQs at an Oregon rest area. Surprisingly, we have a number of rules and regulations that allow for both family and pets to have a good time when stopping. We want you to be safe, so please, don’t let weariness get to you and alter your Oregon experience. Check out some hidden gems and our rest area FAQs.

OTE expands sustainable practices

Barry Reed cleans fresh grout

Barry Reed cleans fresh grout

Would it surprise you to find out that OTE is actually mandated by the State of Oregon to “preserve the natural beauty and aesthetic features of rest areas?”

As part of our mission, we’re always on the lookout for sustainable products and ways to help conserve Oregon’s natural resources. Recently, the rest area team at Government Camp installed new water-free fixtures to help conserve our state’s water supply. Check out the story and photo gallery.

 OTE’s skilled team is ready to serve youkurt_valdez

All of us at OTE are committed to making your Oregon highway experience a great one. From the men and women ensuring your safety at our rest areas to the people helping you navigate a highway logo sign application, OTE employees agree that customers come first.

We know what it’s like to be on the other end and traveling with our family or friends–you want where you stop to be clean and safe, and you want to find your way easily without having to search for the information. And, you expect to have a great time.

It’s a big road out there and we’re here to help. If you would like to learn more about us, our bios are posted on the OTE staff page.

Program Quick Links

The following links connect you to our main programs:

Highway Business Signs: A cost effective tool for local businesses to gain exposure along busy highways. Blue logo signs direct motorists to essential services and nearby attractions.

Rest Areas: Oregon Travel Experience supervises 20 rest areas across the state. Stop and rest, walk the dog and let the kids jump and run. See where Oregon Travel Experience’s rest areas are located and why we take your safety seriously.

Free Coffee Program: The Highway Safety Rest Area Free Coffee Program helps save lives by decreasing driver fatigue. This program is permitted by OTE and run by volunteer non-profit groups. Want to serve? For immediate information about this program, telephone 503-373-0155.

Sales Programs: From Travel Information Kiosks to TripCheck.com, Oregon Travel Experience connects you with the latest traveler information. Both businesses and motorists benefit from exposure in our travel information centers. If you want fast information about panels or brochure placement, telephone 503-373-0155.

Heritage Trees: Want to learn more about these spectacular beauties? Come visit our map and detail pages and listen to an audio tour.

Historical Markers: A venerable program handed down through the generations, Oregon’s historical markers can be the focus of a weekend family outing.

Places to Stop: Use your mobile device and check out these hidden gems. Our highway sign customers run some of the most unique businesses in Oregon. These Sunday-living styled articles can help you find the perfect place to stay, eat, or have fun.

OTE's 2012 Annual report to the Oregon Legislature

Our 2012 legislative annual report is actually a short video. We thought that reducing paper mass was a good step towards sustainable practices. If you want to learn more about why OTE was formed in 1972, some cool facts about Lady Bird Johnson's connection to our mission and how our programs work, zip on over to the movie. It's more fun than wading through 50 dry pages of division reports... we promise.

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Go on a Field Trip with OTE

It's as easy as one, two, three... just click on the Field Trip icon above, and download the app for free. It's available for Android or iOS platforms. Receive push notifications about OTE's heritage sites when you're on the road, bike, or taking a hike through your favorite Oregon city or town.