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.”
JENNY FURNISS
 

More Articles

City announces plans for Portland summer-league baseball team

News
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
IMG 3888BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Baseball is returning to Portland and city officials are hoping economic opportunity comes with it.


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...

Umbrella Revolution

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015

Yeah, we know: Oregonians are way too cool for umbrellas. But today’s stylish, high-tech models will soften the resistance of the most rain hardened.


Read more...

All Rise

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Don’t just sit there. For a healthy workplace, move up and down — and all around.


Read more...

Emperor of the Sea

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD | Photos by Jason E. Kaplan

Pacific Seafood, one of the world’s largest processors, is rebranding as a more transparent and consumer-friendly operation. A controversial CEO and monopoly accusations from coastal fishermen complicate the tale.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


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