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Visit Central Oregon awards $226K in non-profit matching grants

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SUNRIVER, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Visit Central Oregon is pleased to announce the Fiscal Year 2019-20 recipients of the Central Oregon Regional Matching Grant Program.

With the passage of HB4146, Travel Oregon, the statewide tourism marketing organization, was required to establish a Regional Cooperative Tourism Program (RCTP) to invest 20% of the statewide lodging tax generated in Oregon’s seven designated tourism regions.

Visit Central Oregon serves as the appointed Regional Destination Management Organization (RDMO) for the Central Oregon region and implements the RCTP on behalf of the region. A key component of the Central Oregon RCTP is to allocate grant funds to eligible non-profit applicants for projects that contribute to the development and improvement of Central Oregon communities by means of the enhancement, expansion, and promotion of the visitor industry.  

Closing for proposals on Nov. 1, this year’s matched grants application cycle proved to be highly competitive, with applicants seeking nearly $600,000 in funding for 19 eligible tourism marketing or development projects.  A total of $226,980 in matched grants funds is being awarded to 13 projects throughout Central Oregon’s tourism region.

  • Central Oregon Trail Alliance - $10,000 towards the construction of the new Sunriver Trails network, providing 10-miles of new hiking, biking, running and equestrian trails serving the forest in west Sunriver.
  • VisitBend / Lay it Out Events - $30,000 to facilitate and develop non-peak, shoulder season growth of sports, meetings, conventions and conference business designed to impact the entire Central Oregon Region.
  • Central Oregon Film Office - $9,980 towards bringing location scouts into Central Oregon, creating a focused ‘familiarization’ of the region to increase filming location requests and productions filmed in Central Oregon.
  • Redmond Chamber of Commerce - $31,000 towards a new annual lighting event that will draw and bring attention to downtown Redmond, establishing Redmond as a place to be during holidays.
  • High Desert Museum - $15,000 to enhance the exhibition content for the large-scale, experiential exhibition, “Infinite Moment: Burning Man on the Horizon”.
  • Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce - $18,000 towards capital improvements that will enhance their Visitor Center and improve the Chamber’s ability to promote area recreational opportunities.
  • Oregon Timber Trail Alliance / Trans-Cascadia - $22,000 towards their marketing and stewardship “Gateway Community Program” in Sisters, Oregon Timber Trail’s largest integral gateway community.
  • Celebrating Traditions; Native American Arts and Cultures - $5,000 for expanding “Powwow at La Pine” to a three-day, interactive and educational Native American cultural event held in La Pine.
  • Deschutes Trails Coalition / Discover Your Northwest - $30,000 towards the development and implementation of the Sustainable Trails Decision Support System (DSS); a tool that will be utilized by land use agencies, local governments, trail-user groups, and environmental and wildlife organizations to gauge sustainability as it relates to the economics, environmental, physical, and social values of a given trail. 
  • IN A LANDSCAPE: Classical Music in the Wild (IAL) - $20,000 towards IAL’s marketing and social media capacity-building initiative, leveraging and enhancing IAL’s brand awareness.
  • Prineville Chamber of Commerce - $15,000 for developing new collateral and a display area promoting rock hounding to visitors coming to the Prineville Crook County Chamber and Visitor's Center.
  • Discover Your Forest - $11,000 for the expansion of DYF’s suite of Interpretive Ranger Programs across Central Oregon, in partnership with the National Forests and campground concessionaire, Deschutes Recreation.
  • Warm Springs Community Action Team - $10,000 towards marketing strategies for the promotion of, “A Bridge to The Future”, a documentary being produced to tell the important story of the Warm Springs Commissary project’s evolution from 125-year old historic structure to a small business incubator.

Interested non-profit applicants may apply for grants on an annual basis. Each project requires its own application and must demonstrate a cash match.  The next cycle application opening for FY20-21 COMGP Non-Profit grants and the guidelines will be announced late-Summer 2020.  Interested applicants can find more details at Visit Central Oregon’s industry site:

Visit Central Oregon, formerly known as Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA), has been the non-profit tourism Destination Marketing Association serving Central Oregon since 1971.  Visit Central Oregon is supported by over 500-member businesses and operates with an annual budget of $3 million. Visit Central Oregon manages tourism advertising, marketing, promotion, public relations, industry relations, special event management.  Visit Central Oregon is the state-designated Regional Destination Management Organization for Travel Oregon’s Regional Cooperative Tourism Program, including Deschutes, Jefferson, Crook and So. Wasco counties. For more information, visit or call 800-800-8334.

Central Oregon / News

KTVZ News Team


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