OTE - Oregon Travel Experience

Reimagining rest areas as motorist hubs

Posted on: February 3rd, 2015 by Madeline MacGregor in News & Press | No Comments

OTE, Tillamook leaders and agency partners take first stepTillamook Commissioner Mark Labhart at the OTE pilot project meeting

Improving public services through a pilot program

With an infusion of sparkling coastal sunshine and spring-like temperatures, Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) and its partners in tourism, transportation and local government met in Tillamook over the latter part of January.

Multiple agency partners were present, including representatives from ODOT, Travel Oregon, Tillamook County Commission, Visit Tillamook Coast and the Oregon Coast Visitors Association.

Meeting participants engaged in a lively discussion about how to improve rest area services statewide and considered a proposed expansion to OTE’s existing asset at the Tillamook Highway Safety Rest Area on Hwy 101. The end goal is to provide a seamless experience for Oregon’s travelers as they seek travel information across our state.

Meeting participants included Tillamook Commission Chair Tim Josie and Nehalem Mayor Shirley Kalkhoven.Tillamook Commissioner Mark Labhart extended a warm welcome to all participants and encouraged them to examine both pros and cons for a proposed inter-agency program at Tillamook Rest Area. Combining visitor information services and rest area amenities in Tillamook could be an important step towards achieving county economic development goals.

Tourism and transportation officials at the meeting stressed the need for cross-agency and cross-organizational cooperation. There was general consensus that all partners must be equally engaged in order to move the project from concept into implementation and construction phase.

Local Tillamook officials and destination marketing organizations used their time at the meeting to define what an integrated rest area visitor information center was—would it be staffed (seasonally or full time) or would travel information be distributed electronically—and who would own marketing responsibilities for delivering content.

Project partners and OTE will meet next month to review design concepts, identify site accessibility, funding options, and rules and regulations. Results from the next meeting will support any future service development within the Tillamook Rest Area.

OTE would like to thank all of the groups and representatives that participated in the meeting. Work will be ongoing as plans take shape for project management. Interested persons should contact OTE’s Chief Community Assets Officer Annie Von Domitz for more information about the Tillamook Pilot Project and for future meeting dates.

For a PDF of the meeting minutes, see the “Technical Resources” section below the image gallery.

Image gallery

Visit with some of the people you know from your community and get to know other agency staff in the gallery. Enter the gallery by clicking on the first image below. Use the arrows to scroll through the photos. You may exit at any time by pressing the escape key on your keyboard.

The slide show begins with the Oregon Travel Information Council tour with OTE’s leadership team at the Tillamook Rest Area. The second part shows the community and Oregon Travel Information Council reception held at the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, and concludes with the following morning’s meeting held at the Port of Tillamook Officer’s Mess Hall.

Technical resources

Download a PDF of the January 22, 2015 meeting minutes.

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