River city success

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2012
Monday, August 27, 2012

 

0912 RiverCitySuccess 07
Above: Griffith Motors' new location along I-84 opened up a valuable piece of downtown property. "We're like anybody anyplace else," says owner David Griffith. "We need to attract more economic development."
// Photo by Sierra Breshears
Below: CGCC's Dan Spatz says the school is creating a "technology ecosystem" around green energy, unmanned aerial vehicles and other industries.
//Photo by Jon Bell
0912 RiverCitySuccess 08

Overall, there is a sense in The Dalles that the city is finally starting to see the fruits of labors started long ago. But just as some of those efforts have taken years to come to light, there is still much to be done. Unemployment in Wasco County in June was at 8.8%, a few ticks above the statewide average. Median household income in 2010 was at $42,000, about $6,000 less than Oregon as a whole.

Although Walmart has been trying to come to The Dalles near the port for years, environmental concerns over wetlands and runoff have slowed that and other endeavors. Methamphetamine has reared its ugly head, and a lack of affordable housing adds a constraint.

The Dalles, whose population grew from 12,200 in 2000 to 14,400 in 2011, has also always had to work against a particular preconception from outsiders.

“People do tend to think that the Gorge ends in Hood River,” says Salvador Miramontes Jr., director of marketing and communications for the chamber.

Likewise, the port’s Klaas says businesses prospecting for a new location don’t often look as far east as The Dalles, even though the area’s amenities — available industrial and commercial land — and relative proximity to Portland can rival those along the I-5 corridor. The area even has a unique airport just across the river that’s been recently upgraded and is readily accessible to corporate jets.

“Somehow we just need to educate people and get them to broaden their horizons a little bit,” she says.

Through its efforts at downtown and riverfront revitalization, workforce development, an effective lobbying group called the Community Outreach Team and many other avenues, The Dalles is trying to do just that. The chamber, too, recently launched a marketing campaign that highlights The Dalles’ 300 days of sunshine, its recreational bounty and its economic potential.

It will, of course, take more than marketing campaigns and waterfront trails to get The Dalles where it’s long wanted to go. But the fact that so many years of planning and effort have finally become tangible this summer makes a pretty good case that The Dalles just might be on its way.

“It’s going to be a couple of really good years,” Young says.

Jon Bell is a Portland journalist. Reach him at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .



 

More Articles

Imperial Palate

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Power Lunch at the Imperial.


Read more...

Party Like It’s 1999

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
pets-com-sock-puppetBY JASON NORRIS, CFA | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Pets.com, GeoCities, eToys, and WorldCom … blasts-from-the-past that all signify the late 1990s Internet bubble. Yet we believe the dynamics of the market, specifically in technology stocks, are much different today than it was during the late 1990s.


Read more...

Meeting Facilities Perspective

March 2015
Tuesday, February 24, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

A conversation with Donna Earley, director of sales and marketing for the Salem Convention Center.


Read more...

Raising the Stakes

February 2015
Monday, January 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

The 2014 Bend Venture Conference set a record for the most cash, investments and prizes awarded at an angel conference in the Pacific Northwest. Investments in the six winning companies exceeded $1 million. The 11th annual conference was hosted by Economic Development of Central Oregon.


Read more...

Thy neighbor's house

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Vacasa may lack the name recognition of Airbnb. But not for long.


Read more...

5 schools helping students crack code

The Latest
Thursday, January 29, 2015
codeduthumbnailBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

As the costs of college mount, and as employer demand for software developers soars, coding schools and classes are popping up everywhere.


Read more...

VIDEO: The 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

The Latest
Friday, February 27, 2015

videothumbVIDEO: 2015 100 Best Companies to work for in Oregon


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