Sponsored by Energy Trust

Mount Hood's unique economy

| Print |  Email
Articles - June 2011
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
0611_MountainEcon_07
Mount Hood National Forest once provided more than 300 million board feet of timber every year.
Although logging’s demand on the forest surrounding Mount Hood has dropped off precipitously, few other pressures have or will anytime soon.

For starters, the Portland metro area’s population is expected to nearly double to 3.8 million people by 2060. Similarly, Government Camp as it exists today could be an entirely new place in the not too distant future. After a coalition of Hood River Valley residents and environmental groups blocked Mt. Hood Meadows’ proposed resort on the north side of Hood in 2004, an agreement tentatively traded 700 acres of Meadows’ property on the north side for 120 acres of developable land in Government Camp. If the Forest Service approves the land swap — and if the economy eventually warms back up — Government Camp, an unincorporated village of about 135 registered voters, could see a wave of new residential development.

In addition, Timberline Lodge has proposed a lift-assisted mountain bike park, which would provide a sanctioned area for riding. Portland General Electric and other utility companies have expressed interest in exploring areas of the MHNF for geothermal energy sources. Ten thousand people already try to climb Mount Hood every year.

More people visiting the mountain will likely mean more revenue for small businesses like Joe’s Doughnut Shop in Sandy and more hotel tax dollars for county services and tourism efforts around the mountain. More people living or vacationing in Government Camp would certainly spur new retail and commercial endeavors.

But more people and greater demands will do more than stimulate the surrounding economy. They will use more water. They will clog the roads, the campgrounds and trailheads; they will create longer lift lines and fill parking lots at places like Timberline and Meadows, which already turn people away on busy days. Kohnstamm and others have long lobbied for improvements to the transportation system around the mountain — wider roads, mass transportation, possibly even an aerial tram — in vain.

“We’ve always suffered from underfinanced and under planned transportation systems,” he says. “That, I think, is the biggest challenge facing the mountain today.”

Fixing the transportation system around the mountain would not, of course, come cheap. And not only is there little funding available for major upgrades, but the money that may be in the state’s budget often gets allocated to projects in more populated areas. That’s an issue that has long plagued — and united — businesses out in the rural shadows of the mountain.

“I think there is still a little sensitivity toward the Metro area in terms of its political clout,” says McArthur, of the Mt. Hood Economic Alliance. “Rural communities still have to pay for infrastructure upgrades, but how do you fund those when your rate base is not large but you have a user base that is?”

 



 

More Articles

The 100 Best Companies survey is open

News
Friday, October 24, 2014

100-best-logo-2015 500pxw-1How does your workplace stack up against competitors? How can you improve workplace practices to help recruit and retain employees? Find out by taking our 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon survey!


Read more...

Dan and Louis Oyster Bar opens up to a changing neighborhood

The Latest
Thursday, December 11, 2014
121114-oystervidBy MEGHAN NOLT

VIDEO: Revamping a Classic — an iconic eatery stays relevant in a changing marketplace.


Read more...

Legislative Preview: A Shifting Balance

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014
BY APRIL STREETER

Democratic gains pave the way for a revival of environment and labor bills as revenue reform languishes.


Read more...

Editor's Letter: Power Play

January-Powerbook 2015
Thursday, December 11, 2014

There’s a fascinating article in the December issue of the Harvard Business Review about a profound power shift taking place in business and society. It’s a long read, but the gist revolves around the tension between “old power” and “new power” as a driver of transformation. Here’s an excerpt:

Old power works like a currency. It is held by few. Once gained, it is jealously guarded, and the powerful have a substantial store of it to spend. It is closed, inaccessible, and leader-driven. It downloads, and it captures.

New power operates differently, like a current. It is made by many. It is open, participatory, and peer-driven. It uploads, and it distributes. Like water or electricity, it’s most forceful when it surges. The goal with new power is not to hoard it but to channel it.

The authors, Henry Timms and Jeremy Heimans, don’t necessarily favor one form of power over another but merely outline how power is transitioning, and how companies can take advantage of these changes to strengthen their positions in the marketplace. 

Our Powerbook issue might be viewed as a case study in the new-power transition. This annual book of lists provides information on leading businesses, nonprofits and universities in the state. Most of the featured companies are entrenched power players now pursuing more flexible and less hierarchical approaches to doing business. Law firms, for example, are adopting new technologies and fee structures to make legal services more accessible and affordable.

This month we also take a look at a controversial new U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission rule requiring public companies to disclose the median pay of workers, as well as the ratio between CEO and median-worker pay. 

Part of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law, the rule will compel public companies to be more open about employee compensation, with the assumption that greater transparency will improve corporate performance and, perhaps, help address one of the major challenges of our time: income inequality.

New power is not only about strategy and tactics, the Harvard Business Review authors say. “The ultimate questions are ethical. The big question is whether new power can genuinely serve the common good and confront society’s most intractable problems.”

That sounds like a call to arms. Or a New Year’s resolution. Old power or new, the goals are the same: to be a force for positive change in the world. Happy 2015!

— Linda


Read more...

The short list: 4 companies engaged in a battle of the paddles

The Latest
Thursday, December 04, 2014
pingpongthumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Nothing says startup culture like a ping pong table in the office, lounge or lobby.


Read more...

Shifting Ground

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
BY JOE ROJAS-BURKE

Bans on genetically modified crops create uncertainty for farmers.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

November/December 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Peter Lizotte at ACME Business Solutions and Roger Busse at Pacific Continental Bank share their favorite reads.


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