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Lincoln City diversifies its economy

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Articles - April 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
"Our customer counts have been going up yearly," says Peggy Preisz, a manager at Mo's restaurant.
No one in Lincoln City expects exponential growth. The Culinary Center, which hosts cooking classes ($50 will get you a three-hour class, wine and a meal), jambalaya cook-offs and chowder contests, brought more than 3,000 people to town last year. Yet so far this business is only grossing enough to cover costs and pay the head cook.

Almost every building in the Taft area where the glass foundry is located has been renovated over the past 15 years, making it one of the city’s biggest draws beyond the beach. The city has put $7 million into the area and given more than a dozen businesses zero-interest loans (most of these are $50,000 with a 10-year payback). What used to be a place of rundown buildings with rotting windows battered by the sea air, pitted sidewalks and an old crab pit now boasts pedestrian-friendly streets with a copper and brass archway decorated with a larger-than-life Dungeness crab crafted with so much detail that its mammoth pincers can open. There’s a neon-pink ice cream store, Eleanor’s Undertow, Once in a Blue Moon Gallery and just east of Mo’s Restaurant is Tiki’s, a shell shop selling knickknacks and beach food. “It’s drawing tourists but there’s still room for growth,” says Hollingsworth. “It’s budding.”

Hawker believes continuing to build attractions beyond the beach and luring young retired boomers, who will bring their time, expertise and capital to town, are the two best ways to grow the city’s economy. City officials are working to better brand Lincoln City as not only a coastal vacation spot but a place to try new things. They are hoping to see more business development on and off Highway 101 and to continue to find ways to bring visitors in the off-season.

No one can predict whether electric cars will be lining up to use the charging stations. But city administrators and locals aren’t worried. It’s slow, sustainable growth — and cooperation rather than cutthroat competition — that this city is after.

“We want to succeed,” says Hawker, flashing a rare smile. “We want to be the No. 1 city on the Oregon Coast.”



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!
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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.
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