Sponsored by Oregon Business

Oregon Caves, historic chateau help boost Josephine County

| Print |  Email
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
chateau-fall-pond1The lodge employs 40 seasonal workers.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE OREGON CAVES CHATEAU
For 100 years, tourists have traveled through the Siskiyou Mountains in Southern Oregon to explore the Oregon Caves National Monument. For the past 75 years they could stay at the Oregon Caves Chateau, a National Historic Landmark. These remote attractions are more than historic sites — they bring tourism dollars to a county continuing to struggle with the loss of timber revenues.

More than 70,000 visitors travel to Josephine County each year to tour the Oregon Caves, a series of marble caverns several miles long that open at an elevation of 4,000 feet. According to the monument’s superintendent, the caves attract $2.6 million a year in direct spending and $4.6 million in indirect spending, supporting about 84 jobs. Last month, Rep. Peter DeFazio and Sen. Ron Wyden introduced legislation to expand the Oregon Caves National Monument by more than 4,000 acres to protect natural resources and increase recreational and economic development opportunities.

“The caves impact the county; there’s no question about it,” says Steve Dahl, Grants Pass economic development coordinator. “Tourists come for the caves and then take a jet boat ride on the Rogue River or visit one of the local wineries.” Some of these tourists also spend their vacation money at the Chateau. The lodge hires 40 seasonal employees, buys local produce and wine for its restaurant and has sold $150,000 worth of local art since 2002.

Scott Taylor, owner of Taylor’s Country Store and Restaurant in Cave Junction, says the Oregon Caves improve his business. “If people are traveling from afar trying to see the redwoods, the caves are a side trip,” says Taylor.

In Josephine County, tourism dollars are an important aspect of the economy. The leisure and hospitality industry is one of the largest employers. But revenue from top employers isn’t enough to replace the timber industry. The county closed all public libraries two years ago and has the fifth-highest unemployment in the state.

“I don’t think tourism has totally replaced timber revenues,” says Bob Schumacher, executive director of the Illinois Valley Community Development Organization, the lodge’s nonprofit concessionaire. “But the Chateau has brought a flow of outside money into the community.”

Even if that flow doesn’t surge like the Rogue River, on hot summer days it refreshes the local economy.
JENNY FURNISS
 

More Articles

The week journalism died

Linda Baker
Sunday, February 15, 2015
deadjournalismthumbBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

As the investigation against the governor moves forward, those of us in the news business should reflect on our own potential for subverting the democratic process.


Read more...

100 Best: The Power of the Worker

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
AND AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Technology is empowering people like never before and transforming how employees interact in the workplace. How can companies attract and keep staff engaged in this rapidly changing world?


Read more...

The Road to Reinvention

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Damian Smith bets on changing himself — and Portland — through consulting.


Read more...

Green Rush: Cashing in on legal marijuana

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Marijuana is big business in Oregon, and it’s about to get bigger.


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...

2015 100 Best companies announced

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015
IMG 0022cneditBY OB STAFF

The 100 Best list recognizes large, medium and small companies for excellence in work environment, management and communications, decision-making and trust, career development and learning, and benefits and compensation.


Read more...

Finding a Balance

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, January 29, 2015
012915-passinvst-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Active vs. passive investing: what you need to know.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS