Sunny days translate to good days for tourism
July 16, 1998
By PAUL MACOMBER
After an abnormally wet spring, Southern Oregon businesses that rely on tourism are basking in the summer sun.
A recent survey by the Medford Visitors and Convention Bureau reports that business is up in 23 out of 40 businesses contacted, according to Patti Bills, the bureau’s executive director.
“Medford hotels and motels are very happy and so are most of the attractions and restaurants,” she said, noting the sunny summer weather coupled with promotional efforts have made the difference.
While the majority reported increased business over last year, nine reported a drop in business while four said there was no change, Bills said. Four other businesses didn’t respond because they were undergoing remodeling or had other changes.
Most of those who reported less business are dependent on weather and have yet to recover from the wet spring, she said.
The Medford airport had the best June ever, she said. Business was up 6.1 percent over June of 1997, making it the airport’s second-busiest month ever.
The Jacksonville museums are showing a 30 percent increase, while the three campgrounds surveyed reported business was up, she said.
Of the seven restaurants surveyed in Medford and Jacksonville, six report that business has improved over last year, Bills said.
However, business at the Oregon Caves National Monument near Cave Junction was “flat” while it was down 2 percent at the Crater Lake National Park, thanks to bad weather that continued through much of the spring, she said.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland and the Britt Festival in Jacksonville were off slightly from last year.
But the improved weather is expected to change those trends.
“Overall, it looks like a hot year for tourism,” Bills said.