Sponsored by Energy Trust

Lincoln City diversifies its economy

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Story by Jennifer Margulis // Photos by Adam Bacher
0411_LincolnCity_01
Blowing your own glass, or watching the experts, like glassblower Andrew Kogel, is one of Lincoln City's largest tourist draws along with the Chinook Winds Casino Resort on the north side of town and the Tanger Outlet Center.

No one in Lincoln City drives an electric car. But if you walk through the Taft District on the south side of town you will pass four electric charging stations, which the city welcomes visitors to use for free. The installation of these stations was a proactive move. Even before Nissan released the Leaf, Lincoln City decided to become the first place on the Oregon Coast where an electric vehicle could be charged.

Don’t get the wrong impression. Lincoln City is not known for being “green.” Like much of the Oregon Coast, it’s a mostly working-class community of people who eke out a livelihood from the town’s main industry: tourism. But unlike other coastal towns, Lincoln City has steadily recovered from the economic downturn.

Risk taking, combined with a robust collaboration between city officials and business owners, and an understanding that sustainable economic viability is something that happens slowly have been three key factors that have helped Lincoln City become a vibrant community that attracts tourists even in the shoulder season.

Before 1965 Lincoln City didn’t exist. Instead, there were six separate areas strung along the winding Highway 101: Cutler City, Delake, Nelscott, Oceanlake, Wecoma Beach and Taft. Residents joke that their city is a boa constrictor that swallowed six chickens. Others prefer to compare it to a string of pearls with six gems. But even in the 1920s, before these towns were known as “Lincoln City,” the economy here has depended mostly, if not solely, on tourism.

Still, Lincoln City has little of the carnival aspect of Seaside and Newport: You won’t find bumper cars, wax museums or arcades near the beach. Residents remain surprised that Delake Bowl, which opened on May 31, 1938, still stands. Instead, Lincoln City is an eclectic place with Highway 101 as its Main Street where you’re as likely to meet a tattooed dad in the elevator wearing shorts in January as a well-heeled government administrator in a power suit. Even the population is hard to pinpoint. Although the government census estimates that the city’s inhabitants numbered 7,849 in 2005, city manager David Hawker explains that on any given day some 15,000 people are using the city’s services, such as  water. One-third of the homes in Lincoln City are second homes, frequented by people who live elsewhere but visit on the weekends and during summer.



 

Comments   

 
JDaschel
0 #1 Correction to your opening paragraphJDaschel 2011-03-28 09:16:13
There are at least 2 resident families in Lincoln City who drive electric vehicles, we own one of them. We are supporters of the EV charging stations not because we need them (we charge in our garages) but because there will be a large influx of EV-owners in the Willamette Valley in the next couple years, who will need a place for charging when they enjoy the coast. We welcome them to Lincoln City!
Quote | Report to administrator
 
 
Cathleen Shea
0 #2 Cathleen Shea 2011-03-29 17:31:11
NW Natural Gas awarded Lincoln City the "First Smart Energy City" award in April 2010.

The EPA rated Lincoln City a "Green Power Community" in 2009; one of only eight cities, nationwide, at the time.

City-Data.com says the median household income in Lincoln City was $6695 in 2008. The median salary for Oregon was over $50711.

QualityInfo.org, Oregon Employment Dept’s website, talks about wage inequality in Oregon. They say out of the $63 billion dollars earned in Oregon in 2009, much of that money went to high wage earners vs. minimum wage earners. A different story than Ms. Margulis' article begins to emerge.

COLA increases on my pension are 2-3% per year. Maybe 17% over the mentioned time span. Am I better off? What about the cost of inflation compared to salary increases?

What about infrastructure? Mr. Hawker threatened to cut off the water to five families on city water because "it's too expensive to repair the line that runs in front of their homes." God save anyone trying to run a business from their home when the water gets cut off.

There are a lot of "neat" projects that have been done in town. They are scattered projects that show no specific goal to the commitment of the long term needs of this city -- needs like a water system that doesn’t lose 30% of its water between the plant and the faucet.

If we keep talking about the surface things that draw people to this town, but do not address the needs of the full time citizens. There will be no town to visit for a vacation.

Thanks for writing the article. It made look up real facts about my town.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Healthcare pullback

News
Thursday, November 20, 2014
112014-boehnercare-thumbBY JASON NORRIS | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Each month for Oregon Business, we assess factors that are shaping current capital market activity—and what they mean to investors. Here we take a look at two major developments regarding possible rollbacks of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).


Read more...

Reimagining education to solve Oregon's student debt and underemployment problems

News
Thursday, November 13, 2014
carsonstudentdept-thumbBY RYAN CARSON | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

How do we skill up our future technology workforce in a smart way to take advantage of these high-paying jobs? The answer shouldn’t focus only on helping people get a bachelor’s degree.


Read more...

The short list: 5 companies making a mint off kale

The Latest
Thursday, November 20, 2014
kale-thumbnailBY OB STAFF

Farmers, grocery stores and food processors cash in on kale.


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...

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...

Powerbook Perspective

January-Powerbook 2015
Friday, December 12, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER

A conversation with Oregon state economist Josh Lehner.


Read more...

Corner Office: Sheree Arntson

January-Powerbook 2015
Saturday, December 13, 2014

Checking in with the managing director of Arnerich Massena.


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