Sponsored by Oregon Business

Cooling tourism trends at the coast

| Print |  Email
Archives - June 2009
Monday, June 01, 2009
ATSBeach Coastal businesses are hunkering down, lowering prices and trying to stay optimistic as they predict the same number of visitors will be filling Oregon beaches this summer but spending less money or shortening their vacations.

High-end hotels up and down the Coast have lowered their rates, and some are advertising special deals or increased amenities in an effort to attract frugal vacationers. The Oregon Restaurant Association predicts the quick service and casual dining businesses will do OK because of their local customer base, but that upscale restaurants will struggle.

The Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce reports a drop in lodging occupancy rates in February and March compared to last year, along with an increase in camping as travelers choose affordable options. The chamber expects the camping trend will continue this summer.

The Elizabeth Street Inn, which calls itself “Newport, Oregon’s newest luxury oceanfront inn,” has lowered its rates, increased its advertising and added amenities such as wireless Internet and hot breakfasts in an effort to attract customers.

“It’s something we needed to do to stay afloat during the recession,” says Jennifer Morkert, sales manager. “I’m hopeful right now. For our advance bookings, things are looking really good. We’re just not going to see the same price point as in the past.”

Other lodging owners are simply hunkering down. Donn Bauske has been in the motel business for more than 30 years and owns 10 motels in Seaside, including the Budget Inns of Seaside and the Sundowner Motor Inn. He reports a 15% drop in overall occupancy and a 20% drop at his more expensive hotels.

“I’ve seen ups and downs and that’s just the way it is,” says Bauske. “On the Coast, most of the time it’s the weather that will get you. Ten bad days in the summer and that’ll kill your profit right there, doesn’t matter if the tourists have any money.”

One area that is seeing growth is the popular Oregon Coast Aquarium, which reports that its attendance is up almost 12% this year and that there will be no cuts to summer staff levels.

“We’re doing extraordinarily well. Knock on wood!” says Cindy Hansen, aquarium public relations manager. “Families are still traveling. They still want to educate and entertain their children, even on a budget.”

More Articles

5 marijuana business people share strategy ahead of recreational sales rollout

The Latest
Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ahead of the recreational rollout, what are dispensary owners most concerned about ?


Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 


Let it Rain

October 2015
Monday, September 28, 2015

This year has been so dry we were caught napping when it finally started to sprinkle. Hopefully you didn’t get caught in a downpour while eagerly awaiting — don’t deny it — our curation of Oregon-grown wet weather wear.


Storyteller in Chief: Power Player

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

In 1996, after a 17-year career in the destination marketing industry, where I gained national standing as the CEO of the Convention & Visitors Association of Lane County, I was recruited by the founders of a new professional basketball league for women. The American Basketball League (ABL) hoped to leverage the success of the 1996 USA women’s national team at the Atlanta Olympics — much like USA Soccer is now leveraging the U.S. Women’s National Team’s victory in the World Cup. The ABL wanted a team in Portland, and they wanted me to be its general manager.


Counterpoint: CLT not as green as people think

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
photo-flickr-glasseyes viewthymbBY GREGG LEWIS | OP-ED

The issue of green-washing remains a significant challenge to those of us who would like to see the building sector in this country do more than make unverifiable claims of sustainability. Transparency about the impacts of a given material is the only way to allow designers to make intelligent choices when selecting building products.


Have a baby and keep a job? It won’t be easy in Portland

The Latest
Friday, October 02, 2015
100115kimblogthumbBY KIM MOORE

Our intrepid (and expecting) research editor finds the child care search involves long waiting lists, costly fees and no certainty of securing a place before she goes back to work.


Is there life beyond Reed?

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A storied institution climbs down from the ivory tower.

Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02