SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) — Visit Central Oregon announced that it will soon begin accepting applications for the Central Oregon Future Fund, a new grant program aimed at supporting tourism-related projects that will benefit both residents and visitors. The application window will be open from Monday, Jan. 16, through Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The Central Oregon Future Fund will award nearly $840,000 in grants and is funded from the increased revenue generated from the region’s Transient Room Tax. The program is designed to support tourism-related projects with the potential to leave a lasting positive impact on the region.
“Visit Central Oregon recognizes its responsibility to not only promote tourism for the region, but to reinvest tourism dollars for a lasting benefit to those who live and work in the community,” said Julia Theisen, CEO of Visit Central Oregon.
“As tourism has grown in this region, so has the impact on residents. Our goal as a destination marketing and management organization is to promote sustainable tourism and ultimately leave Central Oregon better than we found it. This grant is specifically meant to support projects that share this vision.”
Project applications must be aligned with the following program pillars:
Stewardship: Ideal projects will mitigate the impacts of tourism in Central Oregon, including infrastructure restoration, development of regenerative products and services, research on the impacts of visitation in high-use areas, and/or the use of responsible tourism value messaging.
Cultural Tourism: Projects that expand Central Oregon’s capacity for arts and culture programs, historic preservation, agritourism or special events with a particular priority to those projects that focus on off-season tourism.
Access Adventure: Projects that expand access to both visitors and the community, educational and training programs, and/or improved tourism-related accessibility infrastructure expansion.
Visit Central Oregon will also host two informational webinars regarding the Future Fund, one at 1 p.m. on Jan. 10 and another on Jan. 17. To register:
Through a partnership with Travel Oregon to manage the Regional Collaborative Tourism Program, Visit Central Oregon has invested nearly $775,000 in grants and other strategic investments over the past five years. The funding has benefited a wide range of projects, from arts and culture offerings to special events and stewardship programs.
The list of beneficiaries includes Discover Your Forest, Deschutes Trails Coalition, Central Oregon Trail Alliance, Warm Springs Community Action Team, Museum at Warm Springs, In a Landscape, Sunriver Music Festival, Sunriver Nature Center and The High Desert Museum, among others.
“Visit Central Oregon will continue to look for ways to reinvest in the community,” Theisen said. “The lifestyle in Central Oregon is a draw for both visitors and residents, and we have a responsibility to help preserve it.”
Grant recipients will be announced on Friday, April 7. To learn more or to apply for the Central Oregon Future Fund, visit visitcentraloregon.com/Future-Fund.
ABOUT VISIT CENTRAL OREGON:
Visit Central Oregon is a 501c6 that serves as the regional destination marketing organization. We drive overnight visitation to the region to support a thriving tourism economy. We inspire travel to the region through an integrated marketing campaign that celebrates our unique culture, people, and landscapes. As the Regional Destination Management Organization (RDMO) appointed by the Oregon Tourism Commission, we manage the Regional Cooperative Tourism Program (RCTP) which is leveraged by the Deschutes County budget to optimize the economic impact from tourism to the region. We collaborate with industry partners towards a shared healthy vision of tourism for the region.