Lincoln City diversifies its economy

| Print |  Email
Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
0411_LincolnCity_02
In 1999, city officials began a focus group with community stakeholders in the Taft District, a process that became an enduring model for the city's urban planning.
0411_LincolnCity_03
"We were the first business to blow your own floats," says Kelly Howard.
One of Lincoln City’s most successful tourist draws is the Jennifer L. Sears Glass Art Studio, where for $60 to $75 visitors can learn to blow their own glass balls. About 80,000 people visit the glass foundry every year, according to Sandy Pfaff, executive director of the Lincoln City Visitors Bureau and Convention Center. Nike has sent a group of employees to learn glass blowing as a team-building experience. Kelly Howard, a 30-something artist who runs the foundry with two other partners, saw a doubling of sales of glass products in August 2010.

But this success hasn’t been easy. In 2001 the city bought the building from Tom Litfin, whose business, Litfin Motors, went under after he agreed to sell his parking lot for the city to build a street. At first Litfin liked the idea of downsizing: He planned to have one auto bay and open a hamburger shop, advertising as “Hubcaps and Hamburgers” so people could grab a burger and watch mechanics repair cars. But the idea never took hold. Once the street was built, the lack of parking took customers away from his auto repair shop and Litfin asked the city to buy his building.

Once the building was acquired, city officials needed to figure out what to do with it. No one’s sure but most believe it was Kurt Olsen, the tall soft-spoken 59-year-old director of the Lincoln City Urban Renewal Agency, who first proposed to build a glass foundry. In 2000, Lincoln City had put 2,000 glass floats on the beach as a tourist draw. The glass floats had attracted lots of visitors but the idea was expensive; since there was no foundry in town they were buying the floats elsewhere.

Having a foundry, though, wasn’t as innovative as what came next. “We were the first business to blow your own floats,” says Howard. “Now all the other glass blowers on the Coast are doing it.”



 

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

3 trends in the garden business

The Latest
Thursday, April 30, 2015
gardenthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Oregonians are scrambling to get their gardens in order for the summer. Here are three tips from landscaping and urban farming expert.


Read more...

Frothy Battle

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ROBERT MULLIN

Latest development in Nestlé plant saga sparks debate about the value of water.


Read more...

Editor’s Note: It’s a Man’s World

Linda Baker
Thursday, April 30, 2015
lindablogthumbBY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR

Earlier this week we posted an article from our May issue:  It’s a Man's Man’s Man’s World. The story covered the gender divide in tech from the perspective of male workers. Twitter didn’t like it.


Read more...

Eco Zoned

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY HANNAH WALLACE

Travelers have always come to Oregon for its natural beauty. But will the increasing popularity of agritourism, European-style hiking getaways and forest resorts relax Oregon's notoriously strict land-use laws?


Read more...

Queen of Resilience

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY AMY MILSHTEIN

Astrid Scholz scales up sustainability.


Read more...

Cherry Raincoat

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.


Read more...

Change at the pump?

The Latest
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
001thumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.


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