Oregon Travel Experience and Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs (CCTA) will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony at the northbound I-5 French Prairie Rest Area. (The rest area is located north of Woodburn at Milepost 281.) The event is one of many that will take place across the US during National Travel and Tourism Week’s 2015 Rally.
At 11:00 a.m. on Monday, May 4, 2015, the public and local businesses are invited to view demonstrations on a new interactive touch screen information kiosk located in the rest area. Local officials and the Mt. Hood Territory sprinter van will be at the event to give out information about travel throughout the region. Refreshments and a selfie-contest are included following the ceremony.
CCTA’s Mt. Hood Territory and OTE collaborated on a remodel of a dated travel information structure where the new “e-concierge” unit is housed. The partners used the original footprint from the 1960s-era building and opted for locally sourced materials such as Douglas fir, basalt, and a natural color palette to represent the surrounding region.
Approximately 2,000 people have used the device during its beta phase to find lodging, dining and attractions in Clackamas County. Users have averaged about four minutes per session using the digital kiosk—double the average length of time for counterparts in other parts of the country.
CCTA and Mt. Hood Territory Executive Director Danielle Cowan is pleased that travelers are gravitating to the digital kiosk and in turn, spending more time enjoying the best that the Mt. Hood region has to offer.
“The numbers tell the story—travel supports more than 15 million jobs across the nation, including more than 100,000 jobs here in Oregon,” says Cowan.
“Not only do the Rally and National Travel and Tourism Week celebrate the benefits of travel in our community, but the monumental week also allows us to inform elected officials and local citizens about the industry’s true widespread effect in Oregon and across America,” notes Cowan.
What makes French Prairie the perfect location
Annie Von Domitz, OTE’s Community Assets Officer, helped lead the cooperative kiosk venture. Von Domitz explains why French Prairie was selected and how Clackamas County’s involvement was necessary to move the pilot forward.
“Clackamas County Tourism expressed a desire to help OTE improve travel information portals at one of our busiest rest areas,” says Von Domitz. The interactive kiosk is stationed in a prime location to attract over one million travelers who stop at northbound French Prairie Rest Area each year.
“The new kiosk contains much more dynamic and in-depth travel information, adds Von Domitz. “There are several language options, a digital “selfie” station, and travelers can print out maps and travel instructions. It greatly expands what was available within rest areas before.”
Opportunities for local businesses
The refurbished kiosk will also provide new opportunities for local businesses to connect with motorists and vacationers.
“We’re excited about the new look and feel to the kiosk,” says Maddie MacGregor, OTE spokesperson. “The entire structure has shifted from dark and dreary to open and inviting.”
“There’s plenty of enhanced space for brochures, travel and tourism magazines, and attractive display panels,” MacGregor notes. “If local businesses are interested in improving their visibility, the new displays are an awesome and cost-effective way to get noticed. Oregon’s tourism industry has a prime opportunity to direct rest area travelers to great cuisine, hotels and fun—and everything in-between.”
For more information about business displays within the new kiosk, please contact us via email or telephone 503-373-0090.