Chamber’s Response to Proposed Plastic Bag Ban

Recently the Chamber conducted a membership survey and poll of downtown businesses requesting their input on a ban of single-use plastic bags within the City of Tillamook. The survey resulted in 83 responses from all types of organizations and businesses, with just over 50% of them providing bags for their customers.
Of the full 83 responses, 55.4% of them supported a ban, however of those who would be directly impacted (ie provide bags to their customers), only 47.6% supported it.
Based n these results, the Board has decided not to advocate in favor or opposition of any ordinance related to the ban of single use plastic bags, but will advocate for direct and proper language with exceptions to be considered if the City decides to move forward.
You can read the Board’s full decision here: Chamber_BagBan_Final

New Year, New Board Members

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s been awhile since I’ve introduced our Chamber Board members here. We’ve been blessed with committed board members who go the distance for our organization. They are involved in projects and aren’t afraid to roll their sleeves up and work.

At our last board meeting of the year we appointed our executive committee and are thrilled to have Kaylan Sisco serving as our Board Chair and Natalie Rieger as our Vice Chair. AS you probably know, Kaylan is the CEO at the Tillamook Family YMCA, and Natalie has just started a new career as the store manager at Roby’s Furniture in Tillamook. Kayla Seaholm is our past Board Chair and Jeff Simpson is serving again as Treasurer and Secretary. This is Jeff’s second year on our board, making him one of our newer members. Jeff is a Tillamook native and works as an accountant at Simpson & Rosener CPA.

We’ve also added two new board members just in the last couple of months giving us a full roster.

Beau Pullium is the Director of Quality Assurance for Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks, where he oversees food safety and quality of the plant and products produced there. Beau grew up in Tillamook before leaving for several years, and upon returning wanted to find a way to give back to the community that gave so much to him.

When asked why he joined the Chamber Board he said, “I really wanted to be a part of something that makes a difference in the community… It seemed like the natural thing was to get involved with an organization that provides opportunity to have my hands in many different services.” Beau added that he gets to be on a team that cares for the community and really makes a difference.

Beau has served on staff for the Oregon Association of Student Councils for 11 years, which provides the methods for youth in the state to sharpen their leadership skills. He has also been a volunteer for Tillamook Outdoor School for several years, and teaches food science to 6th graders. Beau brings patience, humor, leadership and strong community roots as well as an eagerness to participate and learn to our Board of Directors.

His introduction to the Chamber began when he approached us to see if we would have interest in starting a Young Professionals group in Tillamook. This has been part of our vision for some time and we are excited that he has stepped up to spearhead one of the Chamber’s newest programs: the Young Professionals of Tillamook.

“I think that it is so important for professionals especially those that are younger and new to a professional position to have an outlet to socialize and give to the communities in which they live,” he said. “ Historically Tillamook has not been a place for younger professional people to reside. With this group I intend to change that.”

Beau is on our Community Engagement Team at the Chamber and said he is looking forward to finding ways to help keep everyone excited about living in Tillamook. We are thrilled to have Beau on our Board and all the energy and professionalism he brings to the table!

We’ve also added Joanna Stelzig to our board, and I am excited to introduce her and her goals for the Chamber next month. Stay tuned.

And the Nominees Are (Pt. 3)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the last two weeks we have introduced the nominees for Business of the Year, Small Business of the Year, Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. Our final category for the Community Awards is a big one – Citizen of the Year. We received the most nominations for this category and the group of nominees showcase a diverse background and continued commitment to Tillamook County. We are fortunate to have every single one of these people living in our community and making it a better place.

For Citizen of the Year, the nominees are:

Brooklyn Bush: Brooklyn teaches agriculture at Tillamook High School and heads the Tillamook Chapter of the FFA. She was nominated for helping shape the people who will live and work here and fostering the agriculture heritage in Tillamook County through teaching, community events and her continued service.

Tim Carpenter: Tim, who serves as the Fire Chief at Oceanside-Netarts Rural Fire Protection District, was nominated for his ongoing leadership and commitment to rescue efforts in Tillamook County, and his hospitality toward local efforts and events by opening up the Netarts Fire Hall as a community space.

Tom Connaughton: Tom has been a key player in downtown Tillamook for more than 30 years. He was nominated for the example he sets for other business owners, his positive attitude, and his ability to keep the best interest for Tillamook at the heart of everything he does.

Wayne Cook: Wayne started his business Cook Land Surveying in 1978 and since that time has raised five children, supported the Tillamook School District and Tillamook Athletic Department and been involved in other community organizations such as the Oregon Hunters Association and the Tillamook Gun Club.

Andrea Goss: Andrea is a volunteer at heart, and has served as coordinator and helper for several programs in our community including but not limited to the CARE warming center, Master Gardeners, CASA, the OSU Extension and the Kiwanis Club of Tillamook. She was nominated for continuing to give and enrich our community through her leadership, participation, coordination and passion.

Nelia Seratista: Nelia, co-proprietor of Pacific Restaurant in downtown Tillamook, was nominated because of the support she lends to all kinds of nonprofits and organizations by hosting their events and offering her expertise. She has also been an instrumental partner in the success of the food cart court, Flavors on First.

Kimberly Theobold: Kimberly works for Adult Protective Services and was nominated for going above and beyond to serve the aged and at-risk population of Tillamook County. She works tirelessly to meet the needs of the vulnerable and always looks out for the family of her clients.

Jon Wehage: A forester for the last 22 years in Tillamook County, Jon was nominated for the many hats that he wears in the community, including his role on the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative, 4H youth programs and the Junior Livestock Auction Committee, and as a board member for the Tillamook County Fairgrounds.

Ken Werner: Co-owner of Werner Gourmet Meat Snacks Inc., Ken was nominated for his generosity and commitment to supporting local. Under Ken’s direction, Werners Gourmet Meat Snacks donates an extraordinary amount annually to local charities, events, schools and non profit organizations. He also offers a fundraising program that benefits the schools, and on Veteran’s Day offered free meals to veterans at Werners Beef & Brew.

Ed Wortman: The former Chief of Police in Rockaway Beach, Ed was nominated not only for his time spent with the police department where he increased the number of officers on duty, orchestrated the purchase and remodel of the police station, and created the Volunteers in Police, but also for opening the International Police Museum as a way to create a sense of mutual respect between officers and citizens.

Tickets for this event are selling rapidly, and I encourage anyone who wants to attend not to hesitate in purchasing tickets. For more information, please call our office at 503-842-7525 or email


And the Nominees Are (Pt.1)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The annual Community Awards Banquet is just a few weeks away, and tickets are already selling fast. Every year we hear how much people enjoy the food, entertainment and wide array of auction items to bid on – but we all know that the real story is the award winners.

Our nominees started getting their announcements in the mail last week, so it’s finally safe to announce them here in the paper. Thank you to everyone who made a nomination- we had even more come in than last year and I think our Awards Committee definitely has their work cut out for them. Each nomination is made with a narrative and often letters of support to articulate why the nominee stands out, which is what the Awards Committee uses to determine a winner for each category. I never envy the committee the task of selecting a winner, and as I introduce the nominees I will share some of the background that was submitted for each one:

For Business of the Year, the nominees are:

Blue Heron French Cheese Co.: For more than 40 years the Pastega family has been running Blue Heron French Cheese Co. and adding a personal touch to Tillamook County that leaves a positive impression with both visitors and residents. They provide everything from free samples, free overnight RV parking, a large Northwest wine selection, to unique gifts, plus they are known t0 treat their employees like family.

Stimson Lumber: Few businesses can say they’ve been around 162 years, but Stimson is one of them. They are committed to the environment through active management of more than 93,000 acres of land in Tillamook County and employee 120 people- many of whom actively serve in a variety of leadership roles throughout the community, such as the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative, teaching classes at Tillamook Bay Community College and Tillamook High School, serving on the Fair Board, coaching sports, and so much more.

Zwald Transport, Inc.: Zwald Transport employs more than 30 people and has grown  tremendously in the last three years. They were instrumental in starting the truck driving program at Tillamook Bay Community College – including providing an instructor, helping secure equipment, and marketing the program. They are a family-run business and want their employees to feel like part of the family.

For Small Business of the Year (10 employees or less) the nominees are:

Social House & Market Place: Located in the former Blue Moon Cafe, The Social House & Marketplace is owned and operated by three women who strive to give customers more than just a meal. By hosting unique vendors in their space, they are lifting up other small businesses and entrepreneurs, and they regularly offer fun, family-friendly events.

Salty Raven: One of the newer Second Street businesses, Salty Raven offers unique, Oregon- and Oregon Coast-based artwork on everything from t-shirts to patches to coffee mugs. Their studio is open regularly and they are actively involved in all kinds of community functions and events such as the Farmers Market, monthly Sip + Shop, and participate in the Tillamook Revitalization Association.

Werner Brewing Co.: In Tillamook, we love beer nearly as much as we love cheese. Werner Brewing Co. continues to bring new and trendy craft beer flavors to the Tillamook Coast, elevating our status as a food and beer lovers destination. Coupled with their new taproom/restaurant and generous community spirit, Werner Brewing Co. is making waves.

Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace: Downtown Tillamook has been benefiting from this wonderful vintage shop for five years now. With all kinds of one-of-a-kind treasures, a friendly staff and more-often-than-not some kind of delicious treat to snack on while you shop, Madeline’s is so committed to its customers that they set up a temporary location all summer while their building was being renovated. And they never forget to participate in downtown events such as Sip + Shop, Cork & Brew and more.

Kristy Lombard Pottery: Our newest downtown business is the result of Kristy Lombard taking a chance and moving her studio from her garage to a storefront, where she regularly creates stunning pottery while people can shop for things like butter dishes, decorative pieces, coffee cups and more. Her art is helping bring high-end and quality customer goods to downtown.

Tune in next week as we announce the nominees for Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. And be sure to watch our Facebook page for more exciting announcements.

And the Nominees Are (Pt. 2)

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last week I was excited to introduce to you the nominees for Business of the Year and Small Business of the Year. If you missed those announcements, check out the blog on our website or find the Tillamook Chamber on Facebook.

Today I am sharing the nominees for Program of the Year and Development Project of the Year. Program of the Year was a new category we added this year to try and capture some of the organizations, projects, events and other work being done in our county that doesn’t really fall into a traditional business category. Since these are the Community Awards, we wanted to do our best to represent the community as a whole. Development Project of the Year is for those projects that were completed in 2018.

For Program of the Year, the nominees are:

Tillamook County Pioneer: Keeping the community informed about local news, issues and events in an open format, and providing a venue for communication and public awareness for the betterment of our community has secured the Pioneer’s nomination for Program of the Year.  

‘Shop with a Cop’: A Tillamook tradition since 2004, ‘Shop with a Cop’ has helped more than 650 children in our community buy gifts for their family and themselves, all while helping enhance the image of police officers with children.

Explore Nature Series: In 2018, the Explore Nature Series hosted more than 60 free events all over Tillamook County including beach clean ups, hikes, gardening days, Shop at the Dock in Garibaldi and more. Their events highlight the bounty of our area and encourage participants to be good stewards when they’re outside enjoying our natural resources.

Tillamook County Library: Last fiscal year, the Tillamook County Library offered 1,145 programs and more than 18,000 people attended. These programs are catered to infants, toddlers, teens, adults and everyone in between. All programs are free and open to the public.

Truck Driving Program: Offered through Tillamook Bay Community College, the brand new truck driving program is made possible through several community partners including Zwald Transport, Inc. who was instrumental in the development of the program when they saw the industry need in our community, going so far as to provide a driver for the instructor, helping acquire equipment and getting the information about the program out to the community.

Tillamook Working Lands & Waters Cooperative: Comprised of individuals who make their living in forestry, farming and fishing, their mission is to increase awareness of working forests, farms and fisheries and the importance of providing sustainable, locally-grown and harvested products with a commitment to responsible stewardship of the county’s natural resources.

For Development Project of the Year the nominees are:

Flavors on First: Adding all kinds of variety to food choices downtown and creating an inviting public space with a great atmosphere for events and year round were just two of the reasons Flavors on First (also known as Kimmel’s Food Cart) received a nomination this year.

Werners Beef & Brew: Another investment from the family that continually raises the bar for quality and experience throughout the region, Werners Beef & Brew focuses on using and selling local products and creating an entirely unique spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner – or just a place to grab your favorite Tillamook-made snacks from their marketplace and deli.

Hwy 6/101 Realignment Project: Driving through Tillamook it’s hard to not see the benefits  of this lengthy highway realignment project. With the enhanced walkability and atmosphere downtown is only just starting to see the domino effect of other private investments and revitalization efforts triggered from what was one of the single largest investments made by ODOT in the City of Tillamook.

Tillamook Creamery Visitor Center: Even before their remodel, the Creamery was bringing more people to our part of the world than any other man-made establishment. This volume of traffic to our area helps support other retail and restaurant establishments and this multi-million dollar project shows a long term investment into our community.

Dutch Bros – Tillamook: In addition to raising thousands of dollars for local programs such as the needy child fund at Tillamook High School, Dutch Bros employees 3-6 people at any given time and owner Jared Nunnemaker has chosen to invest a huge chunk of time and money in developing this location, bringing this  household-name coffee to Tillamook.


Next week we will announce the nominees for Citizen of the Year. As always, if you’d like to reserve your tickets for the Chamber Community Awards Banquet happening on Jan. 19, 2019 please call our office at 503-842-7525 or email


Keep Making Those Nominations

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Saturday was the deadline for the Community Awards nominations, and you guys really outdid yourselves! We had a record-breaking number of nominations come in this year! It appears the simplicity of the online form is doing the trick.

However it seems like the most seemingly visible category got forgotten: Development Project of the Year. We have received one strong nomination in that category, but there is so much more development that has happened in the last 12 months that deserves recognition. Remember – this is a county-wide award and not limited to Chamber members or those projects within the City of Tillamook.

Now, I know that at the end of the year it can be hard to remember exactly what all has happened this year because some things feel like they’ve been a part of our lives forever. Here is a little refresher:

The Tillamook Creamery’s new visitor center officially opened to the public. While this establishment has been a part of our county for decades, the newer – and bigger – facility has an expanded viewing section, interactive farm displays for both adults and children, an expanded menu featuring local ingredients, an outdoor seating area and so much more.

The Flavors on First Food Cart Court had its grand opening. I know it’s hard to believe that this was once an empty parking lot, but that goes to show you what you can accomplish in a short amount of time. This food cart court has grown to five food carts and a covered seating area and is giving downtown so many more options for lunch, dinner or just a snack.

The downtown highway project wrapped up in October, complete with new sidewalks, paving, landscaping, street lights, parking, a more visually-appealing Hoquarton Slough walking path and an eye-catching Second Street Plaza right in the center of downtown. Yes it was a trying time for all of us, but downtown has never looked better and I think we’re all enjoying the new aesthetics and better traffic flow.

Food Roots opened their FarmTable storefront this year, and is selling locally-grown foods and other products made right here in Tillamook. Now shoppers have a place to go year-round that supports local farmers and artisans and strengthens the local economy. We also got our very own Dutch Bros this year, Tora Sushi Lounge took up a vacant space in downtown, Sand Creek Dental built a beautiful new building and even the Tillamook Family YMCA is getting a facelift for the first time in years. And we can’t forget the latest restaurant & tap room to hit the scene from a family who has won awards in the past: Werners Beef & Brew officially opened in 2018 and if you haven’t been yet, they’re serving both delicious food and craft beer on tap and also have all your favorite local snack products for sale.

As you can see, we’ve had our fair share of development in the last 12 months, and we would love to be able to recognize these amazing projects during our Community Banquet. Please take the time to go online and nominate your favorite 2018 development you have seen within Tillamook County! We will leave the form open until Dec. 14th. 

Last week we started sending out invitations to the Banquet, which will take place on January 19, 2019. This year’s theme is ‘A Night in Portugal’ and our entire staff is busy with the planning – including collecting auction items, finding volunteers, creating decorations and ensuring that – as always – this Community Banquet is one of the best events of the year. If you would like tickets, or have a donation item in mind for the auction, please contact our office at 503-842-7525.


Join us Downtown for Small Business Saturday

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Happy thanksgiving everyone! I hope you have a wonderful day planned to enjoy all there is to be grateful for. In my house that definitely means enjoying a turkey dinner and spending quality time with family.

We have another tradition here in Tillamook that happens the Saturday after Thanksgiving called Small Business Saturday. This nationwide movement encourages folks on the day after Black Friday to shop small when doing their Christmas shopping. Our downtown district has really taken this concept and run with it, and all over town on Saturday you’ll find great deals and a full day of family friendly events.

The Chamber has helped coordinate and market these events to encourage participation. Here is a quick rundown of events taking place this Saturday:

Gingerbread House Building Competition at YoTime: Join Yo Time and friends this Small Business Saturday for the second annual Gingerbread House Building Competition! This was so fun last year that YoTime is more than excited to be hosting it again. Teams of four-ish (more or less, no big deal) are invited to register for the competition ahead of time. Each team is asked to bring $10 or a gently used sleeping bag, tent or tarp as an entry fee, which will be donated to CARE to assist folks in need this winter. Basic gingerbread house building supplies will be provided, but teams are encouraged to be creative and are welcome to bring their own supplies for personal touches. Teams are asked to arrive at 1 p.m. on Saturday, and the contest will kick off at 1:15. The building window will last 45 minutes, at which point a winner will be determined by audience applause.

Cooking Decorating at the Social House Cafe: The Social House Cafe has been under a renaissance of late, and this is an opportunity to check out the new direction of the familiar restaurant if you haven’t already. The cookie decorating will be happening all day, and promises to be fun  – and delicious – for the entire family.

Letters to Santa at The Dutch Mill: The only thing better than getting your requests in to the Big Guy before the Big Day is getting a complimentary ice cream cone! Children are invited all day to come write and mail their letters to Santa (The Dutch Mill will have a mailbox on hand that ships directly to the North Pole) and they’ll get a free ice cream cone for participating. Plus, rumor has it they’ll have some food specials that day as well so this might make a good stop for lunch.

Holiday Pop Up Market on Third and Main: The Tillamook Revitalization Association is hosting a holiday pop-up market inside the Beals Building on the corner of Third and Main from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. They will have vendors (some of which you haven’t seen since the Tillamook Farmers Market) selling all kinds of hand-made, locally crafted goods that make perfect Christmas gifts for family, friends or yourself.

Wreath Fundraiser on  Second Street Plaza: Tillamook Early Learning Center is having their second annual wreath sale fundraiser, and is teaming up with Small Business Saturday! Pre-order your local handcrafted wreath ahead of time for pick up by contacting TELC Board CHair Julie Hurliman at (503) 913-3869 or There will be a limited number of these beauties for sale on SBS, but you’ll want to stop by and scoop yours up early if you don’t get a chance to pre-order.

Brunch and Bloody Mary Bar at Pacific Restaurant: Chefs Nelia and Phil have begun plotting what will be guaranteed to be a memorable meal – just what you need to gear up for a lovely day in downtown Tillamook! Reservations are not required; stop by anytime between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m  for a world class buffet and a tour of the Bloody Mary Bar. Pacific Restaurant will also be offering an all day special on gift cards: purchase a $100 gift card for only $80 (not valid to use on Small Business Saturday).

We hope you’ll come downtown and join us downtown to support these establishments and start the Christmas shopping season off right. It’s also the perfect opportunity to enjoy our new sidewalks, parking spaces, landscaping and wonderful new curb appeal of downtown.

To make sure you are in shape for a full day of shopping after the big feast, be sure to join Tillamook Motor Company at the corner of Fifth & Main for the annual Tillamook Ford Turkey Trot on Friday the 23rd ! Walkers will travel down 5th to Carnahan Park and back. The trot starts at 9 a.m. with an entry fee of one can of food (or more) that will benefit the Tillamook County Food Bank.

These events and more information about activities, specials and sales on Small Business Saturday are available on the Tillamook County Small Business Saturday Facebook page, or contact our Downtown Event Coordinator, Sierra, at


Welcome to Tillamook; Enjoy our Tide Books

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Throughout the year there are always times when it seems like there are so many projects in the air and none of them are wrapping up. This has been one of those months; however in this past week it seems like we are starting to see that shift a bit. Two projects that we’ve been working on at the Chamber wrapped up in that kind of way that makes you sigh a sense of accomplished relief. One of these projects you’ve no doubt noticed by now: the brand new City of Tillamook Wayfinding signs that have been installed at each entrance to town.

These signs were made possible thanks to a partnership with the City of Tillamook and funding through the Visit TIllamook Coast transient lodging tax dollars. We managed the project from start to finish, including planning, design, placement and installation. It was exciting to see them being installed in conjunction with the completion of the majority of the downtown highway project. These signs add a nice uniformity to both our downtown and all four corners of the City of Tillamook, utilizing our Dairylands branding strategy that gives both residents and visitors a sense of place while they enjoy our town. We couldn’t be more proud of how they turned out and tip our hats to the partner agencies that helped bring it about.

The second project that just wrapped up is the Tillamook Coast Tide Books. For years now the Tillamook Chamber has bulk ordered custom tidebooks at Coast Printing for our business community so they can hand them out affordably. In fact, we’ve done it long enough that most people had no idea the Chamber was the one responsible for the tide book in their pocket. This time we decided to switch it up a bit. Thanks again to another partnership with Visit Tillamook Coast, we are now able to offer all businesses the first 100 tide books free of charge, and any additional at only $10 per hundred. This partnership fits perfectly as Visit Tillamook Coast continues to manage tourism by informing and educating visitors as they come to enjoy our slice of the Oregon Coast.

Tide books won’t be here until January, but we are taking orders if your business would like to stock up! While the design and printing is a service we offer as the Chamber of Commerce, we do not limit their distribution to Chamber members. So please feel free to contact out office at 503-842-7525 or if you’d like to reserve a bundle.

As always, these tide books are adjusted for our Tillamook Coast beaches, which comes in handy for our fishermen, crabbers, clam diggers and tide poolers.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t take this opportunity to remind folks to make their nominations for the 2019 Community Awards banquet. The form has been simplified even more this year, and is available online at The four categories are Business of the Year (10 or more employees); Small Business of the Year (10 or less employees); Citizen of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Program of the Year. These awards are another project that we manage at the Chamber, but we do not make the nominations nor select a winner. These awards depend on the community taking a little time out of their day to nominate a business, project or person that they feel goes above and beyond for Tillamook County and deserves a pat on the back. I believe if we all take a moment, we can pretty easily come up with an idea or two for each category.

Each nomination will receive a personal invitation to the Community Awards Banquet on Jan. 19 at the Tillamook County Fairgrounds. We would also love for you to join us there, so please call our offices at 503-842-7525 to inquire about tickets.

Cutting the Ribbon on the Hwy Project

Sierra Lauder

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events & Downtown Promotions

Last week, we gathered on a rainy afternoon on the Second Street Plaza with Sen. Betsy Johnson, Congressman Kurt Schrader, Mayor Weber and a variety of other community leaders and cut the ribbon on the highway project completion. It was a celebration of how far we’ve come as a downtown –  but before you call my office pointing out all the things still not finished with this project, let me offer you a metaphor:

Last Sunday morning I laid out the single biggest threat in my parenting toolbox: clean rooms by 4 p.m. or we’re shutting off the internet. Because my boys know that I am an inhuman robot with zero empathy for their Fortnite fascination they scramble. As we approach 4 o’clock they start to indicate that they’ve successfully finished their job. Some might even say they are “substantially complete” with their project.

Even if you don’t have kids, you have been a kid and you likely remember that the first “I’m done” of room cleaning is simply the beginning of the end. There is still a variety of inspections and things that were missed in the initial pass though, plus some negotiating about tasks that were implied but perhaps not clearly outlined…

This is really the perfect metaphor. The original project completion date that was projected as October 16th was pushed back to the end of October. The problem with the term “completion date” is that it implies a certain finality- almost as if a person could expect that the project was, in fact, complete.

The reality is that the project completion date is only the date that all of the items within the contract have been submitted for consideration. This is when my boys call me up to examine the room for the first time. There will still be another hour of pointing out missed socks under the bed and the water glass on the nightstand, (plus whatever is beside that water glass that may or may not have once been an apple core…)

That’s where we are now. There is a variety of details and finish work that are still underway that will continue past the completion date. Why have a completion date if it isn’t completed, you ask? The completion date sets the clock on the warranty. Once the project is agreed upon as “complete,” the contractor is still responsible for things like the maintence and life of the plants for one year from that date. While we will still see work after completion, it will mostly be repair or touch up work. Because there are so many contractors and jurisdictions involved, even the task of completing the “punch list” that captures where the dirty dishes are tucked and the cracks must be repaired is time consuming.

Some might still be skeptical of a ribbon cutting prior to completion, but as the rain sets in and the days grow shorter, I say “Let’s Celebrate!” The ribbon cutting last week doesn’t absolve anyone of cleaning up those last stinky socks, but it does give the community a chance to celebrate our beautiful new sidewalks and embrace the fact that downtown is open for business this holiday season.

Thank you to everyone who came out for this ceremonial act of cutting the ribbon. I hope that, even though the rains have returned with full force, you still get out  downtown and enjoy what we’ve all been waiting so long for!

The Many Roles of the Chamber

On any given day, there are certain things you can count on here at the Chamber. You can count on people calling our office looking for referrals – everything from a place to vacation with their dog to finding the right tax accountant. You can count on visitors coming in looking for information on what to do in the area, and you can even bet that at some point someone will be asking for directions to the Cape Meares Lighthouse.

These are somewhat traditional roles that chambers have played for years. We have the information, access and tools you might need and are happy to share those with you.

At our Chamber, there’s always a million other little things going on as well. The things that happen a little bit below the surface and aren’t always directly associated with the Chamber. For two days last week, myself and two of our staff members attended a two-day conference for the Oregon State Chamber of Commerce. We got to hear from other Chamber leaders across the state on issues such as member retention, statewide legislation that may impact local businesses, cyber security and creative ways to help tell our story – which is also your story.

During our stay, we were also finding time in between breakout sessions to help plan several ribbon cutting ceremonies happening this week, finalizing plans for November’s Mornings on Mainstreet, redesigning the cover for the 2019 Tide Books and keeping several other projects moving forward. (Projects like redesigning the Chamber website, planning the 2019 Community Awards Banquet, following up with people about our Portugal trip next Spring, creating Facebook events to keep people engaged with what’s happening in town, and more.)

At the Chamber, this is just another day on the job. As a staff of five, we all have areas of expertise and different skill sets, as well as different things we’re passionate about. All of our work – community engagement, advocacy, and connecting members to resources and potential customers just to name a few – helps meet our mission of building a strong community where businesses can thrive. We do this work because we love it, and we want to make a difference.

When you’re traveling across Oregon, I encourage you to stop in at the local Chamber office. See the ways they’re involved in their communities, and how they’re impacting change. We all face different and unique problems, but when we come together we can learn so much from each other. I know that Sierra, Sayde and I are all excited to take the information we learned from last week’s conference and find ways to implement it in our own community to help our mission.

Speaking of which, don’t forget that this Friday at 12 p.m. is the ribbon cutting ceremony for the brand new Habitat for Humanity ReStore location across from the Creamery. Then, at 4 p.m., we will be taking our giant scissors over to Sunflower Flats to welcome new owners Paige Robertson and Maddie McRae. They’ll be giving out free sunflowers, and customers can even enjoy a free drink courtesy of Pacific Restaurant. While you’re out, also pop into Madeline’s Vintage Marketplace on the corner of Pacific and Third. They had a brief hiatus from their space, but are back and can’t wait to show off the newly-remodeled storefront to their customers. Join us just after 4 on Thursday to welcome them home.

Make your Nominations for the Annual Community Awards

Tillamook Chamber Recent News

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Take a look around; what do you see? It might depend on where you are standing, but from our front window at the Chamber I see new sidewalks, brand new parking spaces and – most recently – new trees and landscaping gracing nearly every corner of our new downtown. Take a quick walk and you’ll see new businesses selling everything from farm-fresh produce to unique t-shirts and even pottery. Walk even farther and you might stumble upon the nearly-complete Flavors on First food cart court with its new covered pavilion, or the beautifully-renovated Sue H Elmore park overlooking Hoquarten Slough.

And that’s just downtown.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the brand new Dutch Bros. north of town, or Sand Creek Dental office at the south end.

I always like to take a moment this time of year and remind our readers about the growth we’ve experienced in the last 12 months, and all the reasons why we love living here. And while I can’t mention everything in this column, I hope it spurs a discussion amongst yourselves about the changes and improvements you’ve witnessed in 2018, and encourages you to pick your favorites and nominate them for our annual Community Awards.

We’ve made the nomination process much more simple this year; just go online to, pick a nomination category, a recipient, and tell us why. It could be a single sentence, or a well thought out essay about why a business or person made an impact on your life and the community in 2018.

The categories this year are Business of the Year (eleven or more employees); Small Business of the Year (ten or less employees); Developmental Project of the Year; Citizen of the Year – and new this year Program of the Year. A lot of amazing work happening in the county that doesn’t quite fit into the other categories but deserves recognition. That’s where Program of the Year comes in to play; maybe it’s a program from a local non-profit, a specific event, or a volunteer that makes a large impact through a single initiative.

All nominations are due by Dec. 1 so we have time for the selection committee, comprised of prior year’s award recipients, to review applications and make their decisions.  Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible, and nominees will be honored at the annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet in January. You can remain anonymous as the person nominating if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation on the online form.

There is no limit to how many businesses, projects, and people you can nominate. Tell us everything great you see happening all around you in Tillamook County!

Get Ready: Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0 begins Oct. 1

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

After a marvelous summer, fall is finally here. I think the change in weather is welcomed by many of us, as well as the new routine of taking kids to school and grabbing an extra jacket before leaving the house.

Fall also means its time to launch Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0.

Last year was our first time trying this new shopping incentive to encourage people to come downtown and spend a little time and  hopefully a little money. It started as a way to mitigate the effects of construction that many of our downtown business owners were feeling, and worked similarly to an old-fashioned cash mob but extended the shopping period over several months.

When we had this hair-brained idea last year, we had no idea how well it was going to take off, or how many people it would bring downtown. Over the course of the sweepstakes last year we had 1,493 entries; this year we’re hoping to see more 2,000.

And while the construction project is on track to wrap up this fall, we still want to encourage people to enjoy our newly remodeled downtown area, so we’re launching Downtown Sweepstakes 2.0.

The rules are simple, and similar to last year: Whenever you shop downtown between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, bring in your receipts to the TIllamook Chamber to be entered into a weekly drawing. You can enter once a day. Each week a downtown business will sponsor a giveaway and we will draw from that week’s tickets to pick a winner. Then, every ticket will be entered into a grand prize drawing of $1,000 shopping spree in downtown Tillamook, sponsored again this year by US Bank. The more you shop, the better your odds are of winning the grand prize. It’s that simple, and it’s that fun.

So if you go out to breakfast at The Rendezvous, gift shopping at Sunflower Flats, or pamper yourself with a pedicure at Shear Bliss, bring us your receipts. The possibilities are endless but each time you shop – for special occasions or the things we do on a regular basis – you could be entered to win all kinds of amazing prices right in time for the holidays. Then, after the holiday rush has passed and we start settling into a new year and a new routine, one lucky winner will have $1,000 extra dollars to enjoy in our downtown.

Let’s celebrate the end of the construction and the beautifully remodeled downtown by spending time here and enjoying the new sidewalks, the newly planted trees and foliage, the renovated Sue H Elmore Park and walking trail through Hoquarten Slough, and reminding our downtown business owners why we love it here. You can follow along with the sweepstakes and all of the weekly drawings by following the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce facebook page.

Tackling the Housing Crisis

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last week our newest employee Alexander Jonas arrived from Tallahassee, Fla. He traded in 88-degrees, sunshine and restaurants where alligator is a common menu item, for the Tillamook Coast where he will serve as our Housing Policy and Development Coordinator.

Alexander is a recent graduate from Florida State where he studied political science and international affairs with a focus on economics. During his last year, he was introduced to the RARE program and decided to jump on board as a way to fine tune the skills and expertise he learned in college, and help a community in need.

RARE is an AmeriCorps program administered through the University of Oregon’s Institute for Policy Research and Engagement, which assists Oregon communities by providing planning and technical assistance to help solve local issues and improve the quality of life for Oregon residents. Its mission is to increase the capacity of rural communities to improve their economic, social, and environmental conditions, through the assistance of trained graduate-level participants who live and work in communities for 11 months. Participants assist communities and agencies in the development and implementation of plans for achieving a sustainable natural resource base and improving rural economic conditions while gaining community building and leadership skills.

Alexander interviewed with five different rural communities all with unique issues, and was matched with the Tillamook Chamber. We are excited to have him on our team and get started towards finding a solution for workforce housing in the city of Tillamook.

Ironically, Alexander had some trouble finding a place to live while making his travel arrangements, and was able to secure a room just two days before his plane landed. No doubt this is a familiar situation to some of you, when you hire a professional from outside the area but they have to turn the job down due to the lack of housing. Alexander got to experience this first hand – a poetic introduction to his new job as our Housing Policy and Development Coordinator where he will help identify the reasons for the housing crisis and do what he can to help mitigate the effects and eventually put Tillamook in a better position to solve that crisis.

When asked why he decided to participate in the RARE program, Alexander said “It was a good opportunity to gain some work experience and potential successes as well as checking out a beautiful part of the country I had never seen.”

Over the next several weeks I will be introducing Alexander to the community and hope you will help him feel welcome and give him the resources, tools and information he needs to be successful. We will also be sharing more about the specifics of Alexander’s scope of work, and why we at the Chamber and our members felt compelled to offer a helping hand in solving the housing crisis.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Yo (it’s almost) Time for Paving

Yesterday the curb and gutter pour on the south half of the east block of Main between Third and Fourth was completed. By the end of this week, those forms will be stripped and cleared away so that next week the paving can begin. If you’re driving through this area, you’ll likely be concerned about the missing sidewalk- how will you get your frozen yogurt fix??? The sidewalk work will continue next week during the day while the paving work takes place at night. Until the sidewalk goes in, Yo Time remains accessible via a temporary plank walkway from the north, so do not fear. Shear Bliss salon is accessible during this phase of construction through their access door on Fourth, and the Coliseum Theater has access on Main as usual.
The paving schedule next week is all set for night work. On Monday and Tuesday night crews will be working along the trenches curbs and gutters to level things out and prep for Wednesday and Thursday night, which will include the chipping, grinding and final paving. Sticky stomps will provide temporary lane delineation until the striping can occur the following week.
Next Wednesday and Thursday night there will be a detour. Starting at about 6:30 pm on Wednesday and Thursday (9/26 and 9/27), Main will be closed from First to Fourth, with traffic directed down Stillwell. Chief Wright points out that a big impact will be the closure of Third between Stillwell and Main, where traffic that would have been using Third to go eastbound will be redirected to Fifth Street and across to Pacific.
Elsewhere around the project, electrical subcontractors are working on final touches, bioswale liners are being installed, and the landscaping firm is planting (street trees start going in next week!!!).

Celebrate the Bounty of the Tillamook Coast on Sept. 29

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director


Local food such as Tillamook Creamery dairy products, Werner jerky products, and Pelican microbrews have been a long standing staple of things that Tillamook stands for. What many may not know, however, is that in recent years there has been an incredible shift in the food culture. This shift is made up of chefs, business owners, fishermen and farmers who are passionate about sustainable practices, and sourcing local ingredients. It’s such a huge part of who we are that Visit Tillamook Coast launched the North Coast Food Trail earlier this year to showcase the wide variety of restaurants, farms, breweries, markets and more that are bringing the bounty of Tillamook County and the North Oregon Coast to consumers.

The Tillamook Farmers Market is a stop along this food trail, as our many of our vendors because they are growing and producing food items featured in several of our local restaurants and stores. And at the end of this month, we will be celebrating all things food related at the Crave the Coast foodie festival.

Under the event tent in Garibaldi, some culinary masters  – about 40 to be exact – will gather in one place to showcase the incredible bounty our area produces. From fresh seafood, world-class beer – guests will be entertained by  renowned chefs and local business owners with cooking demos, samples, tastings and be inspired to create their own culinary dishes that support our local producers.

Many years ago you may recall the Taste of Tillamook event – a favorite for many. While Crave the Coast began as a simple conversation to recreate this food festival, it has grown exponentially to include guided tours, live cooking demos, and the largest selection of vendors and producers on the North Oregon Coast. It’s garnered attention from both regional and national media who are showcasing the Tillamook Coast as a premier agritourism destination. We are proud to be a major sponsor of this event, which also inspired us to revitalize the ‘Chef’s Table’ at the Tillamook Farmers Market. From now until the end of the season you can catch local chefs doing what they do best – creating mouth watering masterpieces from ingredients grown and made right here in Tillamook, and available for sale at the Tillamook Farmers Market. So far we’ve enjoyed Nelia with Pacific Restaurant and her homemade mozzarella; and coming up we will have demonstrations from The Offshore Grill in Rockaway Beach and Garibaldi Portside Bistro, as well as LaNicia from Coastal Soul serving up some classic fried green tomatoes.  Check the Tillamook Farmers Market Facebook page for dates, times and more information about these cooking demonstrations, sponsored by Visit Tillamook Coast and Crave the Coast.

To wrap up, if you don’t have your tickets yet, visit and purchase them today. It’s only $30 to get inside and gain access to some of the best chefs the west coast has to offer, and opportunities to learn and get to know those who are cultivating and nurturing the abundance of harvest our area has to offer.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Flagging of First and Main Intersection Wed-Fri

Big News:
Starting tomorrow- Wednesday September 5th– there will be 24 hour flagging through the intersection of First and Main. Additionally, trucks turning on to Main southbound will be rerouted to Ivy and down to Front to access Main. There is a large manhole that needs to be excavated and replaced in the southeast quadrant of the intersection, and while crews have been delaying until after Labor Day, the weather forecast that calls for rain as early as this weekend has made it necessary to expedite this work and get it done immediately. Hopes are high that the work may be completed ahead of schedule, but flaggers are set through Friday.
Sawcutting was completed this afternoon, so excavators will be onsite and removing materials as soon as lanes are closed and flaggers are in place on Wednesday morning. Because of the depth and width of the hole, trucks will not have sufficient buffering room to make the south bound turn, regardless of whether approaching from the east or the west. A flagger will be stationed at Ivy and First to direct truck traffic north, where a right turn on to Front will allow for a right turn on to Main. Truck traffic approaching from the east will be directed to continue to the Ivy detour from the First and Main intersection. While the work will be concentrated during the day, the flagging, truck detour, and lane closures will be 24 hours.
The impending rain and shift in the focus of the project delayed the excavation of the south half of the block of Main between Third and Fourth. Final pours on the sidewalk on the north half of the block will be completed Wednesday and Thursday, with excavation on the south side expected to be reset for early next week.
A big change on the Second Street Plaza took place this afternoon. After concerns of tripping on the curbing associated with the ADA ramps, the City was able to work with ODOT to come up with a new design element that increases visibility while reducing curb crossing. Triangular planting areas were cut today adjacent to each of the three ramps on the Plaza. The landscaping contractor arrived onsite this afternoon, and, in addition to these new planters, top soil and plants will begin to fill the bioswales and other greenscape spaces.
While this week will likely feature many frustrating moments, take heart in the knowledge that final paving is setting up prior to October 1, which means we are still very much on track to be wrapped up with traffic impacts in just a few short weeks.

Spend the Remainder of Summer in Downtown Tillamook

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director  

The recent bouts of rain have been a nice relief from the wildfires of summer, and sure make it easier to start picturing the cozy, inside gatherings of fall and winter next to a fireplace or wrapped in a warm sweater. While I am also looking forward to kids going back to school and the fast-pace of summer slowing down just a bit, I can assure you there is still a lot happening in our town before summer officially parts ways.

This Saturday from 9 am- 3 pm is the city-wide downtown garage sale, hosted by the Tillamook Revitalization Association and the Tillamook Headlight Herald. Second Street between Main and Ivy will be closed to traffic so those interested can bring in tables and items they’d like to sell. It’s a great way to either clean out some much needed space before the rainy season hits, pick up a few new things to redecorate with, or even find unique pieces that will make great holiday gifts. From clothing, to furniture, to fabrics and decor pieces, it’s a one-stop-shop garage sale.

If you’d like to rent a table space, reach out to either the Tillamook Headlight Herald or Sky at Lucky Bear Soap Co. Each 10×12 space is only $15.

The Tillamook Farmers Market is still underway on Laurel Avenue between First and Third every Saturday from 9am- 2pm. The last day of the season is Sept. 29, so there is still plenty of time to find your favorite produce (tomatoes are in season, btw) and enjoy the plethora of talented artists, crafters, designers and producers that we have here in Tillamook County. There’s also some really fun and talented musical acts coming up this month, including the always-popular Buffalo Kitty, ZuhG with an encore acoustic performance on Sept. 1, and local favorite Eric Sappington with his soulful tunes. Hopefully your calendar will lend itself to a leisurely Saturday on Laurel, where there is plenty of great food and music to wile away a few hours and enjoy the company – making stocking your produce drawer as much about the experience as the exceptional local produce.   

While you’re checking your calendar, make a note about the upcoming Third Annual Oktoberfest in the Dairylands on the Second Street Plaza from noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 8. Pacific Restaurant will again cater this year’s event with authentic German-style cuisine, and participants will be entertained with local and professional polka bands and dancers. New this year is the artist celebration of Route 6 brought to you by Art Accelerated, so there will also be artist booths and exhibits to enjoy. Because this event is a fundraiser for the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook, every penny raised goes to supporting local music scholarships as well as bringing professional concerts to Tillamook multiple times per year. Tickets to Oktoberfest in the Dairylands are available at the gate or at the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook’s Facebook Page.  The cost for entry is $10 and includes a commemorative mug for adults, admission for those under 21 are free. The combination of authentic Swiss and German music and dance make this a fun and entertaining family friendly event.

And of course, Sip + Shop and Art Walk will resume later in September, making sure there is plenty to do for both locals and tourists while the sunshine is still upon us.


Hwy 6/101 Project Update: Downtown Renovation

This week the roof is being replaced on the Chamber Headquarters building on Main Avenue, which is also the Visitor’s Center. While the sidewalk out front has been complete (and access to our front door open) for quite some time, the Dutch Mill (our neighbors to the north) are currently renovating their façade, where, in addition to the temporary removal of their iconic sign for refitting, the awning has come off along with the front siding- equating to a rather large pile of construction debris at short intervals. Two awestruck out-of-towners seeking hotel information navigating Main on Monday stopped in and asked if we had coordinated all of our downtown building remodeling with the timing of the Highway Project, and while we laughed together in the moment and talk turned toward local accommodation options, the reality of their observation is worthy of reflection.
Despite a noisy bunch of social media commentators who would have you believe that “downtown is dying,” all evidence points to downtown being on the verge of an entirely new life. Every single block in the Tillamook Main Street “Downtown District” has renovation projects either recently completed, on the immediate horizon, or actively underway.
Every single block.
While there is zero doubt that the construction impacts of the Highway Project have been extremely challenging and have created intense hardship for the economy and the commute through town, the coinciding business expansion in downtown, number of real estate transactions on commercial properties in the downtown core, and the large number of private investment dollars being invested to revitalize the infrastructure of the buildings is a promising indicator that Tillamook is weathering these trials and that the future is bright.
One example of these efforts is on Third Street, on the west side of the intersection of Main. The water main work has been completed there, and the contractor is expecting the sidewalk along that corner to be poured and in place next week. The eastern edge of the project would have brought the sidewalk work to a stop about two-thirds of the way along the side of the historic Beals Building. Recognizing that this is the moment to maximize the efficiency of the crews on the ground, investor owners Valerie Schumann and her husband Gary have connected with the contractors and have decided to privately fund the sidewalk work along the remainder of their building, bringing the new stamped concrete eastward from Main up to the alleyway. When speaking with Gary yesterday, he explained that after the roofing work they did to make sure the building is dry inside, they have now begun more extensive interior work and are addressing many of the realities of renovating a one hundred-plus year-old building, including sorting out asbestos abatement, plumbing headaches, and comprehensive electrical work.
Further north on Main, the sidewalk in front of Fat Dog Pizza is on track for being poured later this week. The Alderman Building, which hosts Fat Dog Pizza, Voo Doo Vapor, Shanny’s Nail’s and Second Street Coffee, recently had the long awning that stretches from the western corner of the building on Second toward Main rebuilt and refitted, providing shelter from both rain and the occasional intense sun for the outdoor seating there.
Bear with it, folks. Change is hard and slow and disconcerting, and in the end we will likely all be able to point at things we wish were different, but the tide is pushing us all along and as we near the end of this project and there becomes less and less to report about projected timelines, there becomes more and more to see and do unfolding in front of us. In the next few weeks, the top soil in many of the bioswales will go in, and the street trees will begin to be planted. Pavers along Main will begin to fill the gap between the new sidewalk and the curb, and the paving and subsequent reopening of parking along Main is in the not-too-distant future. If you are looking for an excuse to explore the Downtown District in the next few weeks, September 1st the Tillamook Revitalization Association and the Headlight Herald are hosting a community garage sale, and booths are available for $15- just register at the Headlight Herald or Lucky Bear Soap. The following Saturday, September 8th, the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook is hosting their annual Oktoberfest event, which is a great family-friendly day of live music and delicious food (and also beer for those 21+).
Hope you all are enjoying these final weeks of August, and please be safe out there,

Registration is Open for the Chamber’s Portugal Trip

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Just seven months from now, the Chamber will be taking a few dozen people to explore the beauty and culture of Portugal. And we’d love for you to join us.

Registration for our third international trip opened on Friday, and those who register within the first 30 days will receive $100 off their trip. You can register at or by calling 617-619-1170 and either mentioning my name or our tour number: 70131970.

There is a $450 deposit due at registration to secure your spot, and you’ll find several payment options available  to make it easy and affordable. You can even set up a monthly automatic payment plan to conclude before we depart on our trip. The total cost for the excursion starts at right around $3,500 with airfare, however there are options to extend your trip for an additional cost or purchase the travel package without airfare.

The 10 day trip includes hand picked hotels, guided tours from local experts and plenty of time to explore on your own in each of the four cities we will be traveling to. We’ll arrive in Porto and after getting settled into your hotel, you can take some time to venture out on your own before that night’s welcome dinner.

The next day we’ll venture on a sightseeing tour of Porto with a local guide – including the medieval Old World Ribeira District and the picturesque Douro Riverfront. We’ll get to see first hand the city’s many iconic architectural structures including the Baroque-style Clerigos Tower.

After you’ve experienced the local guided trip, our next day in Porto is yours to do with as you wish; go explore new areas or go back and spend more time in a spot that piqued your interest the day before. Try a new restaurant or enjoy a glass of wine (or port) on the Riverfront.

On our fifth day in Portugal, we’ll head south to explore Coimbra on a guided walking tour of the city’s chapel and the country’s very first university. Then you’ll have an evening to yourself to explore Evora. The next day will include a sightseeing tour of Evora, one of Europe’s oldest inhabited cities. We’ll pass by the remains of a Roman temple, take a tour of a cork factory and take a stroll through the Chapel of Bones.

As the tour progresses, we will stop by the seafaring towns of Lagos and Sagres and enjoy the white-sanded beaches and stunning views of the sea from the Sagrass Fortress. We will also tour Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, with several stops along the way including museums and monasteries that honor and depict the city’s maritime heritage. There’s actually so much to see and do in Lisbon that we’ve built in an entire day to go exploring by yourself before we head home.

If you hadn’t noticed, this trip is built with a lot of time to explore by yourself, creating a balance of guided tours and exploration days so you can spend time on your own without feeling like you’re missing out on another aspect of the trip. As always, there are options to add additional excursions for an extra cost – like dinner and a show in Lisbon, or or a float along the third longest river on the Iberian Peninsula that passes underneath some of the most iconic Old-World bridges in existence.

We’ll also be hosting an informational gathering to provide travel details and answer questions later this month. Stay tuned and we’ll announce the time and location of that meeting when it’s locked down.

If you have questions, we’d love to talk to you more about this trip and send you some additional information. Call the Chamber office at 503-842-7525.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: ‘Fairly’ Smooth Sailing Downtown

Project focus continues to be in the downtown corridor, on Main between First and Third. The bioswales on Main just north of Second Street and on Third just east of Main are both in the excavation stage and have water line and drainage work that is underway prior to finalizing the depth and grading that will form the base of the concrete work.
While those plumbing processes take place, excavation efforts will move on Monday to the northern half of the block between Third and Fourth, stretching from the corner where the bioswale is under construction to the center of the Coliseum Theater, so movie-goers will have continuous access to the theater through the southern door (normally the exit door) while the north half of the block is rebuilt.
As you head to the Fairgrounds this week, you may also notice the liners being installed in the completed bioswales around the project, as well as the installation of the decorative black railing. Coordination for the change to the permanent signal at the intersection of First and Main is underway, and the target date for that switch is Monday night, which will mean flagging through the intersection after 7pm.
Emails may become more sporadic at this point, as the project narrows to the final stages and the weekly construction meetings transition to an every-other-week schedule. If you have any questions in between emails, feel free to reach out any time. It is, of course, Tillamook County Fair week, which assures heavy traffic and many folks who are likely trying out the new traffic patterns for the first time. I will again encourage you to find room in your car for extra patience.

Introducing the Chamber Teams

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s fair week! I know that means I will be seeing a lot of you over the next few days as we all indulge in a little too much ice cream and carnival food, and marvel over the wonderful work our 4H community has been up to this year, and enjoy some exhilarating horse racing and fun concerts.

The fair is a Tillamook tradition, and one we all look forward to each year. When you’re a kid, the fair marks the last summer hoorah before it’s time to go back to school. It’s one of the last weeks you get to stay out late with your friends and not have to worry about what the morning brings.

We’ve been having a great summer at the Chamber. We’ve seen a massive amount of progress on the highway project, and got to experience along with the rest of you what it’s like to lose your sidewalks and then get brand new ones. We played host to some of our favorite summertime events this year, including the June Dairy Parade and the Cork & Brew Tour, and watched as downtown partnerships formed to create other monthly events that have kept the foot traffic flowing through the construction. We also took over the management of the Tillamook Farmers Market and have worked hard to grow that weekly event with new vendors, lively music and fun activities for the kids. To say we’ve been busy this summer would be an understatement.

And yet amongst all the summer fun, we’ve still been attending to “business as usual” and as fall approaches we are excited to settle in and get back to work with everyone else.  At the beginning of each year our Board and Staff meet for a planning retreat that outlines what the Chamber will focus on the following year. However this year was different; we’ve grown and created so many new partnerships over the past couple years that it was time to hit the reset button on how the Chamber is organized and functions as a group. Why does this matter to the businesses and the community? Because, being more efficient with our time, talents and resources will have a much greater ability to build a strong community where businesses can thrive (that’s our mission.)

Our new structure went into effect at the beginning of July and lends itself to five teams: Leadership, Connections, Growth, Community Engagement, and Advocacy. Each team addresses a different aspect of work that the Chamber does – from growing our membership base to advocating for a healthy economy though aligning local business and government.  

As these teams start ramping up their project lists, we will be sharing their progress and the new, exciting things coming out of the Chamber. Things like workforce housing initiatives, public policy development, website redesigns, a new focus on directing tourists through Tillamook, grant assistance, educational materials for business owners, retail-focused workshops and in some cases simply recognizing individuals and businesses who make our area a better place to live, work, and play.

Stay tuned because just because summer is drawing to a close doesn’t mean we will be sitting on our laurels and hibernating for the winter. There is a lot to do and we are excited to get started!

A ‘Fairly’ Fun August

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Happy August everyone! Can you believe that next week the Tillamook County Fair will be upon us? And then shortly after that kids will be going back to school and we’ll start settling into a new fall routine at both work and home.

We’ve been enjoying summer quite a bit around here – and hope you are too. Between the major headway happening along the highway, the Tillamook Farmers Market, new food carts and businesses opening downtown, and of course fun, family-friendly events happening every few weeks –  it’s been a full and busy summer.

We will of course be at the fair all week so be sure to come by and see us while you’re there. We will be debuting some brand new apparel for adults and youth, and I am confident they’ll be popular and go quickly – so don’t hesitate; come see us and pick out a new sweat shirt, t-shirt or long-sleeved shirt. We’ve really enjoyed this tradition of restocking our apparel in time for the fair and revealing our new designs to both visitors and residents – and seeing you guys rock them all year long is pretty cool too.

August is also the time we usually talk about the Tillamook Bay Run and start recruiting for participants and runners for that event. This year, the Tillamook Family YMCA has taken over management of the Bay Run and we’re excited to see them run with it.

Kaylan Sisco, the YMCA Executive Director, is on our Board and both Kaylan and the rest of the Board felt like it was a good fit to move the annual run to the YMCA, which is dedicated to helping community members stay healthy and active. The Chamber was honored to get that event started, which brings people from all over the Northwest region to our area and highlights the beauty of the Tillamook Coast, but we feel like it’s an appropriate time to hand over the reigns to an organization where fitness a nd wellness are at the core of the mission.

If you’d like more information about the Bay Run or to register (or volunteer), reach out to the YMCA or find the event on Facebook. It’s a fun and challenging 5k or 10k trail run/walk along both the beach and the narrow trails of Bayocean before ending along the Tillamook Bay-side of the spit.

There’s always a lot going on in August, including Moonlight Madness which will take over downtown Tillamook on Friday from 4 – 9 p.m. This event is sponsored and organized by the Tillamook Revitalization Association and several downtown merchants will have great sales and specials during those hours – as well as live music, swing dancing, a 1950s sock hop and a mini drive in movie. The Chamber Visitor Center will be open late, and it might be your last chance to snag one of “last year’s” hoodies or t-shirts.

Bring the whole family and spend yet another evening in downtown Tillamook with neighbors, friends, and family as we enjoy one more day of summer fun and celebration.


Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Sidewalks for days

On Tuesday, the curb and gutter from Second to Third Streets was poured, and the sidewalk in front of the Dutch Mill and Anderson’s Florist is scheduled to be poured Friday. If everything goes to plan it will open to foot traffic on Monday, however in the meantime you can access the Dutch Mill and Kitty’s Bar & Grill through their rear entrance, and Anderson’s has an entrance on Second Street.

As soon as the Anderson Florists corner is poured and opened, crews will get to work demoing the corner in front of Fat Dog Pizza.  After demo comes the work to form and pour that corner as quickly as possible – hopefully by the week of August 6th. However, they also have to build a water quality pond on that corner as well, so sidewalk pouring could get pushed back another week. There will be temporary planking along this block to allow access to Fat Dog Pizza and Vapor Voodoo.

By Wednesday, the Hoquarton Park will be completely paved as well as the pathway from the park to the HWY 6 pedestrian bridge. The  pedestrian bridge still needs to be paved to connect to Goodspeed Park. The Hoquarton Park will remain closed for now so the trail is not yet to the public, but it’s fun to think of how close we are!

There will be flagging at First and Main starting on Monday, June 30th at 7 p.m. to switch from the temporary signals to the permanent signals.

The Chamber is Going to Portugal!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Drum roll please… It’s official: The Chamber is headed to Portugal on March 15, 2019. And we’d love for you to come with us!

The 10 day trip includes hand picked hotels, guided tours from local experts and plenty of time to explore on your own in each of the four cities we will be traveling to. We’ll arrive in Porto and after getting settled into your hotel, you can take some time to venture out on your own before that night’s welcome dinner.

Then the next day we’ll venture on a sightseeing tour of Porto with a local guide – including the medieval Old World Ribeira District and the picturesque Douro Riverfront. We’ll get to see first hand the city’s many iconic architectural structures including the Baroque-style Clerigos Tower.

After you’ve experienced the local guided trip, our next day in Porto is yours to do with as you wish; go explore new areas or go back and spend more time in a spot that piqued your interest the day before. Try a new restaurant or enjoy a glass of wine (or port) on the Riverfront.

On our fifth day in Portugal, we’ll head south to explore Coimbra on a guided walking tour of the city’s chapel and the country’s very first university. Then you’ll have an evening to yourself to explore Evora. The next day will include a sightseeing tour of Evora, one of Europe’s oldest inhabited cities. We’ll pass by the remains of a Roman temple, take a tour of a cork factory and take a stroll through the Chapel of Bones.

As the tour progresses, we will stop by the seafaring towns of Lagos and Sagres and enjoy the white-sanded beaches and stunning views of the sea from the Sagrass Fortress. We will also tour Lisbon, Portugal’s capital city, with several stops along the way including museums and monasteries that honor and depict the city’s maritime heritage. There’s actually so much to see and do in Lisbon that we’ve built in an entire day to go exploring by yourself before we head home.

If you hadn’t noticed, this trip is built with a lot of time to explore by yourself, creating a balance of guided tours and exploration days so you can spend time on your own without feeling like you’re missing out on another aspect of the trip. As always, there are options to add additional excursions for an extra cost – like dinner and a show in Lisbon, or or a float along the third longest river on the Iberian Peninsula that passes underneath some of the most iconic Old-World bridges in existence.

On August 10th registration will officially open for the Portugal trip. If you register within the first 30 days, you’ll get a $100 early registration discount. There is a $450 deposit to hold your spot on the trip, and you can even set up a payment plan with the travel company to break up the total cost of the trip between August 10th and the departure date.

We’ll also be hosting an informational gathering to provide travel details and answer questions around mid-August. Stay tuned and we’ll announce the time and location of that meeting when it’s locked down.

We’re limiting the size of this trip to less-than 40 people so we are really encouraging folks to register early so they don’t miss out on this opportunity. If you have questions, we’d love to talk to you more about this trip and send you some additional information. Call the Chamber office at 503-842-7525.

Spend an Afternoon at the Tillamook Farmers Market

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Saturdays are bustling in downtown Tillamook, and if you’re in the mood for something fun (and family-friendly) to do, try checking out the Tillamook Farmers Market from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. With live music, fun games, delicious food and nearly 50 unique vendors, it’s a good way to spend an afternoon. You never know what you might find from week-to-week, or what fun activity is taking place.

This Saturday, Art Accelerated is hosting a sketch crawl with Dennis Worrel. What’s a sketch crawl? It’s when artists gather in a single place with their art supplies and sketch what’s happening around them. Art Accelerated will also host the Community Table to meet people and talk more about their program. Every week we feature a different non-profit or organization that does good work in the community at our Community Table. It’s free for them to use the space, and provides a chance to raise awareness about their work and reach new people. If you’re interested in hosting the Community Table before the season is over, email or visit to see what dates are available.

The July 21st market wraps up the Food Hero program, hosted by OSU Extension and sponsored in part by TLC Fibre Credit Union. Each week they’ve been engaging youth in fun activities and games that promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices, and in turn those who participate get a free $2 voucher to spend at the market. On average, we’ve seen 50 or more kids each Saturday – both new and returning – to take part in this program and get their $2 Kids Bucks.

While the six-week Food Hero program is coming to a close, we will still be offering fun activities for kids and incentives to keep them eating healthy while at the Market. Just go see River and Sayde at the Market HQ Trailer to learn more.

And while you’re over on that end of the market, check out the Corn Hole board and giant Connect Four game we have set up each week. We’ll be adding more fun games as the season progresses – sos tay tuned.

This week we’re also starting to sell Tillamook Farmers Market travel coffee mugs. They come in two different colors and we’ll even fill it up with a piping hot cup of coffee courtesy of Five Rivers Coffee Roasters. Bring it back in the following weeks and enjoy a free refill at the HQ Trailer.

We are also excited to bring back the Chef’s Table, starting July 28th. This interactive booth will feature local chefs and live demonstrations as they utilize market products to create culinary masterpieces. There will be free samples, opportunities to participate for both kids and adults, and you’ll discover great new ways to take the products you buy at Market and turn them into delicious meals or snacks for the whole family. Be sure to watch our website and the Tillamook Farmers Market Facebook page for further announcements about dates, times and which of our area chef’s will be participating.

The Chef’s Table is graciously sponsored by Crave the Coast, happening on Sept. 29 in Garibaldi. Crave the Coast is a coast-to-tale food festival that celebrates the region’s natural and plentiful bounty and the talented individuals who utilize local ingredients to create amazing cuisine and unique products.

There’s always something new to check out at the Tillamook Farmers Market. (I haven’t even mentioned the wide array of live music we’ve enjoyed so far – with more talented musical acts headed our way as the season progresses.) Be sure to follow us on Facebook, and better yet, head downtown on Saturdays form 9 – 2 and support local farmers and small business owners.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Striping Set for Nights Starting Monday

Sticky Stomps got us through the busy Fourth of July week, and it is time for the permanent striping to go down in the newly paved portion of the project! There will be a more thorough update after the 10th, but I wanted to be sure to get it on your radar that striping crews will be active starting at 7PM on Monday, July 9th. There should be minimal lane closures for this and no detours necessary, but striping can slow traffic and be a bit of a surprise, so be alert. The work will all be done in the evening, and is expected to go fairly quickly. The new traffic pattern will be in place (including the “sharrows”), and perhaps will be most noticeable on southbound Main at the First St. intersection. The goal is for the new traffic signals to go live in tandem with the striping, although there is a plan for temporary signage if necessary.
Although not part of the Highway Project, I also wanted to call your attention to the construction work taking place on Fifth St between Main and Stillwell and on First and Ivy to Front St. Both projects are City of Tillamook projects. The Fifth St work is part of an infrastructure investment that replaces and protects the sewer laterals on that stretch of Fifth St, many of which were heavily damaged and failing. The nature of the work requires complete closure of the street at times, with some local access. Please be sure to call Rawe Autobody (503.842.4773) to schedule with them and get updates on access to their shop while this project wraps up.
On Ivy between Front and First, and then on First between Ivy and Stillwell, is another City of Tillamook project that was funded through the Tillamook Urban Renewal Agency. This project implements portions of the Hoquarton Waterfront Plan, upgrading the sidewalk in the area to match the blocks on either side and add street lighting. It also includes all new stretches of sidewalk down Ivy, creating safe pedestrian continuity from the businesses and parking along First down to the almost-open Sue H. Elmore park. Detours are common in this area with the regular closure of Ivy between First and Front, so be cautious and patient and prepared to use Stillwell as an alternate.
Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday week last week! Look forward to another project update with more details about sidewalk scheduling and progress in the near future.

The ‘Main’ Reason I love Downtown Tillamook

by Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

Happy Fourth of July! Hopefully your celebrations include enough hot dogs, watermelon, BBQ sauce, and happy, tired, sticky kids that there is not too much time for reflecting during the course of the day. However, if you do find yourself thinking about the whys and hows of July 4th, perhaps your thoughts will turn to your own sense of patriotism and sense of place in this country.

I love Tillamook. Sometimes I am frustrated, sometimes I am disappointed, sometimes I worry, but on any given day I am flooded with reasons that this community and this place are special and wonderful and worth investing in. It is my great pleasure to lead the Main Street Program as one of my duties at the Tillamook Chamber. “Main Street” is a program that is present across the US, and, while organized differently within each state and affiliate community, the principals and structure remain consistent: that “downtowns” are the essence of Americana, providing a physical hub for communities that remains essential and fundamental to our culture and community identities. The Main Street Program emphasizes revitalization strategies that combine activities and events with (re)development strategies that honor the authentic or historic components of a place.

Despite what feels like the longest construction project in any downtown’s history, we have seen incredible progress in the revitalization of our downtown in the past couple of years. A combination of large and small investments have created new cornerstones in downtown, all significant and cumulatively a signal that downtown is not a dying notion. Lines are returning to the Pelican Brewing Tap Room, as locals and visitors alike flock to the outdoor seating and comfortable pub atmosphere. Meanwhile, in the heart of downtown, Pacific Restaurant serves us world class food and drink from a textbook revitalization project: a modern, open concept, trendy, locally sourced restaurant in a space where the historic bones of the building are woven in to the current design. Around the corner, a non-profit art association with ZERO paid staff has recently repainted and updated the façade of their gallery, where local artists, writers, and musicians collaborate to present a series of workshops, classes, open mic nights and art walks, so that regardless of whether you’re looking to find your own muse or just revel in the efforts of others, there is an activity for you.

If you missed the last few weekends full of Cork & Brew, the opening of the Famers Market, and June Dairy Parade, have no fear- there is still so much to do downtown this summer and throughout the year. July 13th is another SIP + SHOP: an unticketed opportunity to explore many of the downtown retail businesses after hours and taste some of their favorite evening beverages. On July 28th, the monthly Art Walk takes place, with ten local artists showing their work in a variety of locations throughout downtown. Farmers Market season is just hitting its stride and is open each Saturday from 9-2. Moonlight Madness returns this year, on August 3rd, and downtown will be “Rockin to the 50’s” with live music, activities, and late night specials geared to make the all-ages event a blast.

For more information about any of these events, or to learn more about the Tillamook Chamber or the Main Street Program, feel free to call Chamber Headquarters at (503) 842-7525, or email me at We are in the office Monday through Friday from 9-5, and we also have our Visitor’s Center open on Saturdays for the season from 11-3. Saturday shifts are brought to you by volunteers, and if you are interested in volunteering, we are interested in having you!

The Six Month Stretch

Sierra Lauder

by Sierra Lauder
Executive Director

Less than six months from now, the Highway Project will be all wrapped up! Last week, the night paving efforts gave us a huge boost toward that finish line, with passes of base layers and a final top layer that brings us to grade throughout the northern portion of the project. It takes a few weeks for that new asphalt to be ready for permanent striping, so we will be navigating in to mid-July with the “sticky stomps” guiding us through the area.

The bulk of the remaining work is along downtown Main Avenue, between First and Fourth. Work will continue through summer to get new sidewalks constructed and make way for the wider lanes and safer street parking, as well as the bioswales that serve a dual purpose for storm water capture and filtration while creating the required parking buffer at intersections. The planting of the bioswales and street trees will take place this fall. Work in the downtown area will, at times through the summer, require a lane closure that will take southbound Main down to one lane. This will certainly have traffic impacts during our busiest season, but arrangements have been made to concentrate work Monday through Thursday during the early part of the day with a priority to get all lanes open by 3pm, recognizing that congestion peaks during the late afternoons and on weekends.

If you do not get the weekly Highway 101/6 Project Update Newsletter, it is not too late! You can call the Chamber Headquarters at (503) 842-7525 or email me at, and we’ll sign you up. We do our best to use that (mostly) weekly email to send out updates on the timeline and focus of work and try and keep folks up to date on what to expect as the project progresses.

I’ve recently received several inquiries about the old Shell Station property that sits on First between Pacific and Main. ODOT acquired the property after the project had officially started and it became clear that the new highway pattern made negotiation of tanker trucks for fuel delivery on the property unreasonable. As a part of the project, ODOT has removed the underground tanks, and is currently working with DEQ on some monitoring prior to receiving a “No Further Action” statement on the property. ODOT has a protocol for how these properties are transitioned post-project. Within the agency, the property is assessed and offered to state agencies and then to local municipalities prior to being released for private purchase. This is not a fast process. The ODOT assessment does not begin until the project is completed (this fall), and then it will likely take some time to go through the steps of offering it to other potential owners.

Throughout this time there is unlikely to be any alterations to the property as we see it, meaning that even though ODOT has removed the tanks, they will not be removing the building, canopy, or signage. The City of Tillamook is following the process closely, and the Beautification Committee specifically has made a commitment to keep discussion and updates regarding this property as a standing agenda item. Beautification meets the second Monday of the month at 4:45 at City Hall and is open to the public.

It’s also worth pointing out here that north of the Shell property in the “gore point” (triangle shaped area between the lanes of traffic) a new parcel of property has been created that will be owned and managed by the City of Tillamook. That area has been plumbed to accommodate a fountain, although funding has not been secured yet to build or install a fountain. In artist renditions of the project, that triangular area is often depicted with trees and greenery, and the fountain option and planting are all City goals that can and will likely move forward regardless of the timeline or future of the old Shell property.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Zipper Practice is Over & Focus Falls to the Side of the Road

We did it! We made it through the paving week and the roads from First Street north are all smooth and lovely to drive on. Bear with those sticky stomps as we wait out the asphalt curing period- striping is set to begin July 9th. In the meantime, I hope you are enjoying the wide lane capacity, the easy access in and out of Rosenberg’s (also- have you seen their new covered outdoor lumber area???), and the efficient traffic flow in and out of downtown.
As far as focus falling to the side of the road- busy bucket tractors are a common sight both north of the bridge and in the downtown area as grading and sidewalk prep continue along the western edge of the road. The vault in front of the Dutch Mill was filled last week, but survey results showed that the concrete failed to meet strength tests, and it is being redone this week to assure that it meets all standards. While this work is underway, access to the Chamber office is again through the rear entrance, and a quick reminder that both Dutch Mill and Kitty’s also offer access from the rear parking lot, which is especially convenient given the ample parking lots off of Ivy.
Amidst the vault work and grading, curb and gutter and sidewalk forming and pouring are also progressing throughout the project area- on the blocks between First and Third, on the corner of First and Laurel, and (early next week) in the gore point area.
Next week, of course, we celebrate Fourth of July right in the middle of the week. In deference to the anticipated influx of visitors, contractors will be offsite for the latter half of the week.
Hope you all are settling in to your summer routine. The June Dairy Parade was a rousing success last weekend, and we appreciate everyone’s patience and participation for one of the oldest and largest parades in the state. Enjoy the celebrations that this week will bring, and please be safe

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Night Paving Progressing Smoothly, Downtown Work Continues

Great news! Paving has been going as smoothly and quickly as one could hope! The schedule with the detours and traffic control measures that Chief Wright relayed last week have gone according to plan, and all signs point to the last two nights following the same track. A reminder of what lies in store this evening andtomorrow:
Wednesday Night, June 20th, the plan is to top lift and be done with Front Street and everything north of Pacific on North Main, both northbound and southbound. There will be detour if needed otherwise just flagging and one lane traffic.
We will also be out setting up all the signs and detour resources for the June Dairy Parade (which takes place on Saturday the 23rd), so please be extra careful driving through downtown this day.
Thursday Night, June 21st, First Street from Madrona to Main will be closed again for final paving and any other work in the area. The same detour as Monday will occur. (Depending on where the paving equipment is, you may be detoured onto Front Street and then west or south. In addition, First Street will be closed starting at7 PM, from Madrona Avenue to Pacific. Madrona will be one way from First Street to Third Street. Detour for First Street will be Madrona to Fourth then Fourth to Pacific or Main.)
Today, if you find yourself driving through the area (I would recommend before6pm when the paving set up starts), you can already see how much wider the road area is and appreciate the return of a turn lane in to Rosenberg’s.
If you happened to be sitting in the southbound line of traffic last night at about6:45 and witnessed the gentleman who spent ten minutes or so laying steadily on his horn and shouting obscenities at folks who were zipper merging- I feel your pain. Despite that particular gentleman’s passion for his perspective, zipper merging is STILL the right thing to do- take advantage of all of the lane capacity available, and minimize the backup in this (and) all construction areas.
You can start to see the temporary “sticky stomp” reflective squares that are being laid out and used to delineate the lanes while the asphalt cures before final paving can go down in a couple of weeks. The temporary layout of the lanes with the sticky stomps will allow for more lanes and less bottle necking, which is wonderful, but will also require us to be paying lots of attention as we adjust to the wider traffic pattern.
Downtown, on Main between First and Third, construction activity is bustling. The work window has been condensed in to early in the day (as early as 5:30 some mornings) to 3PMMonday through Thursday, to minimize lane closures and traffic interruptions during peak times during our peak traffic season. This week there are crews grading, forming, and pouring sidewalks between First and Second on Main, fiber-optic trenching between Second and Third, and prep for curb and gutter on that same block. The sidewalk on the corner of Third and Main in front of the Tora Sushi Lounge is ready for their Thursday Grand Opening, and the electrical contractor is optimistic that the pedestrian crossing pole will be live in time for that evening, so if you find yourself parking on Pacific or visiting other downtown businesses it will be an easy crossing from Sunflower Flats to the sushi destination.
Let me take a moment here to encourage you to reach out if you have any questions about the project that I may have not covered in awhile or missed along the way. Over the last week, I’ve had a few people ask about the old Shell Station property, which we haven’t talked about in a few months. Each week the Chamber has a “Chamber Chatter” feature that we send out to local media and include in our newsletter, and I’ll be telling a longer version of this story in that article. The “Cliff Notes” version is: the tanks have been removed and there is some monitoring that has to go on before the final DEQ clearance. ODOT will hold the property through the end of the project, and then there is a protocol for the disposition process that looks for agencies and municipalities that might like to purchase it, or it could also go up for sale to the public, so a private buyer could purchase it. The temporary construction trailer that is placed there will be removed (likely in the fairly near future), but the Shell structure will remain in place until the parcel changes hands and the new owner takes steps to determine if they will repurpose it or remove it. The timeline for transitioning the property is unknown; ODOT will not begin the disposition process until the “no further action” clearance is received from DEQ and the project itself is completed, and then, as with any property sale, it is an unknown how long it will take for a buyer to come forward and take over. The City of Tillamook is following the process, and there is dialog about what it might look like if the parcel came in to City possession, but there are no specific plans at this time.

‘Party in the Pasture’ on June 23rd

June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s another jam-packed weekend in downtown Tillamook as the 61st annual June Dairy Parade rolls into town. This event needs no introduction, as our community has always been fantastic about getting out early and setting up to watch one of the longest parades in the state. There’s live music, performances by local dancers, creative floats… You never know what you might see.

This year’s theme is ‘Party in the Pasture’ and there will be awards for First, Second and Third prizes in each of the different float categories:

To clear up any confusion about the parade route, it will be exactly the same as last year. I’m sure you recall that we reversed the route last year and started at 11th and Main and ended at Goodspeed Park. That was a trial run to see if the change in direction would help open Highway 101 quicker and get traffic moving. Traffic congestion has been a major issue in years past and what we learned was that we were able to get the highway reopened almost an hour sooner than what we considered “normal.”

We did originally think this year we would have to route the parade up Fourth Street to avoid the open construction zone and the risk of parade watchers in these areas. However, the construction zone is fluid, as we know, and it turns out we will be able to turn on Third Street from Main like last year!

The festivities of the day don’t end with the parade; the Tillamook Farmers Market will be open from 9 – 2 that day on the corner of Laurel and Second Street. If you came out for our opening day last weekend you saw what a renowned success it was! The live music was phenomenal, the vendors all had beautiful displays, and there was a wonderful mix of product. The prepared food and baked goods were out of this world! It’s definitely worth stopping by again this weekend, or come by for the first time if you haven’t been yet, to see what all the fun is about. I hung out for the entire day because there was so much going on and so many people to see that I didn’t want to miss anything. Our farmers and artisan vendors really knocked it out of the park and came prepared for a fantastic opening day.

This Saturday the Market will have a live steel drum band playing at 10 a.m. on the Courthouse lawn, and then Driftwood Combo will be entertaining guests with their jazzy tunes starting at 11.

And, of course, after the parade the Tillamook Revitalization Association is hosting live music that will be fun for the whole family on Second Street in front of Lucky Bear Soap Co. and will have some fun games for kids. Over at Werners Beef n Brew they will be hosting a flag ceremony right after the parade and will be open for lunch.

But wait, there’s more! That evening starting at 4 p.m. the Tillamook County Rodeo is having their first Hooves n Hops events at the Fairgrounds. Several breweries will be offering tastings in the Sue Durrer Dairy Barn during the rodeo, and a ticket to Hooves n Hops will get you in for the tasting and the rodeo – so the fun doesn’t have to stop! Hope to see you at one or all of these fun events on Saturday!

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Chief Wright Breaks Down the Night Paving Schedule

This week I am turning the newsletter over to Chief Terry Wright. He worked closely with the contractor to line out the paving schedule with the intent to minimize impact and maximize safety. I have cut and pasted the text from his memo, and want to be sure to credit that the humor contained in the memo is entirely his.
The next two weeks are going to see a lot of night work in the ODOT construction zone. The initial schedule is as follows:
This Thursday night, June 14th, from 7 PM until done, the area from the new bridge moving north will get the first layer of asphalt on the west southbound side. There should be limited or no flagging or traffic issues during this period. There will be slight change to the southbound lane starting at 6 PM so please be aware when driving through this area. There will be a lot of truck traffic with the asphalt being delivered.
Next week there will be night work in the project area Monday through Thursday, setting up at 6 PM and starting by 7 PM each of these nights. There will be detours, lane closures and traffic delays. There will be flagging each night and law enforcement presence to protect everyone in the construction areas.
Monday night, June 18th, there is going to be paving on North Main between the new bridge and First Street. There will be detours set up. Depending on where the paving equipment is, you may be detoured onto Front Street and then west or south. In addition, 1st Street will be closed starting at 7 PM, from Madrona Avenue to Pacific. Madrona will be one way from 1st Street to 3rd Street. Detour for 1stStreet will be Madrona to 4th then 4th to Pacific or Main.
Tuesday Night, June 19th, there will be grinding and paving on the north side of the bridge on North Main. This will be the final asphalt layer, meaning that north of the bridge will then be DONE other than sidewalk work. (No, really- DONE.) There will also be paving on 1st Street. There may be flagging and detours again depending on what section.
Wednesday Night, June 20th, the plan is to top lift and be done with Front Street and everything north of Pacific on North Main, both northbound and southbound. There will be detour if needed otherwise just flagging and one lane traffic.
We will also be out setting up all the signs and detour resources for the June Dairy Parade (which takes place on Saturday the 23rd), so please be extra careful driving through downtown this day.
Thursday Night, June 21st, 1st Street from Madrona to Main will be closed again for final paving and any other work in the area. The same detour as Monday will occur.
So, please be aware that next week driving through downtown Monday throughThursday starting at 6 PM is going to be delayed with detours. Please plan ahead, and, if possible, avoid this area. If you cannot, please start your travel early so you will not be stressed as much through the delay areas.
OK, here is a test. Have you ever heard of sticky stomps? No, it is not a musical group or a type of candy (as I guessed). They are the temporary little lane markers, usually yellow, about 4 inches by 4 inches, that they stomp onto new asphalt to mark out lanes. Because they cannot paint on new asphalt for 2-3 weeks, they stomp these things down. They will then come back in 2 weeks and put down new paint to mark lanes etc. This will be great when they are done. In the meantime, we will have sticky stomps, so you will need to be aware and please focus for the next 3 weeks until the new paint is put down.
Thank you for all your patience. I know it does not seem like it sometimes, but the project is almost done. This is a huge part of getting to the end. The last major section is Main Street from 1st to 4th Streets. Once the paving is done next week, almost all resources will be concentrating on Main Street.
Terry Wright,
Chief of Police
City of Tillamook
-Obviously, that is a ton of information to try and digest, so if you have any questions or need clarification, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reply to this email, and I will do my best to track down answers and clarify whenever possible for you. If you’re anything like me, you may have reread the line that states “No really- DONE” several times. This is true. This paving week means that the street widening work north of First is complete, and we are starting to see more and more areas of the project approach completion. Take heart, TIllamook, and be safe out there-
Sierra Lauder

Chamber Events this Weekend Taking over Downtown

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director


It’s a busy weekend coming up for the Chamber, and we couldn’t be more excited for both the Cork & Brew Tour on June 15th and the opening day of the Tillamook Farmers Market the next morning. I hope you’re planning to come out to one – or both – of these Chamber events.

There are still a handful of tickets for the Cork & Brew Tour if you haven’t gotten yours yet. Those are $45 and you must be 21 and over to participate in this event and present a valid ID at check in. We’ll have live music by Zuhg performing at The Pelican Bottling Warehouse on the corner of Front Street and Grove Avenue, brewery games and delicious food and beer on tap to get the night rolling. You’ll get your passport and instructions for heading out on the town to enjoy even more tastings from a variety of breweries and wineries paired with mouth watering foods prepared by local restaurants. Some favorites are coming back this year, and we’ve added some new brews to the lineup including Seaside Brewing Co., Public Coast in Cannon Beach and Wild Ride from Redmond. It’s always a fun way to discover a new favorite drink, or even visit a downtown business that you might not normally patronize.

Art Accelerated will be collecting completed passports and serving water and coffee at their newly-painted gallery on Third Street until 9:30 p.m. Each completed passport will be entered to win a grand prize.

And while there isn’t a Chamber-sponsored after party, Pacific Restaurant will have live music at their establishment i and Rogue Ales is doing a tap take over – just in case you don’t feel like calling it a night yet.

Then, at 9 a.m. Saturday morning the Tillamook Farmers Market opens for the season. While the Market has been a staple in downtown Tillamook for almost 20 years, this is our first year managing the operations of the Market and we think vendors and guests will be excited with our new energy. We hired River Veek as the Market Assistant, and he and Sayde will be rocking the headquarters that morning and greeting guests.

Many of our seasoned vendors are returning again this year, as well as some brand new vendors to offer a blend of fresh produce, unique jewelry, locally-produced honey, hand-made donuts, pottery, roasted nuts and so much more. We’ll have live music and a kids program offered through OSU Extension with fun activities for kids to participate in and get $2 vouchers to spend on fruits and vegetables.

There is something for everyone at the Tillamook Farmers Market, and it’s a great way to support local farmers and artisans.

We’re Getting a Facelift!

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director  

I haven’t taken a moment to talk about how much we love our new Headquarters in awhile – Probably because we’ve been here a year now and “new” might not be the right word anymore. I will say that our building has served us and the community well, and individuals and groups of people are continually taking advantage of the casual meeting spaces, hot coffee and plethora of information available to them. We are also serving visitors to our area who are greeted by a warm and welcoming space where they can learn more about the area and discover new things to do, places to eat, and adventures to try. Being downtown has helped draw people into the Visitor Center who might not otherwise have stopped by.

But… If there’s one thing I don’t love about our new building it would be the front façade. Fortunately, we’re getting a facelift! We were just awarded a TLT Facilities Grant from Tillamook County to redo the front façade and bring back some of the historical context of the building. Once the new sidewalks in front of our block are completed (and of course weather permitting), we will remove the awning that has some structural issues and Dave Clooten Masonry will be doing a brick overlay to replace the worn, outdated tile and stucco currently on the front. The vision is that removing the awning will help brighten up the space and better showcase the Visitors Center from the highway, and the brick will bring back that historical downtown look, while helping to match the outside with the industrial farmhouse look we’ve created on the inside.

Now here’s where things really get interesting: our neighbors to the north, the Dutch Mill, also received a grant to redo their front façade. And, we are working with Kitty’s Food and Spirits to get them a similar grant and what that might look like. Then to the south of us, Torra Sushi Lounge is opening soon and have plans in the future update the outside of their building. Ours will be the first revamp that visitors and residents will see, spurring this callous of change across the entire block. I believe these new sidewalks and updated buildings are going to completely change people’s experiences as they drive – or walk – through town.

We are very thankful to the Tourism Advisory Committee that reviewed and selected our application for recommendation to the Board of Commissioners, and of course to the Commissioners for approving the Chamber for this grant. It will go a long way in helping us welcome visitors and provide quality information to everyone who walks through our front door.

The front faced is not the last piece we need to do on the Chamber space, but we’re getting close. Eventually we will redo the rear entrance façade, and we are also planning to add more office space and a private conference room to the upstairs.

Stop in and see us!


Cork & Brew Tour: get your tickets before they sell out

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

If you’re reading this and you’ve been thinking about attending the 5th annual Cork & Brew Tour happening on June 15 — this is your friendly reminder to get your tickets sooner rather than later. We’ve already sold close to half of the available tickets and more keep walking out the door every day.

Each year this fun downtown event draws in new people and those who have been “touring” with us for the last five years. And while the structure remains the same, there is always something new and different to experience that makes it worth coming back for again and again.

It’s hard to believe it’s been five years since we put together a downtown “pub crawl” as a way to engage the business community and give community members and tourists something fun to do on a near-summer weekend that was traditionally kind of quiet and underutilized.

We sold 100 tickets our first year, not really sure what the response would be or how well the night would play out. Right away people were telling us, “We want to come back and do this again next year.”

Similar to last year, the tour will begin at 4:30 p.m. at a Launch Party at Pelican Brewing’s Bottling Warehouse on the corner of Front Street and Grove Avenue. The party will feature live music, brewery games, appetizers and beer on tap. Then, “tourists” will leave on a self-guided tour through downtown businesses to enjoy beer and wine tastings paired with food from some of the area’s most renowned restaurants. Be sure to dress for the weather, as it’s been known to sprinkle on us in the past and there is a fair amount of walking involved from business to business. Of course you don’t have to make it to each stop if you don’t feel like it, and are not obligated to have a tasting each time. However those who get their passport signed at each participating stop and turn it in at the end of the night (thank you Art Accelerated for hosting the passport drop off again this year) will be entered into a raffle.

Tickets are $45 per person and can be purchased online at or at the Pelican Taproom, Sunflower Flats or the Chamber’s headquarters. This event does sell out, and no tickets will be sold at the door.

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that this year’s beer and wine line up includes Pelican Brewing Co., Werner Brewing Co., 2 Towns Cider, Fort George Brewing, Blue Heron French Cheese Co., Nehalem Bay Winery, and Provincial Vineyards. Follow our event on Facebook where we will be releasing more wine, beer and food pairings as we get closer to the event.  

And, following the Cork & Brew Tour is the season opener of the Tillamook Farmers Market on June 16 and the June Dairy Parade and Festival on June 23. It’s a busy month here at the Chamber and we hope you’ll come out to one or all of these events and spend time enjoying downtown with us.


Activities in Downtown continue to flourish and entertain

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

This last Saturday the 80’s were alive in downtown Tillamook. The Rotary Club hosted its Annual Casino Night Fundraiser at the Elks, and the glitter is still swirling. The event was not a Chamber event, but it was one of the many events that we are excited to see blossom and succeed and overflow into the neighboring businesses in our downtown district. While my desk is covered in notes and details about Cork & Brew, June Dairy Parade, ArtWalk, a Downtown District Property Tour that we’re hoping to host this summer, I am thrilled to look up at my calendar and see weekends packed with activities that do not originate here in this office.

This last Saturday, as I headed to the final soccer game of the spring season, we passed the Show and Shine Car Show that Tillawheels hosted on Laurel Ave. Beautiful classic cars lined the road where just a few short weeks from now, Farmers Market vendors will be set up for the sixteen-week season that kicks off on June 16th. Rumors here at the Chamber indicate that there will be fifteen new vendors popping in this season in addition to a large returning group of anchor vendors. If you (like me) are just now starting to accept that summer is more than just a myth, and are thinking you might like to learn more about being a vendor, having your organization represented at the Community Table, or have a musical act that you would like to share one Saturday this market season, don’t be shy! Email for more information about the market.

Saturday afternoon, as I searched for exactly the right leg warmers for the evening, the rest of my household ventured to the South Prairie Carnival, where bouncy houses and a huge range of activities had them nodding off on the couch as I headed out to Yo Time for a little pre-volunteering treat. The third Saturday of every month, Art Accelerated hosts an Open Mic Night at Yo Time, and while I popped in for my favorite fruit yogurt, I listened to poetry from Susan Kuchinskas (a popular sci-fi writer who hosted a workshop earlier in the day), an acoustic set of serious songs by warbling Joe Wrabeck (who announced his upcoming Streaming Test Concert in preparation for the Oregon Coast Songwriters Competition that is coming up soon), and reflections and poetry from a few other local writers/thinkers. I could not stay long, as I had to get to my volunteer shift at the Rotary event, but I find I am always entertained by both the company and the presentations at these monthly events.

Monthly events are a new theme in the Tillamook Downtown District. In the last year or so, we suddenly have several reoccurring monthly opportunities. In addition to the family-friendly Open Mic Night, there is also an ArtWalk on the fourth Saturday of each month from 1-3 that is a fun all ages exploration in downtown, and the monthly Sip + Shop event, where retail businesses offer tastes of their fav beverages (often adult beverages) during later hours, offering a festive way for folks to explore our boutique retail stores after traditional office hours. Sip + Shop is scheduled for the second Friday of the month, except this June, where retailers are substituting the night out with the Chamber’s popular Cork & Brew Tour.

Cork & Brew is in it’s fifth year, and tickets sell out annually- grab yours before they’re gone! On sale in person at Chamber Headquarters, Sunflower Flats, or the Pelican Tap Room, the self-guided tasting tour of downtown features amazing catering by local restaurants paired with wine and beer tastes at a series of stops. Scheduled for the Friday of Father’s Day weekend (June 15th, this year), it is a very fun adult evening on the town- no costumes (80’s theme or otherwise) required!

If you would like to talk more about downtown events, or have questions on how to participate (as a business or individual) please feel free to reach out to me at 503-842-7525 or email

Focus on North Main and a Quick Vocabulary Lesson

You may have noticed flagging near Rosenbergs this week as Just Bucket Excavating zips large trucks, heavy equipment, and lots of rock around the area just north of the bridge. Work is heavily concentrated there as the road grading and drainage work continues in preparation for the opening of the new bridge and the return to multi-lane traffic in both directions (scheduled for June). The flagging should not be causing much of an impediment, as traffic is only paused to allow safe movement in and out of the staging area and work zone.
If anything, you may notice that traffic in general is moving significantly more quickly through the area north of First, as Front Street has been opened to one lane headed westbound. This means that any traffic coming over the bridge with the intent to head west can turn off on Front and avoid the light at First Street. There are still some final touches on Front Street to take place (including a top lift of asphalt and striping), as well as a streetscape project that the City of Tillamook will be starting shortly. The speed limit on Front Street is only 20, so if you are taking that route please resist the temptation to make the most of the wide open road there.
While the road bed itself is the focus of the work, you may also notice some continued concrete detail work on the bridge. There is a pour scheduled for Friday that will cure over the long weekend, and then it’s just clean up work and getting ready for the asphalt when that is available. The contentious orange railing is being manufactured, and will likely be delivered and installed after the bridge is open, in late June.
Here I will share with you my vocabulary lesson for the week: Gore Point. The gore point is the triangular tip that sits between two lanes of traffic. This can occur between two-way traffic, as we see in the area that that is being formed up and poured at the north end of the old Shell Station property, or between two merging lanes of traffic (like when you are entering a highway from an on-ramp). There is some urban legend history around the term “Gore” being the last name of a highway patrolman who was killed in one of these marked triangular divides, but the term “gore” actually has a much longer history as a word used to describe a triangular piece of land. The gore point I wanted to update you on this week is that triangular stretch there that is the new northern tip of the old Shell property, where the curb and gutter work is underway this week. In addition to that street-shaping work, there will also be electrical work taking place, as two lampposts are set to be installed there mid-week.
Downtown continues to see bursts of progress. The demolition of the block between Third and Second now stretches from the corner of Third St. up to the Dutch Mill. The vault in front of the Dutch Mill is open, and the property owner is taking advantage of the access to work on a few plumbing upgrades. Access to the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce is now only viable from the rear parking lot entrance. If you have any questions about parking or access for the Chamber, feel free to call the office at (503) 842-7525.
Next week, it looks like the sidewalk team will return to downtown, and we should start to see the formation of the bioswale on the corner of Main and Third.
A quick reminder that this is a holiday weekend, and the weather appears to be encouraging for folks looking to venture out to the coast. Be prepared to implement your best stress-reducing strategies and use caution.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Barriers Coming Down and 16 New Reasons to say Cheese

This week, progress continues on some of the details that are harder to observe but set the stage for next steps. On the bridge, pours for the railing and pylons have cured, and this week those forms are getting stripped, and the detail work is getting finishing touches prior to painting/sealing. Light poles along the bridge will be installed soon, another sign that we are close to completion there! While the bridge itself won’t open all the way up yet, late this week the big concrete barriers along the bridge will be removed, and that will coincide with a change in access to the Rosenberg’s parking lot. The entire area will feel much more open after that, and it is certainly a sign that we are in the homestretch before final grading and paving that will take place before opening those additional lanes.
The other bridge in the project- the railroad crossing over Highway 6 that is part of the new Crosstown Connections Path that runs between Goodspeed Park and the Hoquarton Interpretive Trail- is also seeing some form work this week. Crews will be removing forms under the bridge using a lift from the highway below. Lane closures in the area will be likely, but flagging or traffic stoppage is not anticipated at this time.
Along Main Avenue downtown, the messy work continues. The three vaults that are north of Vapor Voodoo are complete, and the grading and prep for curb and gutter on the north half of that block is scheduled for the end of this week. While the concrete flatwork contractors have been working hard on curb/gutter/sidewalk on north Main, they will be moving back in to the downtown core in the next couple of weeks to form and pour over those graded areas.
Early next week, the block between Second and Third will experience more demolition, closing Main Street entrances to Chamber Headquarters, Dutch Mill and Kitty’s Food and Spirits. There is a large vault in front of the Dutch Mill that will be reinforced at this stage. All of those storefronts have entrances from the rear parking lot and will remain open through the construction, so don’t hesitate to utilize the free public parking lots along Ivy and pop in the rear doors.

New Locations and New Development Popping up all over Tillamook

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Every so often I like to take a moment and reflect on the amount of development taking place all around us. Now seems like as good a time as any, as new businesses are moving in, and favorite businesses are finding new locations to thrive in.

Starting north of town, the construction of the new Dutch Bros is coming along beautifully and made a lot of progress with the nicer weather. This location is a prototype for Dutch Bros that will focus more on creating a pedestrian atmosphere, while maintaining the popular drive through.

Just south of the new Dutch Bros is the brand new location for Recess. It’s great to have them back on the food scene after their unexpected closure several months ago. The new location offers ample parking and a park like setting to enjoy some delicious, home made food. If you haven’t paid them a visit yet, be sure to do so soon and welcome them back.

Speaking of food trucks, have you visited Flavors on First yet? The new food cart court next to Kimmel’s hardware is already home to Nani Pappaa’ Hawaiian, Sab Thai, and The Biscuit Box NW with more on the way. Tons of parking, and on site picnic tables have turned an empty lot into a happening spot, and the great downtown location has made these food carts a walkable journey for anyone working or visiting downtown. We look forward to new food carts moving in to fill out the space and bring a diverse choice of foods to our area.

As we all know, location is an important piece of any business – perhaps one of the most important. Here in the next two months, Madeline’s Vintage Market will be moving – temporarily – to the former Salvation Army building on Fourth Street.

The move is due to a structural issue with the building that the landlord is having addressed. Because it will require building temporary walls in the downstairs portion and boarding up the windows, Madeline’s will have to vacate until the work is completed. Construction is slated to begin the first week of July, and Madelines should be moved into their temporary spot by the end of June. Be sure to help spread the word and let people know where they’ve moved.

And just about the time that Madeline’s is moving to their pop up location, Tora Sushi Lounge Tillamook should be opening for business in the former Pancake House location. Their remodel and the finishing of the new sidewalks should all be wrapping up at the same time and I know plenty of us will be welcoming them to the downtown food scene with open arms. I made sushi at the 2nd Street Public Market for years and even then there has been an outcry for a sushi restaurant in TIllamook, and it’s very exciting to see this endeavor come to fruition (especially since it’s nextdoor to the Chamber Headquarters).

But wait there’s more! Rosenberg’s Building Supply has added a new lumber yard to their location; Sandcreek Dental is building their new building on the corner of 9th and Main Avenue – and it’s coming together quickly; and a new business has opened up in the Masonic Lodge Building on Second Street: Salty Raven sells all original artwork on t-shirts, stickers, coffee mugs and more. You can buy their merchandise across the street at Lucky Bear Soap Co., or visit their store location during special downtown event days (like Moonlight Madness). They will also be vending from time to time at the Tillamook Farmers Market.

Cinco De Mayo Celebration Helped Support Farmers Market Programs

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Thank you to everyone who came out for our Cinco De Mayo party on Saturday! What a great turn out of our community members coming to enjoy food, music and support the Tillamook Farmers Market.

Thank you to Pacific Restaurant for hosting and feeding over 200 people. And thank you to the Tillamook Country Smoker for sponsoring the live music. Los Probadores Di Michoacán brought the house down with their Norteno music. It was definitely a night to remember.

We also had some wonderful raffle prizes donated by our incredibly talented vendors who are returning for the upcoming season. Thanks to these partnerships we were able to raise more than $4,000 to support the Tillamook Farmers Market this year! For our first fundraising-event since we took over, I would say that’s pretty successful.

So what exactly were we fundraising for? This will help support the programs we offer at the Market each year. You may not know, but our Market offers a dollar-for-dollar match of up up $10 per day to SNAP customers. The Market has offered this SNAP match – called Double Up Food Bucks – for the last two years while it was funded by a grant from the Oregon Dept. of Agriculture. However, the program was defunded after the 2017 season and Farmers Markets like ours had to decide if they wanted to continue to offer this match, and how they would fund it.  Last year, more than 200 SNAP customers at Tillamook Farmers Market purchased nearly $4,500 in local produce We’ve been able to partner with Food Roots to keep it going for the 2018 season, thanks to support from grants and local donations.

We also partner with OSU Extension to help educate youth on healthy eating choices. OSU Extension is bringing their Food Hero program to the Market this year, which means food experts, fun games and chances to win prizes – plus handing out $2 vouchers to kids under 12 so they can purchase their own fruits and vegetables each week. We’re hoping this year to reach at least 20 kids per week and keep them coming back each Saturday to get their fruits and vegetables.

Some other benefits of the Farmers Market that we fundraise for include the live entertainment each day, and this year we are bringing back the popular chef demonstrations – where local chefs can show off their skills using ingredients directly from Market vendors. And as the season draws near, we are planning more activities and special days to bring people downtown and support our local farmers and artisans.

If you’d like to get involved, there are a number of ways to help support the Market as a sponsor. We’d love to showcase your business or organization as a partner for healthy food, local farmers, and supporting downtown. We are still accepting sponsors for a variety of activities and incentives, including music and the kids programs. Our sponsorship packages include high quality signage at the Market, your logo on our website, and regular “shout outs” on Facebook. With hundreds of people visiting the market every week, it’s a high volume opportunity to reach a lot of people and showcase your community pride.

If you’re interested in being a Market supporter, reach out to Sayde Walker at

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Bridge Rails and Lighting on Trail(heads)s

Traffic impacts should be less extreme this week and next, as flagging through the intersections has wrapped up. Excavation on the block between First and Second on the west side of Main for a bioswale will likely keep traffic to one lane for that block through the end of this week. Early next week, that excavation work will shift to the northwest corner of the intersection of Third and Main, where sidewalk removal has already begun. The future sushi restaurant is also undergoing heavy renovation on that corner, and the timing will be close for the opening of the restaurant and the sidewalk there later this month.
On the bridge, railing and pylons are being formed and poured. The process starts with the plywood rectangular forms that we’ve seen go up this week, and will last a few more weeks before the results are unveiled. Drainage and grading on either side of the bridge progresses, so expect to see large equipment steadily active in that area as we approach summertime and the opening of the bridge.
Less obvious, but also big steps for the project: lighting has been installed in the Hoquarton Trailhead area- the west end of the “Crosstown Connection” trail project. On the east end, the pedestrian crossing on the railroad bridge that crosses Highway 6 and leads in to Goodspeed Park is coming along nicely. Protective fencing is set to be installed next week, allowing access over the bridge for pedestrian use while keeping the rail in place.
As sidewalk demolition begins to heat up on the west side of Main in the downtown area, please remember that several businesses have side doors or rear access- Anderson Florists has a second entrance on Second, Kitty’s Food and Spirits, the Dutch Mill, and the Chamber of Commerce all have rear doors from the parking lot on the corner of the Second and Ivy. Businesses who only have access along Main (Voodoo Vapor, Fat Dog Pizza, Marcie’s Cafe, Tillamook Coliseum Theater, Yo Time, and Shear Bliss) will all have access maintained to their front doors throughout construction.

Come by the Visitor Center and see what we have to offer

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We have SWAG!

If you’ve been dying to get your hands on some Chamber t-shirts or sweatshirts, you’ll be happy to know that our apparel will be restocked on April 30. So if you’ve popped in and were bummed that we didn’t have your size, please come see us again soon because all sizes and styles will be in stock – while they last, of course. These tend to go fast, and we’ve had trouble keeping them on the shelves, so don’t waste any time getting here.

Of course, apparel is only one reason to stop in at the Visitors Center. We are also selling tickets for so many community events happening all over town that we feel like an old school box office. If you still need to get your tickets to the Father Daughter Masquerade and Ball on April 28th; the Monday Musical Club of Tillamook’s concert featuring Six Guitars on April 30th; the Farmers Market Cinco de Mayo Party on May 5th; or the Cork & Brew Tour on June 15th, you can swing by the Visitor Center and get those during regular business hours: Monday – Friday from 9 – 5. You can park in the back parking lot, directly across from the Headlight Herald, and even use our back door. It’s that convenient.

Being a central downtown location has made it quite opportune for us to help with these community events, and we love it when new people walk through the door who have never been before and get to discover all the things we offer at the Visitor Center.

For example, if you have a lodging place – or like to just AirB&B your extra room or cabin space while you’re not using it – stop by and pick up brochures and other marketing materials for a variety of “hot spots” around town. Your guests will love being able to find great places to eat, hike, kayak and more. We have walking maps of downtown, ATV maps, brochures for all the area museums. You’ll find information on crabbing in Oregon, deep sea fishing trips, Farmers Markets, local theater, and different ways to enjoy the historic Port of Tillamook Bay railroad. The brand new North Coast Food Trial brochures are in, as well as the hot-off-the-press Visitors Guide – a comprehensive guide to all the attractions along the Tillamook Coast.

We proudly feature chamber members in our Visitor Center, along with statewide tourism materials. If you run a business or activity in the Tillamook area and would like us to display your brochures, rack cards, marketing materials,or  sell tickets to an event please contact the office and we can get you all set up. We are here to help build the community and we love the opportunities we get to do that.



Cork & Brew Tour Returns for its Fifth Year on June 15

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As you’re reading this, Sierra and I have embarked on the Chamber-coordinated trip to Ireland. We’ll be back by the end of April, along with everyone who chose to travel with us to the Emerald Isle.

And while we might only be in the middle of April (happy Tax Day everyone), we are in full-on event planning mode at the Chamber – even while we’re in Ireland.

First on the docket is the fifth annual Cork & Brew Tour: an early-summer event that has become a favorite for businesses and residents alike.

If you’ve never been, consider a night out on the town enjoying coastal beers, Oregon wines and foods prepared by local vendors and chefs. Each stop features a different pairing of wine, beer and food for guests to sample. You don’t have to make every stop; that’s up to you how many you want to enjoy, but every completed passport that’s turned in at the end of the evening is eligible to be entered into a drawing for some great local prizes.

Last year was our first time throwing a more extensive launch party on the Pelican Brewery Bottling Warehouse floor with games, live music and beer and food. We’re excited to be partnering with them again for the launch party, which begins at 4:30 until 6:30. Show up at anytime during that time to get your bracelet, passport and tasting glass.

We’re also partnering again with Art Accelerated, who will be staying open late to collect completed passports and offer water and coffee.

I remember when this was just an idea being tossed around the table about a simple way to get the community downtown, and now here we are five years later and it has grown into not only a town favorite, but also one of the biggest community events we have the pleasure of hosting. The Cork & Brew Tour isn’t a fundraiser for the Chamber; business sponsorships and ticket sales help secure the beverages for each location and help with the expenses of the Launch Party. Our goal with this event is simply to give people something fun to do before the summer really kicks off and that promotes our downtown businesses.

You can get your tickets either online at, or by this Friday we will have tickets available at the Pelican Taproom, Sunflower Flats and the Chamber Headquarters. This event sells out every year, and we do not sell tickets the night of, so if you plan on going you have to buy your tickets ahead of time.

As we get closer to the date we will announce the beer, wine and food line ups as well as our partnering downtown businesses. Plan to come hungry and stay late.

June is also the start of the Tillamook Farmers Market season on June 16, and the 61st annual June Dairy Parade on June 23. We are still taking parade entry forms online at, as well as nominations for this year’s Grand Marshal. Be sure to get those forms in before their deadlines. If you have any questions, you can email Tammy at or call 503-842-7525.


Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Realignment and Flagging Downtown

Thank you all who did your anti-rain dancing and brought about the nice weather on Monday! New striping went down throughout the project area, and the fresh lines are helpful in reminding us that there is only one lane eastbound on Third to Main, as well as create shifts in the traffic flow.
The temperature was perfect on Monday, and the asphalt went down on the stretch of Main south of the new bridge down to the intersection of First, along the junction with Front Street, in front of Burden’s Towing and America’s Mattress. Traffic will shift over on to that new paving, and the corner from Main on to First will continue to be tight. Be sure to navigate the corner slowly and with caution. Flagging at that intersection will be happening all day today (Wednesday) and likely most of tomorrow (Thursday) as the demolition begins on the west side of Main right there on that corner. The First St. entrance to the parking lot of Oregon Coast Dance Center will be closed while construction takes place on the corner, and that parking lot will only be accessible from Main Ave. This will make for tight, non-traditional parking in that lot- be careful.
For those who have been wondering why the final segment of the sidewalk on the east side of Main in front of Local Dog House, Matthew Lyon’s office, and Food Roots has not been finished- it was discovered that the basement of that building underhangs the sidewalk slightly, and new engineering work was required prior to sealing that up. That work is wrapping up, and those sidewalks should be coming soon. Meanwhile, access to all of those businesses is in place using a temporary wooden sidewalk. Southbound traffic downtown is now running along the east side of the road, creating room to begin the demolition and sidewalk work.
Another interesting development occurs on the new bridge this week- they are set to do the “Closure Pour”, which will fill the gap between the bridge that was built last spring the bridge that we are seeing built this spring.
Unfortunately, the forecast continues to look desolate- bad news for those of eager to get in the garden, and bad news for the speed of the project. Crews will continue to move along as quickly as possible, and the coming weeks should bring the formation of railing and sidewalks along the new bridge, as well as a concentration of work on the north side of the bridge in front of Rosenberg’s, and sidewalk work on the west side of Main downtown.
I’ll encourage you all again to take extra care in the construction zone. Pedestrian traffic is increasing, and there are so many things going on that it is easy to get distracted. We are truly approaching the home stretch now, so even as things continue to be challenging, the final pieces of the project are on the near horizon.

Chamber’s Grant Writing Pays Off

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

You may recall a few months ago we put out a Request for Proposal for a photographer to capture the places, faces and adventures that Tillamook has to offer. Our board agreed to hire Tillamook local and Chamber member/photographer Courtney Beeler with Swiss & Dot Photography for the job. So it is very likely if you own a business in the Tillamook area, you’ll probably see Courtney over the next few months as she begins fulfilling that contract.
This photography project will be a vital asset in marketing the community and business of Tillamook through our social media channels and websites, as well as for visitor guides, brochures, and other collateral pieces. Tillamook has gone through quite the growth spurt since the last time we had a professional photographer capture images of the community, and we want to accurately showcase what a day or a weekend in Tillamook looks like. Photography is a powerful story-teller and the right photos can enhance community pride and also entice visitors to learn more about who we are and discover the many activities and experience we have to offer.
We’re also wrapping up our Share with Others Campaign, and those marketing pieces will be headed to the printer by the end of next week. If your business signed up (or even if they didn’t) we will be delivering a variety of posters and table tents you can use to remind customers to “check in” on social media. The fact is that people are already reviewing and recommending businesses to their followers via a number of social media platforms, but this campaign will also encourage everyone to use the same hashtags so business owners can easily see, share and respond to those candid reviews. This is the first comprehensive social-media marketing endeavour in Tillamook County that spans multiple businesses and cities.
Both of these projects were made possible with grants we received from Visit Tillamook Coast, the recipient of the tourism promotion dollars from the Tillamook County Transient Lodging Tax.
While we are on a roll with those two, we were also awarded a grant from the Tillamook PUD to update the lighting in the Chamber Headquarters, which will only enhance the usability of our space. Those lights are ordered and the work is scheduled for this May!
A lot of the work we are able to do is dependant on community support and grants, and it is excited to share with our readers when those grant applications have been a success and we can move forward with the work that needs to be done.
Just a reminder that on April 15th, Sierra and I are leaving for Ireland with the Chamber tour. We will not be back in the office until the 30th, however Tammy and Sayde will be available if you have any questions. If you’re on Facebook, follow the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce on Facebook, and we will be sure to post pictures of our journey in case you want to follow along – or sign up for our weekly newsletter at

Sunflower Flats Looking for new Owners

The owners of Sunflower Flats in downtown Tillamook have announced their intentions to sell the business.

“We have built a solid, successful business with a strong customer base locally as well as world-wide via our e-commerce website,” said Natalie Rieger, who co-owns the shop with her mother, Cindy Gardner.

Natalie and Cindy opened up shop 17 years ago, transforming a dilapidated corner store front into a charming, small-town floral shop with a variety of hand-made and locally-made gifts.

“Our story is really that perfect business success story,” Natalie recalled. “My mom was invited to share a booth at the very first Tillamook Farmers Market in 2001, and so she sold flowers that she had been growing in her yard.”

People kept telling Cindy that she should do more with her flowers.

“We already had our eye on the shop on the corner,” Natalie said. The shop had been vacant for some time, and the mother-daughter duo saw the potential to combine Cindy’s green thumb with Natalie’s business knowledge.

Three months later, Natalie moved from Portland to help open Sunflower Flats.

“This business allows personal connection with so many as we navigate triumphs and tragedies through flowers,” Natalie said. “New babies whom we delivered flowers to in the Fall of 2001 when we opened, are now attending the Junior/Senior Prom and we are designing their wristlets and boutonnieres.”

However, Natalie said she and her mom know it’s time to move on.

“No one wants to work forever and my mom is ready to retire and spend time doing things that she has waited on for a long time now,” she said. Cindy had officially retired prior to starting Sunflower Flats, and she is looking forward to trying out a more traditional definition of retirement; one that includes more leisure time in the garden, adventuring with her grandchildren, foreign and domestic travel, and time for her writing.

Natalie’s life is also changing, as her administrative role in her other business, Rieger Logging, has grown into more of a full-time position.

“I always knew from day one of Sunflower Flats that I’d never be interested in continuing the business without my mom,” she said. During those first years, Natalie worked part-time at the shop while holding an 8-5 job with the county, before having her children and needing a more flexible schedule.

“I’ve appreciated a very flexible schedule, working from home much of the time, and being able to bring the kids with me to the shop,” she said. “But it just wouldn’t be the same for me without her, and I’m ready to move forward with other opportunities. They say you have an average of seven careers in a lifetime, so I need to get busy!”

Rather than viewing this changing season as an end, Natalie said this is really the beginning of a great opportunity for someone who wants to own a thriving business downtown. Sunflower Flats employs an average of eight people and deliver 15-20 arrangements every day between Manzanita and Neskowin. While the downtown construction has decreased their foot traffic, deliveries have never ceased.

“It’s only going to get better from here,” Natalie said. “We have weathered the storm and now we’re starting to see the spring and summer tourist traffic pick up, we have brand new sidewalks that are beautiful, we have Pacific Restaurant open on our block and the Second Street Plaza space; as the highway project comes to a close this is truly an amazing opportunity for someone to come in and take over and flourish and really make it their own.”

Along with the new highway, the climate of downtown has changed a lot in 17 years that Natalie and Cindy have operated Sunflower Flats.

“It kind of started with the Cork & Brew Tour and Small Business Saturday as these great seed events that got business owners thinking about how to work together to create a really fun atmosphere downtown,” she said. “And now with Art Walk and Sip + Shop, we’re seeing consistent monthly activities that are drawing people to downtown, and making shopping and socializing part of people’s regular life.”

Sunflower Flats will be operating business as usual while they look for the right buyer. They will be booking weddings and events through 2018, and the gift shop will remain open.

If you are interested in this turn-key business opportunity, you can contact Natalie directly at or 503.812.2316.


Highway 101/6 Project Update – Traffic Shift Monday

This is the week! Monday, April 9th will be the pivotal day in transitioning in to the next phase of the project. Regardless of the weather, re-striping will take place, freshening up arrows and realigning the traffic pattern on Main Street. North of the bridge, the small buffer area between north and southbound traffic that has been utilized as a turning pocket for Rosenberg’s will disappear, and access in to Rosenberg’s may shift from their north driveway entrance to their south driveway entrance as road work north of the bridge begins in earnest.
South of the bridge to First Street, what happens on Monday will depend on the weather. The stretch of the road that runs from the southern end of the new bridge to First Street that has been stripped down and regraded is set to be repaved. However, asphalt requires certain temperatures and climate conditions, and with the ever evolving forecast it is too volatile to be sure that paving can occur Monday. If it doesn’t work out for Monday, getting that paving in and complete will be the top priority as soon as weather allows.
Main Avenue in the downtown, from First to Fourth, will see a dramatic change. Regardless of weather, the gap between the new curb and gutter and the road base along the east side of Main will be filled, and then the new striping will shift the traffic all the way to the east side of Main along the newly completed sidewalk there. Parking on both sides of the street between First and Fourth will remain closed, and construction on the west side of Main will begin.
The end of this week will see the finalization of the night work on the lights on Pacific- things have been progressing quickly there, with Oregon State Bridge, Oneill Electric, and ODOT all on site each night this week. Tillamook PUD and Comcast have been very active during the day, moving lines and wires and getting the temporary poles stripped and ready for removal.
The liners for the bioswales on the east side of Main are scheduled for installation starting today, and as the liners go in, fill will be added to each pit. Final planting of the bioswales will not take place until September.
Despite the rain, sidewalk work on the east side of Main downtown should wrap up shortly, and then sidewalk crews will move to the bridge to continue work while the traffic shift occurs.

Chamber’s first candidate forum a success

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Monday night the Chamber hosted its first candidate forum – Business TALKS – at Pacific Restaurant. All six county commissioners showed up ready to ask questions, listen to answers, and learn from the experts: you the community.

Thank you to those who showed up and learned with us, and for supporting the Chamber in this inaugural endeavor. There are several more forums planned between now and May, and it was a fun honor to be the first one, and to host it in a place that felt a little less formal, and in a format that was definitely outside the box. This time, candidates gave opening statements and then asked the audience a question or two.  

Why did we do it this way? Earlier in the year we had a stake holders group of small and large business in the county and one of the things they spoke to was the Chamber’s role in advocacy. One of the key ways we get involved in advocacy is by informing the community about issues that may affect them. With six individuals running for county commissioner, one of them will get elected and will be representing us at the county level and making decisions. We felt at the Chamber that we had a responsibility to help voters get the information they needed to make an informed decision – so we concocted this idea to bring a number of questions surrounding economic development to the commissioners and ask them to think on it, and formulate questions for the audience based on those initial summaries we gathered.

This was not only a forum specific to economic vitality in Tillamook county, but an opportunity to assess each candidate’s leadership and communications styles; how they listen and how they engage with others.  Our goal was this opening forum would provide context for voters as they read pamphlets and attend other, more traditional forums.

We didn’t have a lot of talkers in the room – but I think everyone walked away with more information on both the issues and the candidates than we had when we walked in. A number of topics were covered in a quick secession, and all within that umbrella of economic vitality. If anything, we learned that the issues that affect businesses in our county are far and wide – from development, to housing, to communications and preparing for natural disasters. We heard from business owners, nonprofit leaders, volunteers, long-time residents and entrepreneurs who got to share their concerns and their knowledge on issues that the candidates brought forward.

We also saw a lot of different styles, both in personality and knowledge of these extensive issues. We heard about each candidate’s backgrounds and how they reached the decision to run for county commissioner, and the issues they’re passionate about. It was a good listening exercise for both the voters and the candidates.

Thank you to everyone who attended and shared their opinions; thank you to Pacific Restaurant for their support in hosting this event, and to the Tillamook Headlight Herald for their presence. Thank you to the six candidates who not only showed up ready to work, but I also want to thank them for their willingness to serve and grow our community. Public service is not easy work, it’s not often fun work, and soon one of them will take the reigns as Tillamook County Commissioner to help lead our county.


Tillamook Farmers Market Kick-Off Party May 5 at Pacific Restaurant

Looking for something to do on Cinco de Mayo? Why not join the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Restaurant at their Tillamook Farmers Market Kick-off Party.

Tickets are $20 a piece, and will get you inside the door to enjoy an authentic Mexican-style buffet, live music and great company. Drinks will be available for purchase at the bar.

All proceeds from ticket sales will help support the Tillamook Farmers Market.

“This is our first year managing the Market and we want to start the season off in a fun way,” noted Sayde Walker, the Director of Communications for the Tillamook Chamber of Commerce; also serving as the new Market Manager.

While enjoying food, music and drinks, guests will also get an early glimpse of this year’s vendors at the “pop up market” display. Participating vendors include Brickyard Farms, Oregon Coast Lavender and Food Roots. Each will have a sampling of products for sale to help support the Market operations.

“We want to get people excited for the Market season, and what better way to do that then feed them food and show off some of the amazing, high-quality products that you can find for sale every Saturday at the Farmers Market,” said Walker.

The Chamber will also raffle off a gift basket filled with sample products from the Market.

The evening is also a good opportunity to find more literature on some of the programs and incentives the Market offers both youth and adults, and discover ways to help support sustainable, healthy food choices for our community.

More information about the event can be found on the Chamber’s Facebook event page, as well as the Tillamook Farmers Market Facebook page. Tickets are available April 5 at Pacific Restaurant or the TIllamook Chamber of Commerce Headquarters.


Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Night Flagging and Signal Work on Pacific Next Week

Big changes are on the horizon, starting next week with flagging at night as the new signals on Pacific go live. Crews from ODOT, Tillamook PUD, Oregon State Bridge, and O’Neill Electric will be working together to get the new signals running and the old and temporary poles removed. The flagging is expected to start at 7pm and run for a full shift (most of the night) Monday through Thursday evening, wrapping up by early Fridaymorning.
The weather this week has not been as accommodating as predicted, which has delayed the pouring of the curb and gutter, ADA ramps, and final stretch of stamped sidewalk on Main (between Second and First). Things are looking up the last half of this week and in to next week, however, and everything is still on track to wrap up and shift traffic before mid-April.
The curing of the large bridge deck pour has completed, and the beginning of this week has included the removal of all of the fabric, plastic and blankets that helped cover the area during the curing period. There has also been a significant amount of forming being constructed for the sidewalk and overlook area, including the setting of the bridge anchor bolts for the three light poles that will be placed on the bridge. As the weather clears again, more concrete pouring will be taking place and we will see those features begin to take real shape.
The large heating oil tank discovered in the big bioswale on the northeast corner of First and Pacific (next to the Post Office) is clearly visible to drivers passing through the intersection. Final ground testing results are still in progress, and as soon as results are in, excavation of that swale will continue. All fingers are crossed that it will wrap up early next week, as the contractor that does the bioswale lining is scheduled to be on site next Thursday, when the bio-swales on the east side of Main (both north of the bridge and downtown) will be lined. If possible, that large swale will be lined during the same trip.
Next week is anticipated to be the final push to complete the west side Main sidewalk work downtown, and then early the following week should see paving and refreshed striping, as well as the big shift of traffic over to the east side, allowing work to commence on the west side with a target date of April 10th. Stay tuned next week for those details.
The summary today: be mindful of flaggers and nightwork throughout next week.

Let’s TALK about it

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Are you ready, Tillamook?

The Chamber’s first ever candidate forum is happening April 2 at Pacific Restaurant. By now you’ve probably seen our Facebook event, read the press release, or heard about it on the radio. You are either planning on attending, or you’re still not sure what the fuss is all about. Maybe you’re just confused as to why the Chamber is getting involved in politics.

Well let me first get that last question out of the way: The very top priority of our stakeholder business groups earlier this year was advocacy, both from small and large businesses; they appreciated what we had done so far and want us to continue to focus on relevant issues. A quick Google search on the history or Chambers of Commerce will show that this in line with the purpose of a Chamber since the their inception.

Advocacy often comes with a negative or aggressive connotation; that’s not how we want things to go. Our focus is more on education, engagement, and providing a liaison role that raises awareness on all sides. We mean supplying information so that our membership has what they need to make informed decisions; and we mean speaking up for policies to be balanced to create a healthy economy where businesses can thrive.

The Tillamook Chamber strategy is that relationships and sound logic are key to aligning local business and government to create sound policy. We have found that when two sides lock up there are definitely some hard feelings created and while that can occasionally be inevitable, we want that to be rare.

With that in mind, the Chamber Board thought that it would be beneficial to provide a candidates forum that was focused on topics relevant to the local business community and the economic vitality of the county as a whole. There are several forums put on by different organizations prior to the election and they are all valuable and informative, and I encourage you to go to as many as you can. Our goal is to create a unique forum where the specific issues surrounding economic vitality are addressed, and where business people who have a stake in the game have an opportunity to hear from each of the candidates regarding issues that are relevant to them before the vote.

While the Board and staff all agreed that we wanted a forum that focused on economic issues, we continued to mull over the idea of how to maximize the value of the conversation, and the idea grew to structure the forum completely backwards. We want the candidates to ask questions – valuable questions – and listen to the answers they get, instead of just waiting for their turn to speak.

Prior to the Business TALKS forum, we’ve sent out an email to our membership asking them what questions and issues are most important to them. Once we have a scope of the range of these issues, each candidate will receive a debrief, and will be asked to prepare a short statement that addresses these issues. They will then formulate their questions for the audience based on this information we’ve provided from our membership feedback.

Basically, each candidate will have to come prepared and be on top of their game. This will be a great opportunity to evaluate how well they communicate, the kind of questions they ask, and if their rebuttal is relevant to the issues at hand. Are they asking meaningful questions? Are they receptive to public input or are they simply just ignoring what is said in the answers?

The forum is set for April 2nd at Pacific Restaurant and is open to the public – not just Chamber members. This is the first of several scheduled candidates forums, but it’s the only one doing it in reverse.

Social hour is at 5:30 p.m., and then at 6 p.m. each candidate will have a couple minutes to introduce themselves and address the issues on the table for the night. Then we will start the Q&A portion of the evening, wrapping up with an opportunity for the candidates to address what they heard from the audience.

I’m excited; I hope you’ll join us.

Hwy Project Update: Spring Forward to the Next Phase

The days are getting longer and we are seeing lots of action scattered across the entire project footprint as we prepared for some big changes.
On Main St., at the junction of Main and Third, the pedestrian crossing lights have been set and will go live as I’m drafting this email. For those of you who have been struggling to make heads or tails of how to use that intersection, the signals will be now be up and running, just in time as traffic picks up for Spring Break. The final section of sidewalk replacement on the east side of Main is the short stretch just north of Second, in front of The Local Doghouse, Mathew Lyon’s office and Food Roots. The forming of the curb and gutter took place Thursday, and if the weather allows, the concrete pour will happen today. The weather looks very promising next week, and the ADA ramp at that corner is scheduled to be formed and poured at the beginning of the week and the last little bit of sidewalk in the last half of the week. The first week of April will be spent wrapping up any loose ends there, including getting the bioswale liners installed, all in preparation for the looming traffic shift that will push traffic to the east side, and kick off the construction on the west side of Main.
Along the bridge, curing of the large deck pour continues this week, shifting the focus to the end wall areas, and the forming of the sidewalk and overlook area on the southwest side of the bridge. This is also in preparation for transition- soon the final grading, drainage work, curb and gutter, sidewalk, and paving will take place on the west side of the road between Front and First, and traffic that is southbound coming over the bridge will be shifted to the west side of the road, creating room for work to take place along the west side of the old Shell Station property.
Folks often ask about the future of that Shell Station property, and it is still largely unknown. Once the project completes, the property will be surplussed by ODOT, and local governments will have the opportunity to purchase it. The City is aware of this trajectory, and has started a feasibility study to determine whether the parcel will be viable as a commercial property, or will be better suited for another use. We will do our best to keep you apprised of any developments in that ongoing conversation.
In response to the suggestion that more signage might encourage late merging and use of the zipper strategy, ODOT has coordinated with the City to put a sign up just south of Goodspeed Road requesting drivers use both lanes. Despite all of the various efforts to get out the word, you will likely still observe a gap in folks embracing the zipper merge. Be patient, but also be leaders- don’t be afraid to use the right lane, and merge as late as possible. As spring break traffic comes to town next week, maximizing all of the lane capacity available is the best way to keep the line from backing up out of town.

June Dairy Parade Entry Forms are Here

June Dairy Parade

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

On June 23rd, get ready to ‘Party in the Pasture’ for the 61st annual June Dairy Parade. You might remember last year we changed the parade route and started on 11th Street and ended at Good Speed Park. This seemed to work well during downtown construction and for our local law enforcement who have to keep the highway closed while the parade floats go by, so we are using this same route again this year.
And, for the first time in 61 years, entry forms for the June Dairy Parade are available online in a fillable form. Head to to fill out the entry form before the May 31st deadline. It’s a quick and painless process and if nothing else, it will save you a stamp.
If you don’t have access to a computer and prefer to have a paper version, you can either pick one up at the Chamber headquarters or email and we will mail you one.
Also available at is the application for the Grand Marshal of the June Dairy Parade. The Grand Marshal gets to ride at the front of the parade each year, and we supply the car, driver and banner with their name on it. They are also honored at a luncheon with the June Dairy Parade Committee, and are invited to the breakfast with the Rosarians the morning of the parade. The Rosarians plant a rose every year on parade day in front of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum, and dignitaries are invited to attend that ceremony, including the Grand Marshal.
To qualify, an application should have a strong connection to the dairy industry and a history of community involvement and volunteerism. If you’d like to nominate someone for this honor, try to be as specific as possible about their community involvement. Those applications are due by May 18th, so that our committee has time to review and choose an official Grand Marshal. Our hope is that by making this application available online, more people will feel inclined to make a nomination.
We tried this technique for the first time last year by putting applications for our annual Chamber Business Awards online. It appeared to make a difference, as we received more nominations than any previous year – a good indication that our community is ready and willing to get with the 21st century-way of doing things.
And don’t forget, we are also accepting vendor applications for the Tillamook Farmers Market. Yes, this is also available online at under the Vendor tab. If you have any questions, you can email Vendors have until May 1 to get their applications in for the 2018 season, which starts June 16 and runs through September 29.
It’s going to be an eventful summer as always, and we hope you will join us either as a parade participant or at least come out and watch all the fun.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Final Sidewalk Demo on East Main

The final demolition of the old sidewalk on the east side of Main between First and Second is set to take place on Monday, 3/19. Access to Food Roots, Matthew Lyon’s office and The Local Dog House will be maintained with temporary planking, and (barring any unforeseen circumstances) things should go quickly there with the new curbing scheduled to be set at the end of next week and the new sidewalk poured early the following week. The corners at First and Main and Third and Main should be wrapped up by the end of this week, which means we are close to looking at the shift of traffic over to the newly constructed east side, opening up the west side for work. There is still weather to contend with, but all signs are pointing to that transition occurring by mid-April.

The big bridge deck pour went as planned on Saturday, and it is currently set to cure through March 24th. In the interim, work begins on the endwalls, forming and pouring them. (In non-construction speak, endwalls are basically the on and off ramp parts of the bridge.)

The electric work continues to be moving at a furious pace. Work continues on Main, but also the forming and cement work for the setting of the poles along the Hoquarton Park area is slated this week and through next week.

For those of you on Facebook, you may have noticed a significant amount of community dialog about the zipper merge. Law enforcement has been an active presence in the merging area, and drivers who are straddling the lane line blocking the use of both lanes have been cited. Zipper merging is encouraged, and ODOT is working with the City to get additional signage in place encouraging folks to use both lanes as long as possible. Thank you for helping spread the word.

Tillamook Farmers Market – Vendors, Sponsorships, and a Kick-Off Party

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

These last few weeks we’ve made some great strides in prepping for the Tillamook Farmers Market Season. By the time you are reading this, applications for vendors should be available online at, along with the 2018 Vendor Handbook.

If you are a past vendor, or have always wanted to try vending at a Farmers Market, I would encourage you to read over the Vendor Handbook and consider joining us for the summer.

Applications will be available until May 1 so you have a little over a month to submit your application, and any necessary license or certifications.

So what’s different this year? For one, the application is a form you fill out directly on the website. No more printing out and mailing a piece of paper. (However, if you prefer to do it this way or don’t have access to internet, we will have copies available at our office or we can send you a paper application.)

Secondly, we are opening up the capacity for secondary farm vendors – these are vendors who didn’t actually grow or make their product, but purchased it directly from a farmer who did. In previous years, the Tillamook Farmers Market only allowed fruits and vegetables as secondary farm products, but in order to add some diversity to the Market we are opening that up to all farm products.

What’s a farm product?  Fruits, nuts, vegetables, herbs (in pots, dried or cut), flowers and plant starts, nursery trees, shrubs and other plants, cheeses, dairy-based foods, seafood, meat, poultry, honey, eggs and grower- or artisan-made value-added/preserved foods and dry or baked goods.

Of course, priority will be given to those vendors who grew or made the product themselves, with even more priority to those grown or made in Tillamook County, but we understand that not all farmers have the ability to spend every Saturday at a booth, so if someone else is able to take on the vending aspect and work out that arrangement with the farmer, we are happy to offer them a booth. All the official guidelines, requirements, and priorities are available online in the Vendor Handbook.

We’ve also updated the sponsorship opportunities for businesses and individuals who like to support the Market through financial donations. There are some fun new ways to get involved and keep the Market vital and inviting for locals and visitors. You can find more about that on the Farmers Market website, or just contact Sayde at She can answer your questions about being a sponsor.

And don’t forget, we are having a Farmers Market Kick-Off party on May 5 at Pacific Restaurant. Chef Nelia will be creating a fantastic Mexican-style buffet, the bar will be serving up their delicious cocktails, and there will be live music to round out the evening. Tickets will go on sale April 1 for $20 a piece, and all proceeds will support the Farmers Market. We may even have some cool Farmers Market Swag to give away to a few lucky raffle winners. Whatever happens, it will be a fun way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and support our downtown Farmers Market. Hope you can make it!


Finding out our ‘why’

‘Never a dull moment’ might be  an over-used adage, but it rings true at the Chamber this week as we once again begin the process of delving  into our strategic framework. This is the type of work that I find particularly exciting, because it’s an opportunity to thoroughly evaluate what services we offer our community and how they meet our mission as an organization.

But this isn’t work that just happens overnight. It’s taken us over a year to get to this point where we can begin to recreate the strategic framework. The prep work had to be done, first.

Originally we met with a group of small and large business stakeholders and asked them how the Chamber might better meet their needs, and if they felt the work we were doing was relevant to the community. These were facilitated discussions and participants were both Chamber members and what we like to call “future members” (non-members). These were basically “listening sessions” and we walked away with a plethora of good information. In a nutshell, some things we do really well, and others might not be worth the energy we throw at them every day.

Out of those meeting we recreated our brand, with a new logo and visual identity that reflected the Chamber’s role in the community better. You’ve probably seen some of our new branding pieces sprinkled here and there; they are no longer outdated and unconnected to the Chamber’s character and work in the community.

Now we get to take the information we learned from our stakeholders meetings and sit down with the Board of Directors for our annual board retreat this Thursday. This is where we align the character of the Chamber with the operations of the Chamber. Annually the Chamber team spends a full day deep diving into the strategic and action plan to assess the relevance of programs and initiatives to make sure we don’t get stuck in the same-ol’-same-ol’ just because that’s what we’ve always done.

This year we are diving a little deeper!  We are creating a new organizational framework, tearing our current plan completely apart and seeing how it fits into our new framework. We want to make sure that we look at why we do specific things before we look at how we will do them. If we can’t figure out our ‘why,’ there will be no ‘what’ or ‘how.’ Time is the most valuable things we all have and make the best use of that is not only important in our personal lives but makes for an effective organization.

Additionally, the Chamber office will be closed on March 8 all day while we complete this work.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Racing the Rain and Downtown Flagging

This week started with a few nice days, and there has been a huge flurry of activity to make the most of the sun break. Flagging continues downtown through Wednesday, moving from the trenching work required for drainage on Fourth Street up to the east side of intersection of Third and Main and then the west side of the junction of First and Main, where sawcutting will proceed trenching that is necessary for electrical work. Continue to expect some traffic delays as a result of that flagging, and plan your route accordingly.
While the flagging is related to underground work that make it hard to visually track progress, in other areas we can easily see how things are coming together and things are moving along. The final sidewalk pour between Second and Third took place Monday, and as soon as the curing period passes that entire block will reopen for through pedestrian traffic. The final radial pours in front of the Pioneer Museum are scheduled for this week, as is the bioswale in front of Sunset Tans, the northern part of the Front Street sidewalk, and the curbing of the corner of Third and Main in front of Homelife Furniture. Unfortunately, the weather does not look as promising heading in to next week, and plans to pour the sidewalk on Fourth and the sidewalk on the north end of the block between First and Second may be delayed depending on the rain.
The other big pour that has been scheduled will take place this Saturday: The Bridge Deck. This is a huge amount of concrete, and, unlike the sidewalks (which only take a day or two to set up), two full weeks have been dedicated after the pour for things to cure completely. Don’t expect to see activity dry up on the bridge, however. Next Monday the plan is to dive in to the formation of the end walls, so work will continue to move along quickly there.
Only a couple of weeks before spring break, and the additional traffic is heavy on everyone’s minds. There have been some very slow days moving southbound in to downtown, and tensions have been high. Please try and keep in mind that no one is excited to be waiting in that line, and do your best to proceed with caution and forgiveness. Zipper merging is not only legal, but encouraged, and folks who are hovering in the middle of the road or blocking traffic have been cited. However bad your day is due to the slow traffic, a ticket or an accident is much worse: be careful.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Quick progress on the north half of the last Main block

Progress continues this week with immediate results on the block between First and Second on the east side of Main. Demolition of the old sidewalk took place quickly, opening up the area from the north end of Food Roots, past the old Irish Pub and Sunset Tans, to the intersection with First. There is temporary sidewalk creating an access to Sunset Tans that is accessible from the Rodeo driveway. Already, the bioswale and sidewalk area are being excavated, which will transition over the next week to grading, and (weather permitting) the forming and pouring of the bioswale and driveway access on Main. On Tuesday, I chatted with several folks who were fighting the dreary weather by taking advantage of the Two-Dollar-Tuesday tans at Sunset Tans, and the consensus was that parking on Pacific and walking around the north side of the block in front of the Rodeo made for the most convenient access.
Elsewhere in the project, it is a continuation of last week’s activities. The final sidewalk pours in front of Pacific Restaurant are scheduled for late this week. The heating oil tanks in front of So Chic Boutique and Homelife Furniture have been cleared for removal, so the filling and grading of that block are underway and things will be buttoning up there. The bridge deck formation is moving along rapidly, and it looks as if it will be ready for pouring in mid-March.
On Monday, March 5th, the intersection of Fourth and Main will be flagged from 8 am to 3 pm as crews lay the drainage pipe that will connect drains near Liberty Tax to the new drainage by Wells Fargo. Expect some traffic delays as a result of that flagging, and plan your route accordingly- it may be a nice day to remind yourself how lovely Fifth Street is.

Downtown Continues to Grow and Entertain

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development 

The benchmarks of February are behind us now, and the Tillamook Main Street District is ready for spring. Businesses are taking the love down out of their windows and weighing the options: lucky green shamrocks or skip ahead to pastels and bunnies? I’m hoping for plenty of luck in the next few weeks and fine with being surrounded by leprechauns – particularly if they are willing to wear orange vests and assist with the downtown construction. 

Amidst all of the commotion, some great things are taking shape downtown. Food Roots, a nonprofit organization you all may be familiar with for their work in supporting small farms and local agriculture, has recently moved their office to the storefront at 113 Main Street. They continue to offer an incredible variety of services and programs to assist folks who are interested in knowing more about where their food is sourced, and additionally have begun to offer products from many of the farms that they work with. Stop by and check out their selection- they have great meat, local eggs, salt, tea, and all kinds of interesting treats. Their inventory will continue to grow (pun intended) as the seasons change. Worth noting- construction is underway on the Food Roots block, so if you are planning to stop by and visit there, Sunset Tans, or the Local Dog House, you may find it most convenient to park either on Pacific and cross the Plaza, or along Second and cross the street and approach from the south end of the block.  

There are also new regular events going on downtown! Art Accelerated has coordinated a monthly Art Walk, which is held on the fourth Saturday of each month and pairs local artists with downtown merchants for the afternoon. For more information about which artists and shops are participating, visit Art Accelerated’s This is a great family friendly way to spend an afternoon, and the next date is set for March 24th. 

If you’re looking for more of an adult evening out, there is also a new option for that: Sip + Shop!!! On the second Friday of the month (mark your calendar for March 9th), several downtown merchants are offering wine tasting and snacks from 5pm to 7pm. This free event is not ticketed, and there is not check-in or check-out, all you need to do is come on down and wander around and enjoy yourself. While the participating businesses are a little different every time, on March 9th, Sip + Shop is hosted by Art Accelerated, Food Roots, Homelife Furniture, Lucky Bear Soap Co, Madeline’s Vintage Furniture, Pacific Restaurant, Phoenix Exchange, Sarasota’s, Sunflower Flats, So Chic Boutique, and Yo Time. Guests from the January event raved about the fun evening- many enjoyed visiting a few of their favorite shops before a movie or sitting down to a nice dinner out.  

Construction continues to move along throughout the project, and businesses downtown have been very flexible and accommodating as crews have moved as quickly as possible to replace sidewalks and maintain access to businesses. While we are all looking forward to seeing the project wrap up in the fall, in the meantime we are growing and adapting and are excited to see new businesses and activities taking shape. If you have any questions about downtown, whether it’s parking, activities, future events or plain ole gossip, feel free to drop by the Chamber Headquarters or give me a call. I’m always happy to chat. 


Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Tackling the Last Block on the East-Side of Main

The big news this week is that we can expect the construction to begin on the final block of the east side of Main early next week. Construction on the west side of First, between Pacific and Main, is almost complete, and access in to the Rodeo parking lot from First can be reopened. This will allow the crew to close the Main Ave access and demo the entire block (from First to Second) at one time. Business access to Sunset Tans, Food Roots, Matthew Lyon’s office and the Local Dog House will be maintained by a temporary sidewalk from Second Street headed north.
Sidewalk and concrete work throughout the project is on the schedule, but remains weather dependent. When I have been writing “weather dependent” in the past, I have always considered the the variable to be rain, but it turns out that concrete also requires certain temperatures- there is a thirty-five degree minimum to pour, which has been a bit of a question mark at times this week.
There is a lot of electrical work going on in tandem with this stage in the sidewalk progress. You may notice crews busy setting electrical cabinets and some of the conduit, boxes and crossing fixtures over the next week. Layers of this work happen at each stage in the construction process, and then will all be tied together and go live later in the project.
Despite the cold temperatures this week, spring is just around the corner, and downtown is gearing up. If you find yourself with a few free moments, I would encourage you to take advantage of parking on Pacific or Second and wander around. It is an interesting experience to walk the old sidewalks on the west side of Main, the construction planks of east Main, and then explore the new sidewalks on Pacific. Downtown merchants have remained dedicated during all of this turmoil, and there has been some new business activity that has cropped up amidst all of this dust. We invite you to check out the Art Walk this Saturday, 2/24 from 1-3, or Food Roots’ new location and locally sourced farm products. Not only are the streets themselves seeing huge progress, the downtown business atmosphere is as well- thank you for your continued attention to the project, and we look forward to seeing you downtown!

Tell us your Story, Tillamook

Tillamook Restaurant Attractions Foodies

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We’re getting ready to roll out a new interactive social media advertising campaign that you’ll start to see at a variety of businesses and attractions around the Tillamook area. We’re calling it ‘Tell Your Story’ and the goal is just that: to encourage locals and visitors to share their stories and experiences via social media platforms.

One thing we know is that many people have a cell phones (duh!), and they probably have one or more social media accounts attached to it. And while they’re eating ice cream at the Cheese Factory, feeding the goats at the Blue Heron, or sitting down to eat a coast-to-table meal at Pacific Restaurant, we want to make sure that they’re sharing their authentic Tillamook experience by tagging our local businesses and places.

Here’s how it works: We will be visiting up to 50 Tillamook-area businesses and providing them with a variety of collateral pieces specifically-branded for this project. Each piece – whether it’s a poster for the window or a table tent – will have the business’s name and location and a unique hashtag associated with that place. That way, when people visit and want to share their experience with their social media followers (we all do it, don’t judge…) they will be reminded to give proper credit to wherever they are at. Research shows that people are more likely to use a specific hashtag if it is presented to them with a call to action.

Chances are, people are already sharing their experiences and stories, but we want to make sure that our business community has the resources and know-how to be able to check these social media “check ins.” They serve as a review almost, and a positive presence on social media can make a difference about whether someone chooses to stop there or not. It’s just as easy to look a business up in Instagram and peruse through photos and reviews as it is to look in up on Google (In fact, 35 percent of users use hashtags to search content). And whereas Google will tell you whether or not a place open and if they have a website, an Instagram post is coming directly from a customer who is offering an unsolicited opinion. That kind of word-of-mouth speaks volumes to a potential customer in this digital age.

What’s more, the research coming out of Visit Tillamook Coast is showing that the people visiting our area are millennials, road trippers, and Gen Xers who are looking for an authentic experience to engage with. They don’t want casinos and carnivals anymore. They want real people, real products, and real adventures and the best way to find them is by seeking them out via social media content. As more people trickle into our area and create this organic social media content, it will spread to people we would never be able to reach on our own.

So how will we track this endeavor? It’s pretty simple.  I would wager that with an intentional message targeted at visitors, we can capture hundreds of thousands of impressions on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms. Capturing these free experiences will bolster current and future visitors’ impression of what an authentic visit to Tillamook looks like, and creates continuity and volume for potential visitors to see. And what they’ll see is that Tillamook is not a ghost town – people have been here and this is what they took pictures of, this is what they said, and this is what they did.

If you want your business to be a part of this ‘Tell your Story’ Campaign, reach out to us at

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Some hands on deck, some hands all over the rest of the project

More great news! The last of the girders went in Tuesday morning, as smooth as anyone might hope for. Attention on the bridge will now immediately shift to building the deck, which is estimated to take about a month.

Elsewhere in the project, the good weather has meant that concrete work is zipping along- the first pours into the radial pattern on the corner of First and Pacific in front of the Pioneer Museum are complete, with the next pours just waiting on curing and weather and on track to wrap up next week. Curb work on Front Street will take place later this week, as well as more forming, pouring and set up of the sidewalks and ADA ramps on the north half of the block between Second and Third, in front of Pacific Restaurant.

One of the heating oil tanks that was discovered on the north half of the block between Third and Fourth in front of Homelife Furniture was removed Monday, and the second tank, located in front of So Chic Boutique, should come out soon. Access to those businesses is still in place, with the approach to So Chic and Diamond Art set up from the south side of the block.

Folks who are really paying attention to project details will notice that the gate at the Post Office has been installed and is fully operational. Electricians are working on several aspects of the project, installing the conduit and basework for future traffic control devices, so you may notice that activity in several areas.

It has been fun to report to you how efficiently things have been moving forward these past few weeks. Both for the sake of the project and our collective Vitamin D levels, please join me in keeping your fingers crossed for nice weather, which is a major factor in keeping up this recent pace. Thank you to all the folks you sent over pictures and comments about the project and the newsletter. If you have anything you would like to share, please feel free to call or email me or share them to the Tillamook Chamber Facebook page.

Get Involved with your Local Chamber of Commerce

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

These are some of my favorite times at the Chamber – when the type and amount of projects we are working on is so extensive we have to step outside ourselves and bring in more professionals to get the job done.

Last week we posted two Request for Proposals to our website and Facebook page seeking individuals and businesses to respond.

The first was for our Downtown Planter Program. The Chamber owns 60 planters located throughout downtown Tillamook that are in place to help beautify our town center. However, in order for these planters to be, well, beautiful, they need someone skilled and experienced in the knowledge of plants and coastal environment to take care of them. We are looking for individuals, businesses and organizations to send in their proposals and budget for a two-year commitment to take care of these planters and ensure they are looking their best at all times for both visitors and residents to enjoy. For a full description of the project and requirements, you can find the RFP at

We also put out a second Request for Proposal last week looking for a professional/semi-professional photographer to help capture the faces, places and attractions of Tillamook. These photos will help us create a photo library to represent Tillamook well through local and visitor marketing. In order to move forward with authentic tourism marketing efforts, it is imperative we have the visual assets that will truly tell our stories and represent our businesses. If you are a photographer, or know one who might be interested, take a look at the RFP at

I also mentioned last week that the TIllamook Farmers Market is in the process of finding people to fill positions on the Market Advisory Committee. So if planting flowers or taking photos doesn’t speak your language, maybe being part of a collaborative round-table discussion that helps propel the Market forward in a positive and sustainable direction is a better fit.

And the work doesn’t stop there. We are still actively looking for volunteers to work on a number of projects, from helping us in the office to stay open on Saturdays for visitors to projects that can be done at home like laying vinyl on our new membership plaques. It’s a fun environment to be a part of, and if you have no experience doing a specific project don’t worry, we offer training and all the resources you need to be successful.

There are lots of ways to get involved right now and help the Chamber continue living its mission to build community and grow opportunities for businesses and individuals. If you’d like to keep up with what the Chamber is doing and be the first to see our announcements, sign up for our brand new e-newsletter at

Highway 101/6 Project Update: Girder-pocalypse Phase 2

Last week we had incredible support spreading the message about the setting of the girders on Friday. Good news and bad news- everything went so smoothly and quickly that all of the girders were set and delivered prior to noon on Friday with minimal traffic back up during the morning and the bridge free and clear all afternoon. The bad news, you ask? I was unable to get any video footage to share with you. Don’t worry though- the next sets of girders are slated for delivery on Monday (February 12th) and Tuesday (February 13th) with the same timeline originally expected for this past Friday. Please double down on spreading the word again that bridge traffic will be highly impacted by girder delivery and crane work from 8-4 on Monday and Tuesday. We will all cross our fingers that things go as smoothly and quickly next week, but be ready for a longer window of delays.
If you’ve been driving through this week wondering what is happening between girder deliveries, you’ve likely noticed that crews are very busy in the area removing the crane pads and prepping for the next two deliveries. Monday will see the setting of the girders on the north side, and Tuesday the south side. Don’t worry- I have it on my calendar to get there with camera in hand.
Elsewhere on the project, sidewalk pours have been moving along on the southern half of the block between Third and Fourth, allowing for a shift in pedestrian traffic to begin excavation on the north end of the block between Homelife Furniture and Diamond Art Jewelers. This is important to note in the Valentine’s Day shopping rush- Diamond Art and So Chic are ready for you, despite the change in access. The north side of that block has a minimum of two rumored heating oil tanks, which contractors are set to deal with as quickly as possible. By next week we will likely have a better idea of what condition those tanks are in and how they will be dealt with.
You may have noticed how quickly work has progressed on the north half of the block between Second and Third! Sidewalks will be back in place and functional there in the very near future, and soon crews will be looking to dive in to the last block on the east side, between First and Second. Meanwhile, the pouring of the radial concrete in front of the Pioneer Museum is waiting for weather windows, but should be happening late this week and early next week. Below the surface, electrical conduit work is happening all along Main in anticipation of new signals and streetlamps. The City of Tillamook’s Public Works Department has been coordinating water line upgrades and installation along the new bridge work. Throughout the project area, specialists of all types are putting together the pieces as we enter the final nine months of work.
Thank you for all of your efforts in sharing the word about the traffic delays on the bridge, and if you have any questions or happen to catch any great photos of the progress, feel free to email them to me or share them to the Tillamook Chamber Facebook page.

Tillamook Farmers Market: Market Advisory Committee Application

The Market Advisory Committee will be comprised of Market vendors, community members and one Tillamook Chamber of Commerce Board Member. The Committee will work with Chamber staff to review policies, procedures, and occasionally vendor applications. The Committee will help advise Chamber staff on items such as marketing, fundraising, policies and Market activities. The Committee is not an official decision-making body but rather is in place to offer information and expertise when it comes to Market affairs to help steer the Market’s growth in a sustainable and positive direction.

Click here to learn more and download an official application: Market Advisory Committee Application

Tillamook Farmers Market Updates

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Is it too early to be planning for summer? That’s definitely what we’re doing here at the Chamber as we start amping up for our first season managing the Tillamook Farmers Market. We are honored and excited to be taking on this endeavor that is a summer staple and a valuable tool for attracting visitors and circulating them through our downtown.

The Market has been a Tillamook tradition since 2000, and since its inception has changed hands a number of times. It was started by the Tillamook Revitalization Association before becoming its own 501(c)6 non-profit organization. As you may have heard, the Chamber Board agreed to adopt the duties of running the Market late last year. While the market will go on with business as usual, we are anticipating some change in the behind-the-scenes structure to make things easier and more productive for farmers, vendors, and the community.

One of our first steps will be establishing a Market Advisory Committee in the next couple of weeks. The committee will be comprised of vendors, community members and one Chamber Board Member. The committee will meet a hand full of times each year to review policies, procedures and give input on vendor applications. They’ll be a sounding board for our staff and will offer insight and valuable information to ensure that we make informed decisions that are best for the Market. An advisory committee is different than the former Board of Directors in that it isn’t burdened with administrative responsibility, but rather helps advise Chamber staff and steer the Market in a positive direction through brainstorming and recommendations.

If you’re interested in serving on this Committee and would like an application, email or find a copy on our website The committee will have its first meeting in early March to finalize a set of policy changes we are looking to make so that we can begin vendor recruitment.

While in the past the Tillamook Farmers Market has always had a titled “Market Manager,” the majority of this work will be handled by our new Director of Communications, Sayde Moser-Walker. Sayde will work closely with the Market Advisory Committee to facilitate an extensive marketing plan, find sponsorship opportunities, schedule Market activities, and of course handle the day-to-day organization of running the Market. She will be available to Vendors Monday-Friday by email and in the Chamber office from 9-2 on Mondays and Fridays (and of course at the Markets on Saturdays throughout the season.)

Sayde has an extensive background in communications and marketing, and has spent the last five years living in Tillamook building relationships with community members. While Sayde is also in charge of the Chamber’s communications and marketing, it seemed like a reasonable fit to bring her in as the point person for the Farmers Market. You can reach her directly at or

I hope you’re as excited as we are for this new adventure. The Farmers Market is an essential tool for small businesses and farmers to connect with their customers, and is also a significant way to draw people into downtown so that our other business owners can benefit from these shoppers. Because the Chamber is all about growing businesses and building community, it’s a great fit for us.

Market Advisory Committee Application

Team Spirit – The Chamber Board of Directors Pt 4

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Things are moving along nicely into the new year, and I wanted to pause and introduce you to two more of our seasoned board members.

Mary Faith Bell

Mary Faith Bell. Mary Faith is the Director of Communications and Marketing for Tillamook Regional Medical Center. She has been on the Chamber Board for nearly five years, and has served a variety of roles, including the Board President, Vice President and Past President.

When Mary Faith joined our board, she was excited to support local businesses. “Good things were happening at the Chamber, the organization was changing and growing and I was happy to get involved,” she recalled.

Mary Faith represents the hospital, which employs 545 people and is one of the bigger employers in Tillamook County. “I think it’s important to have representation on the board from local businesses of all sizes, from big to small,” she said.

Those of you who know Mary Faith know she  is highly skilled in communications, public relations, and building relationships – which is key to getting things done.  “It is my pleasure to be an ambassador for the Chamber in the community and outside the community, I love representing our culture wherever I go,” she said.

Mary Faith said she’s very proud of the new Chamber office. “It reflects us as an organization and represents our community to visitors in the best possible light.”

“I’m also proud of the work we’re doing downtown both to help mitigate the challenges of the Highway 6/101 construction project and to revitalize downtown, to make it the heart of our community, the place we gather and celebrate and shop and do business,” she added. “I am proud of the downtown business owners who are working so hard to survive the winter season, which is hard on the coast under the best of circumstances, coupled with construction and parking issues which are impacting everyone. I’m excited about the long view: to see downtown Tillamook five and ten years from now. I think we will be amazed at what we’ve accomplished.”

Looking ahead, Mary Faith is excited about the Chamber’s new role as the Tillamook Farmers Market manager: “That is a great fit and a terrific partnership,” she said. “The Farmers Market is already wonderful and I believe it will just keep getting better. In a small town, many of us wear multiple hats and as individuals and organizations. Partnering and combining efforts makes us all stronger.”

As one of our longest-serving Board members, Mary Faith has been an integral part of the Chamber’s continued growth. “In other communities, Chambers are shrinking and dying of attrition. The Tillamook Area Chamber has practically reinvented itself ,” she said.  “I want the community to know that you have every reason to be proud of your Chamber and to have confidence in us. The Chamber board is very dynamic, it’s a young board with great energy, innovative ideas and a heart to serve the community.”

Adrienne Allen

Adrienne Allen:  Adrienne and her husband run Victor Dairy, a 500-cow dairy farm. Born and raised in Tillamook, Adrienne is a firm believer in staying involved with her community, which spurred her decision to join the Chamber Board.

“We always make an effort to shop local, we are raising our five children here, and I wanted to help make a difference,” she said.

Adrienne brings a plethora of background and experience to the Board; she has her Bachelor’s Degree in business, is a former small-business owner, and a former employee of the Women’s Resource Center. “I’ve seen a lot of different aspects of our community through the years and how they are directly connected,” she said.

On top of that, she also used to work for the Tillamook County Creamery Association where she learned first hand how dairy is integrally incorporated into our community.

Above all, Adrienne likes to be a voice for families and advocate for family-friendly events.

“The small gatherings downtown have made a huge difference,” she said. “Both the community- and family-oriented events have been well attended and show how much we need those types of activities in our community.”

Adrienne said she’s excited to see ways to incorporate more downtown events to attract both local families and those traveling through the area. “I’ve been really impressed with the small businesses that are getting involved and having an online presence,” she said. “We’ve tried to attend each and every one of them and I’m excited to see more things that will bring families downtown.”

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Ready… Set… GIRDERS!

This week many of the things we discussed last week are continuing to roll along. Curbing was poured early this week in the area near Main and Fourth (south of Diamond Art Jewelers), and the “flatwork” (sidewalk and imprinting work) is underway in this last half of the week in that same area and also on North Main in front of Burden’s and stretching up toward America’s Mattress.
On the block between Second and Third, excavators are busy removing the last of the old sidewalk, and tackling the grading to prepare for the replacement of that sidewalk in the next few weeks. The vault that needed the wall replaced prior to finish is complete and closed with a new lid, and a temporary sidewalk is set and runs from the south end of the block near Sunflower Flats, so all businesses on that block are accessible from the corner of Third and Main.
The bridge work is also going smoothly. In the next two weeks, the girders will be brought in and placed, starting with the center span on Tuesday, February 6th, and then the end spans the following week, Monday and Tuesday, February 12th and 13th. There are eight girders in each of the spans, and bringing them in and placing them with the large crane will take most of the day. Traffic over the bridge will be closed intermittently as flaggers will stop traffic as a truck brings in the girder, and then the crane removes it and sets it down in to place. Flaggers will then reopen the bridge, clear out traffic and radio in the next truck. Expect intermittent long delays on the bridge between 8am and 4pm on Tuesday, 2/6Monday, 2/12, and Tuesday, 2/13. This will be an uncomfortable, frustrating few days of trying to move through town, so please plan ahead if possible, and keep in mind it will all be over soon.
Below I’ve included some photos from the progress in front of Pacific Restaurant this week, and a few photos I took last spring from my kayak under the northbound bridge (that we are currently using) while it was under construction.
Be safe out there!!

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: New Bridge Breaks Water and Progress Means More Changes Coming

Big changes begin to emerge this week and will continue in to the next few weeks as many areas in the project transition. The bridge supports are in place in the water, and this Friday, late morning, there will be a truck with concrete setting up to pour from the new bridge that is currently in use down into forms that will provide the base for the new southbound bridge. Expect traffic delays while that pour takes place, which will last less than an hour but will likely cause significant traffic disruption during that hour. That pour and subsequent traffic delay on the bridge is expected late morning (around 10) this Friday, January 26th.
Just south of the bridge, the curb and gutter is complete along the west side of Main Street from Burden’s up to First, in front America’s Mattress. (Photo Below.) Sidewalk is not far off there, although that stretch and much of the other sidewalk pouring that needs to take place is weather dependent, and will be touch and go with the forecast the next few weeks.
Further south along Main, the sidewalks from the corner of Third headed north along Sunflower Flats, Annie’s Country Sportswear, and Everything Pets are poured and set and looking very nice. Access to Tangled Yarns is intact from that new sidewalk. Now that the southern portion of that block is complete, demolition of the northern stretch, from Tangled Yarns up to the corner of Second Street Plaza, is set to take place through next week. There is only one vault in that stretch, which has already been excavated. One wall needs to be built there, and then it will be lidded and the rebuild of the sidewalk can begin. Once the demo starts early next week, access to Pacific Restaurant will transition from Main Street to their side door on Second Street Plaza.
Transition is on the horizon for the next block of Main as well- the heating oil tank that is south of Diamond Art Jewelers has run the agency gauntlet, and crews now have the green light to safely abandon that tank in place. The bioswale on that corner has already taken shape, and curb and gutter (followed by sidewalks) will be coming soon, assuming the weather cooperates.
Moving northeast a bit, you have probably noticed the forming and layout in place for the radial patterned concrete that is going in front of the Pioneer Museum on the corner of First and Pacific. Everything is set there to start pouring concrete as soon as it stops pouring rain.
In front of the Rodeo, work is progressing quickly. Another oil tank is set there, but this one is actually still in active use, and so the project will adapt to accommodate it. Stormwater drains and catchbasins are being set through there. and access to the Rodeo continues to be through the side door while they wrap up the underground work and get things graded and prepped for sidewalk replacement.
Finally, I just wanted to remind everyone about the zipper merge process and encourage you take advantage of as much of the lane capacity as there is available for as long as it is available in an effort to minimize the traffic back ups, particularly when headed southbound on from North Main. I will include another video about zipper merging below, and encourage you to share the strategy with friends and co-workers. Be safe out there!!

Chamber Banquet Recap

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The anticipation that surrounds the annual Chamber Banquet is a little like Christmas. It’s exciting, there is a lot of work to do, and some of the details (or shall we just call them surprises) aren’t worked out until the last minute.

And then, just like Christmas morning, the moment arrives and it is nothing short of magical. Thank you to everyone who chose to spend their evening with us celebrating the businesses and people of Tillamook County that make this a great place to live and work. It was a wonderful evening to enjoy each others company, eat some delicious food, and reflect on how far Tillamook has come in a single year.

With a total of 22 nominees and more than 350 guests, it was one of our most successful awards banquet to date. And as I said at the banquet, I was very relieved that I wasn’t the one who had to decide a winner for each of the four awards categories, because each nominee has enhanced Tillamook in their own way.

Congratulations to Yo Time Frozen Yogurt for taking home the Small Business of the Year Award. This was Yo Time’s second year in a row to receive this nomination, and I think the reasons they walked away with the award speak for themselves. They have created a fun and welcoming space that never ceases to bring people downtown despite the ongoing construction. They’re open late for that special hang-out spot after a local sports game, and they are always eager to partner with their fellow business owners for fun, family-friendly events.

Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks snagged the Business of the Year Award for their continued dedication to Tillamook. Werner’s truly is a poster child for the old adage that with a dream and hard work you can accomplish anything. What started 23 years ago as a one-person operation in a garage has grown to a successful endeavor that employs more than 100 people and ships products all over the United States. Yet the Werners have always stayed loyal to their community and values by supporting local organizations, non profits, and offering free shipping to all Veterans.

The category of Development Project of the Year went to De Garde Brewery. You can’t miss the impact they’ve made on Tillamook County – particularly downtown Tillamook with their extensive remodel of the former Napa building. We can be proud to know that people from all over the world will be traveling to our downtown thanks to De Garde’s wildly-popular sour beers, and the challenge has been raised for the rest of downtown to open their doors and be an active part of this growing audience.

And finally, with eight nominees in the category of Citizen of the Year, the honor went to Sue Cudd. Sue cannot be described in a single word. She’s a scientist; a mentor; a community volunteer; and a business owner. Many of your probably know Sue in one of her many roles, be it the owner of WHiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery or a dedicated Rotarian advocating and fundraising for impoverished communities in Guatemala. Her work with the AFS Intercultural Exchange program has helped connect our high schoolers with hundreds of different countries and cultures, leaving a lasting impact on Tillamook County as these young adults have grown up learning to respect and appreciate other cultures.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our 16 local restaurants who catered the entire event, and Chef Nelia Seratista  of Pacific Restaurant for being the coordinator. A few years ago we had this idea to bring in as many restaurants as we could instead of one single caterer, and it has helped make the Chamber Banquet a really unique event with amazing food.

We hope to see everyone again next year, and thank you for continuing to support the Chamber of Commerce.

Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Rodeo on First Street

The rain has returned with a vengeance this week, and much of the concrete and sidewalk work that will need to happen over the next few weeks will be at the mercy of the weather. As you drive through the project area you are sure to notice that curb, gutter and sidewalk crews are all over the place. In addition to big leaps forward in the radial work in front of the Pioneer Museum, the work continues on Main between Second and Third, and around the bioswale on Fourth and Main.
Excavation on First St between Pacific and Main in front of the Rodeo Steakhouse is one of the most striking new developments. Please note that the Rodeo is open regular hours throughout construction, and that access is available through their side door, which is on the west side (Main Street side) of the building, set back in their parking lot. A recent lunch there reminded me that I would cross any barrier for those spicy cheesy egg rolls…
Things are also moving efficiently on the bridge work. There are some big pours scheduled through the end of this week and in to next week, which will provide the base structure for the new bridge. This is exciting for progress, but also an easy way to get distracted as you’re driving through the area. Please be mindful of the stop and start traffic through the project area and stay safe.

Celebrating our Chamber Award Nominees Pt. 2

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Are you following the Chamber of Commerce on Facebook? If not, you should be! We’ve been taking the last week to announce our nominees for the Business Awards and it’s been fun to see our local businesses and citizens post their own announcements and share their excitement over being nominated.

Last week we gave you a sneak peek into the Business and Small Business nominations. This week is a sneak peek into the Development Project and Citizen nominations. Overall the list of nominees is stacked with amazing candidates and I have no idea how the selection committee is going to choose the award winners!

In the category of Development Project of the Year

Five Rivers Coffee Roasters: Our local coffee roaster has always been a source of pride for the community, and their recent remodel of both the interior and the exterior elevates that sense of pride. Travelers on Hwy 101 or visiting the Cheese Factory will be more compelled to try another Tillamook County product, thanks to the impressive industrial farmhouse remodel, and locals have a place to go that is inviting, friendly and appealing.

Partners for Rural Innovation Center: It’s hard to believe that it was only a year ago that we didn’t have the Partners for Rural Innovation Center. This building is home to OSU Extension and Open Campus, the Small Business Development Center, Visit Tillamook Coast and the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County. It’s a community resource for the small business owner, farmer, and agriculture student and provides an opportunity for these organizations to share ideas and grow together at the benefit of our entire community.

The Headlands Coastal Lodge: This newest Pacific City resort isn’t your typical vacation. With “adventure experts” instead of concierges, and a high-end restaurant that only serves the freshest, locally-sourced ingredients, The Headlands Coastal Lodge aims to attract visitors to our county and then send them out to explore and experience everything we have to offer – from amazing hikes, to great restaurants, local fishing guides and much more.

Netarts Surf Inn: Sky Veek and Nick Peterson took on this dramatic remodel that successfully turned a roadside eyesore into a hip motel that reflects the energy and personality of Netarts. The Netarts Surf Inn helps bring money into our county, and has increased property values in the connecting neighborhoods – not to mention it has helped spur the ongoing revitalization of this little coastal village.

De Garde Brewery: In the course of a few short months, De Garde Brewery transformed an empty building on Second Street into a stunning tasting room and attraction that brings people into our downtown for a taste of their world-famous sour beer. Their investment into downtown Tillamook is helping revitalize Second Street and the surrounding businesses by drawing people off of Hwy 101.

In the category of Citizen of the Year

Derrick Josi: Through his Facebook page Tillamook Dairy Farmer, Derrick Josi is shedding a positive light on the practices of dairy farming. With more than 13,000 followers, he is creating a daily conversation about how our dairy farmers treat their animals and why they are passionate about their work, and casting a regional spotlight on our agriculture community.

Randy Schild: Randy has been the Tillamook School District Superintendent for 16 years, but his involvement in our community spans his entire life. He’s been a student, teacher, administrator and coach. He is both the voice of Tillamook sports and an educational leader at the state level, and has put Tillamook on the map with his leadership and educational programs.

Kaylan Sisco: During his time as CEO of the Tillamook Family YMCA, Kaylan has become a friendly and irreplaceable member of our community. He is an avid volunteer and community supporter and has worked diligently to improve the experience of the YMCA for members and guests. In his role as CEO, the Y has made amazing strides towards financial stability and Kaylan is dedicated to continuing that work.

Chief Terry Wright: As our Chief of Police, Terry Wright helps keep our community safe. Yet his compassionate heart shines through his work as he takes time to take care of people – particularly children. Every year Chief Wright participates in Shop with a Cop and the Tillamook PD Cadet Program to help facilitate positive experiences between children and police officers.

Melissa Carlson-Swanson: Melissa is another one of those people continually working to ensure that our community is taken care of; from her work with the Food Bank, to her efforts on the local Housing Task Force, Melissa is a voice of reason and compassion who is eager to fix problems. She volunteers her time with Food Roots, the United Way, the Tillamook Farmers Market, and at nearly every community event.

Wally & Diane Nelson: Wally and Diane Nelson have been bettering our community one step at a time – from impacting students at Nestucca Valley School District through teaching, to coaching ballroom dancing lessons, to offering their time, talent and support to TAPA’s productions… Wally and Diane don’t know the meaning of holding still. It’s safe to say that TAPA and hundreds of Nestucca students – as well as most of our community – wouldn’t be the same without the Nelsons.

Raymond Block – Leaven No Trace: Driven only by donations, Raymond Block has been single-handedly cleaning up the Oregon Coast, one trash bag at a time. You’ve probably seen his efforts along Hwy 101 between Tillamook and Rockaway Beach, and he has removed hundreds of pounds of trash from our environment and helped raise awareness regarding littering and environmental issues.

Sue Cudd: As the owner of Whiskey Creek Shellfish Hatchery, Sue’s work in mentoring the next generation of shellfish farmers and scientists speaks for itself. Sue is also an active Rotarian, and advocates for the aid efforts being made in impoverished Guatemalan countries. She has hosted more than 30 foreign exchange students and through her leadership role has helped foreign exchange students receive scholarship money – which in turn helps connect our community to hundreds of countries and cultures  around the world.

We hope you can join us at the annual Chamber Banquet, where all the nominees will be honored and the winners will be announced. For more information, email us at

Celebrating our Chamber Award Nominees Pt. 1

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

As we continue to celebrate the businesses, projects and people who will be honored at our annual Awards Banquet on January 20th, I wanted to share more about each nominee and why they are a worthy nomination.

Business of the Year Nominees:

Tillamook Family YMCA: The YMCA has made great strides this year in tailoring to the needs of its members and our community. A few of their recent accomplishments include increasing their program hours to 100 per week; adding an electric swimsuit dryer; replacing the flooring in the locker rooms; and increasing staff training and qualifications. The Board, staff and Executive Director are diligent in their efforts to remain transparent, fiscally responsible and sustainable for the future. And, it must be working since 2017 saw more people utilizing the YMCA than any other year.

Pacific Restaurant: After an extensive remodel, Pacific Restaurant opened in November, right in the thick of the downtown construction. They’ve offered private events and high quality farm-to-table dining, helping revive the downtown business core during the tough winter months and supporting our local farmers and fisherman. Pacific Restaurant is always eager to help local organizations and nonprofits and have created not only a downtown restaurant but also a usable space for community efforts.

Roby’s Furniture: Roby’s has been a staple in Tillamook for years, but they’ve always been more than a furniture store; they are family. Their employees have a long-standing history with Roby’s Furniture, and each year they give back to the community in big ways through a variety of hands-on projects, including Habitat for Humanity of Tillamook County, Helping Hands Re-Entry Outreach Center, and our local school districts. Best of all, they recently decided to make Tillamook the home of their new flagship store, reinvesting in their commitment to our community.

Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks: Since 1994, Werner’s Gourmet Meat Snacks have been producing quality wholesale meat snacks right here in Tillamook and employees more than 100 people. Every year Werner’s donates thousands of dollars and products to help better our community. They sponsor a number of fundraising efforts each year, including the Care Bowl-a-Thon, Garibaldi Days, the Tillamook School District Backpack Program, Relay For Life and many more.  And, with an expansion in their future they will be creating more jobs for our community.

Small Business of the Year Nominees:

Yo Time Frozen Yogurt: Yo Time Yogurt has become a staple for families, young adults, and community members of all ages who want a fun place to gather. This last year they have placed an emphasis on hosting family-friendly events – like Family Feud and a Ginger Bread House contest – and providing a regular venue for local artists to perform. They’re more than just a frozen yogurt shop; they are a hub of community activity. And they’ve worked to not only improve their own establishment, but also improve our community.

Visit Tillamook Coast: In this year alone, Visit Tillamook Coast published its first guidebook – 25 Hikes on Oregon’s Tillamook Coast – and began work on an extensive and comprehensive agri-tourism endeavor. Through marketing efforts that utilize new and traditional media, Visit Tillamook Coast highlights local activities and attract visitors who are seeking an authentic experience instead of just another vacation. They awarded $100,000 in grants throughout the county to help promote Tillamook as a haven for people who like to be outdoors, enjoy our natural resources and farm-to-table dining and patronize our local businesses.

Local Dog House: The owners of Local Dog House have shown a continued investment in our community since they began as a booth at the Farmers Market. Even after the Second Street Market closure, Local Dog House has made a comeback, purposefully choosing to stay in downtown Tillamook and offer an affordable, family-friendly lunch option. The Local Dog House is also an avid supporter of our school district, and likes to give teens and young adults work experience.

Two Hats Ranch: For more than three decades, Two Hats Ranch has been a premier facility for nearly everything horse related – from training, boarding, riding lessons, breeding and veterinary care, they are a reliable and knowledgeable resource if you are a horse owner. They offer therapy riding lessons for children with special needs and specialize in educating youth about equine care. Owner Zoe has been an active 4-H participant for 50 years and they continue to support 4-H equine activities and foster a love of horses in children.

De Garde Brewery: Since its inception, De Garde Brewery has been putting TIllamook on the map with its internationally-recognized wild beers that bring people to our area from all over the world. And while the popularity of their beer speaks for itself, owner Linsey Rogers made the intentional decision to renovate an empty downtown building to be the new home of their tasting room, and help the revitalization efforts in our downtown core.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore: The ReStore in Bay City is more than just your average thrift store. It creates livable jobs; offers opportunities for people to job train and learn new skills; and directly supports the programs of Habitat for Humanity of TIllamook County, which offers affordable home ownership to qualified families and individuals. While our county grapples with the housing crisis, the ReStore is doing its part by offering quality furniture, and home supplies at an affordable price and directly supporting Habitat’s home builds that help strengthen and stabilize our community.


Hwy 101/6 Project Update: The Final Chapter Begins

Happy New Year!! Things have been busy since the start of the 2018, with lots of progress on the bridge and the beginning of the development of the “Crosstown Connections” trail, along with curb, gutter, and sidewalk work. Demolition of the old bridge is underway this week, and the calendar is full of bridge work in the next couple of weeks as some big pours go in. If you’ve been to the Feed Store lately down on Front St., you’ve likely noticed the incredible progress at Sue H. Elmore Park, and maybe noted the new sidewalk and driveway from Front St. into Burden’s.
Along First near Pacific, the curbing in front of the Pioneer Museum is coming together nicely, and the intricate radial pattern that is designed for that space should be coming soon. On the Post Office side, the brick wall is being finished this week, and the next couple of weeks includes the electrical work, concrete and track for the new gate that will be installed into the rear parking area.
On Main, the heating oil tank that was discovered in front of Everything Pets has been addressed, and that space filled so progress on the remaining vaults and northern stretch of sidewalk can move forward. Access to Tangled Yarns will shift from the north (Second St. south along Main to the door) to the south (so you will approach from Third, passing Sunflower Flats, Annie’s Country Sportswear, and Everything Pets). Decisions about how to handle the more massive tank between Third and Fourth are still being made.
Meanwhile, excavation crews have plenty to do tackling the clearing and beginning of the trail making process for the new “Crosstown Connections” path. The photo above shows the design and path of the trail that will lead from the Hoquarton Slough all the way to Goodspeed Park. For those of you who might need more of an incentive to try that trail out, later this spring Werner Gourmet Meats will be opening their Deli and Tasting Room, where you can follow that trail from downtown all the way through Goodspeed Park and across Third St to the big flag and enjoy a pint of Werner Brewing Company beer and an amazing lunch. I’ll see you there.
Cheers to a fulfilling and rewarding 2018!

Team Spirit – The Chamber Board of Directors Pt 3

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

In case you haven’t caught on by now, the Chamber Board of Directors is a large group of diverse people with an abundance of skills and abilities. The Chamber of Commerce is who it is, and the staff is able to do the work they do, because of these dedicated individuals. This week, I am excited to introduce you to two more Board members who are integral to the work we do.

Natalie Rieger

Natalie Rieger. For 16 years, Natalie and her mom have co-owned Sunflower Flats in downtown Tillamook, which last year was awarded Small Business of the Year at the Chamber of Commerce’s Community Awards Banquet. As a small business owner, Natalie is responsible for the accounting, marketing, scheduling, and ordering – as well as making deliveries and sweeping floors. In other words, she understands that small business owners have to master a myriad of tasks and responsibilities.

On top of all that, Natalie has spent the last year serving on the Chamber Board of Directors. She is a life-long Tillamook resident and as someone who understands the intricacies of retail, she felt that she could lend a “shopkeeper’s perspective” to the Chamber Board.  

“Sunflower Flats has been in business on the corner of 3rd and Main for 16 years and we have seen the progression of the Chamber becoming extremely relevant and involved in what’s going on with businesses in the county,” she said. “I was happy to be asked to be a part of that.”

Natalie is excited to find ways for the Chamber office to be open on Saturdays during the high-volume tourist season, as well as fostering new business placement as the downtown construction project looks to completion.

“The growth downtown has been exciting to see,” she said. “The successful Farmers Market, Second Street Plaza, Pacific Restaurant, de Garde Brewery just to mention a few. We are on the cusp of a really thriving and beautiful downtown core.”

Natalie added, “The Chamber is a constant hub of networking businesses and people. They are working to create business-to-business relationships such as the Tuesdays Together meetings, and business-to-public relationships  like the Cork & Brew Tour, and people-to-people opportunities like the Chamber-sponsored excursion to China. Plus, the new space downtown is welcoming to business professionals and travelers. I like that entrepreneurs who don’t necessarily have a storefront can use their facilities to meet with clients.”

In conclusion, Natalie said the Chamber is working hard to listen to its members’ needs and feedback. “[The staff] is very organized, thoughtful and are creative leaders,” she said. “My fellow board members are progressive thinking, smart and level-headed human beings.”

Sarah Absher

Sarah Absher:  Sarah is the Owner/Principal Instructor of Dance Zone and  the Director of the Tillamook County Department of Community Development. She has served on the Chamber Board for one year.

As a small business owner herself with a strong development background, Sarah understands the needs and challenges of coastal businesses and recognizes the importance of making sure these business owners have local support. Her professional background in land-use planning and development and her knowledge and relationships with the local community and state agency partners helps support the Chamber and facilitate discussions related to development and community projects.

“Networking with local community and state agency partners to help facilitate discussions with community members, as well as providing information when needed to help small businesses maneuver through local development review processes is extremely important and I see my role as a Chamber Board member as being the person who can assist in these efforts,” she said. “The Chamber has made strong efforts to connect with the community in various ways, especially during the Highway 6/101 project, and including the downtown improvement projects; the staff has done a great job in making sure community members are regularly updated as the construction schedule moves forward.”

Sarah also views  her role as a Board Member as a great way to help her community.

Community is so important,” she emphasised. “Tillamook County is my home and where I grew up. My family consists of small business owners, commercial fishermen and loggers. We must help support one another in ensuring the economic sustainability and vitality of our small coastal communities.”

“Tillamook is changing/evolving at a rapid rate and I look forward to seeing what the next ten years brings,” she added. “My hope is that the Chamber continues to be a strong partner, advocate and resource for local businesses and remains actively engaged in helping with downtown revitalization efforts.”

The Chamber, and our entire business community, is grateful for the time, energy and passion that Natalie and Sarah bring to the team.


Hwy 101/6 Project Update: Final Update of 2017

There has not been a lot of news lately to report- which is truly a sign of fairly smooth sailing. The heating oil tanks that were discovered along Main have been sampled and by the end of today they should both be completely drained out. Samples have been taken from the surrounding soil, and as soon as the results from those samples come back, contractors are prepared to move on with the next steps to get those areas filled and move forward toward sidewalk replacement.
You may notice a decrease in activity toward the end of this week through the new year. There is some year-end safety training scheduled for some of the contractors, along with the holiday juggle. Excavation and grading work will likely be ongoing, as well as some concrete work (assuming the weather is amenable). Bridge work will wrap up tomorrow (Wednesday) and resume again on January 2nd.
A reminder that pedestrian access IS OPEN across the new bridge and along the east side of the highway from Pacific to North Main. There is still some work going on at the bioswales on the north side, but pedestrians are welcome through there, and the Dial-A-Ride and Tillamook Wave services are no longer necessary for crossing through the area. Whether walking or driving through the area, it is a good idea to be extra attentive, as many folks will be visiting for the season and navigating the area for the first time or distracted with heads full of sugar plums and what not.
One area that you may notice construction efforts in the coming weeks is along the future trail that will lead from the Hoquarton Interpretive Area all the way out to Goodspeed Park. The clearing and grubbing (technical terms) of that trail will begin this week, and work on the next phase of the decking of the rail bridge over Highway 6 will begin very early in January.
Each week as we sit around the table and talk about scheduling and the immediate horizon, I ask the various representatives of the construction companies, engineering firms and ODOT if they have any special priorities that they would like to share in the newsletter. This week they asked me to convey their best wishes to all of the community this holiday season, and express their appreciation for the welcome they have received here. I join them in expressing my hope that these next few weeks are full of all of the things that you love and appreciate, and look forward to this coming year and all of the opportunity and promise that is ahead of us.

Team Spirit – The Chamber Board of Directors Pt 2

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Last month, I introduced you to our Board Chair Whitey Forsman and Vice Board Chair Kayla Seaholm. These two individuals are part of an 11-member Board of Directors that  keeps the Chamber’s work  relevant and our business community strong.  Today I am eager to introduce you to another two of our talented and passionate Board members.

Sheila Zerngast. Sheila and her husband own the Tillamook Coliseum Theater, which was recently named Business of the Year by the Economic Development Council of Tillamook County.  The Zerngasts also own P & L Heating and Sheet Metal, and Sheila is  the program manager for the Tillamook County Community Developmental Disabilities Program at Tillamook Family Counseling Center. For the last two years, Sheila has been offering her services on the Chamber Board of Directors.

She joined our Board because, quite frankly, she loves Tillamook. (You would have to love it here to own two successful businesses, right?).

I love the community, and I love the people,” she said. “[Being on the Chamber Board] is a great way to be more connected to other businesses in Tillamook, and to get to know what is happening in our town and community.”

Sheila is our die-hard volunteer. She has years of experience working with different agencies and organizations, and enjoys planning events and working with volunteers. Her day job requires an ability to find resources for individuals and she has been able to apply this skill to our Board.

“I also think almost anything is possible if you work hard enough and do your homework,” she said. “So, I don’t take no very easily, and I am never afraid to ask the question.”

In particular, Sheila said she is most proud of how the Chamber has become an essential component  in the downtown reconstruction and rejuvenation. “I firmly believe big things are coming for Tillamook, and I think the Chamber is a key player in bringing those great things,” she said. “I am so excited we are downtown now, and right in the thick of things. It has opened so many doors for events, partnering, and spearheading projects. It keeps us on the front lines of what is happening in the city along with what is going on in the community and makes us an integral part of the daily workings of Tillamook.

“We have an amazing board, director and staff that are all committed to making the businesses in our community, and the community as a whole as successful as possible,” she added. “I am excited to see how each month we are able to put that energy and mission into practice.”

Kaylan Sisco:  Kaylan is one of our newer Board members with a year and a half under his belt. Many people in our community have heard and know of Kaylan by his coined radio introduction “Hey, this is Kaylan from the Y!” He’s a lifeguard, custodian, tour guide, game player, and life changer. In short, he is the Executive Director of the Tillamook YMCA.

Kaylan joined our Board because he’s the type of person who can’t just live in a community; he has to be involved. And we are lucky to have his 18 years of nonprofit experience helping to guide the Chamber’s direction.

Like Sheila, he is excited about our new location downtown.

“I don’t say it’s the ‘Chamber Office’ because it is so much more than that,” he said. “The fact that we have created a community space with resources for our businesses is a huge step in a new direction of support.”

Kaylan is an advocate for small businesses and finding support and resources on a larger scale through statewide and national partnerships.

“The Chamber is here for the benefit of the community,” he said.

We would not be able to do the work we are doing without support from Sheila and Kaylan. They are an essential part of our team and each are a valuable asset to our community and the Chamber.


Small Business Saturday 2017 was a Smashing Success

Sierra Lauder

by Sierra Lauder

Small Business Saturday. Wow. Downtown was packed! I was able to spend the day at the Chamber validating receipts for the #constructdowntown Sweepstakes, and we were busy all day! Well over 250 receipts were submitted for the drawing, and we chose three lucky winners on Saturday evening. The Sweepstakes continues through the end of the year, so if you didn’t make it in Saturday, don’t despair- you have plenty of time to enter between now and December 29th. Locals and visitors alike took advantage of many of the great sales our downtown merchants were offering, and many Christmas presents were purchased. If you are struggling with a few of the names on your list this year and need inspiration, I would invite you to park along Pacific or off of Ivy and stroll through downtown- the variety of fun, creative, unique and affordable options is inspiring. Hard to shop for kids that don’t need any more toys? Stop at Art Accelerated and pick up a gift certificate for their children’s art classes. Mother-in-law that you need to find a gift for but aren’t speaking to after “Stuffing Battle 2017”? Sunflower Flats has got you covered. Teenage daughter who hates everything? Madeline’s has jewelry you’ll be happy to steal back after it gets left on the bathroom counter, or Phoenix Bucks from the Phoenix Exchange so she can choose her own poison.  

It was great fun to see how many families were out enjoying the nicer weather, and gathering at the fun events that were happening throughout downtown. Cupcake decorating at Sarasota’s bakery seemed especially popular this year, with many happy kids devouring their masterpieces almost immediately upon completion. Yo Time hosted a Gingerbread House Building Competition, and five families put on an impressive display of team work. Some of the smaller builders seemed to be eating almost as quickly as others were creating, but that didn’t slow anyone down, and in the end it was very hard to pick a winner. By a close margin, Team Herder took First Prize with a sweet little chalet-style cottage- congratulations to Chella, Christian and Jude, and thanks to all of the teams who donated their entry fees of cash and tarps to CARE, who helps provide resources to those without shelter this holiday season.

Small Business Saturday 2017 is really the kick-off of the holiday season downtown, so if you missed the fun last Saturday: don’t despair! Many businesses are continuing fun specials and sales throughout the season. The Phoenix Exchange is hosting a few Pop-Up Vendors through the end of December, and Diamond Art Jewelers and So Chic Boutique are offering gift wrapping (a favorite courtesy in my book). Be sure that wherever you shop downtown, you visit the Chamber after with your receipt, so we can get you entered in the Sweepstakes! The weekly drawings continue, with Diamond Art, So Chic Boutique, Yo Time, Tillamook Coliseum Theater, Sheldon Oil and Fat Dog Pizza each sponsoring one of the remaining weekly prizes before the grand finale: $1000 of Downtown Cash sponsored by US Bank.

This coming Saturday is the City’s Tree Lighting Festival in front of City Hall, followed by the Tillamook Holiday Light Parade! This year’s parade is shaping up to be bigger and brighter than ever, so you will not want to miss it! Santa is doing double duty this Saturday, making appearances both at City Hall and at Hanger B, so if you missed him at Homelife last weekend, it’s not too late! For more information about these and other upcoming holiday season events, don’t forget to check out the Tillamook Living Calendar, or feel free to call the Chamber office, and we’ll help you find details: (503) 842-7525.

Highway Project: Surprise Oil Tank and Big Splash


The big news this week is the disruption of the smooth sailing we’ve been predicting on the block of Main between Third and Fourth. South of the entrance to Diamond Art Jewelry a large underground oil tank was discovered. The tank sits approximately fourteen feet underground, and still holds a small amount of oil. An environmental specialist has come out to draw a sample, and once results from that sample are in, the tank will be vacuumed out to allow for an inspection of the tank itself. That inspection will inform the next steps of how to address the issue. This is a great time to cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Despite that setback, progress continues to leap forward in other areas of the project. This week will include the pouring of sidewalks in front of Sunflower Flats in anticipation of a reconfiguration of pedestrian traffic in that area next week. Crews are ready to dive in and address two more vaults on Main (one in front of Pacific Restaurant, and the other between Tangled Yarns and Everything Pets). Compared to the massive vault on the corner, these two will be fairly small and straightforward- requiring reinforcing and new doors. Sunflower Flats is not quite out of the construction zone though- also Monday, crews will wrap around the corner and begin a similar reinforcement and new door for the Third Street access to the large basement under the Sunflower Flats/Tillamook Apartments building.
The final pours for the sidewalks that will reopen pedestrian access across the bridge should take place in the next two weeks, finally bringing an end to the need to shuttle back and forth through the area. The grading in front of the Pioneer Museum at the corner of First and Pacific is complete, and the radial concrete work there will be fill-in as the concrete crews move between other areas of the project.
Everything is on schedule for the demolition of the old bridge. The deck paneling in the center has been removed, and crews are now tearing out the diaphragms and girders. Once the center is completely removed, the same process will occur on the ends- deck first, then diaphragms and girders. By the end of next week the old bridge should be completely deconstructed.
Finally, I would like to draw your attention to the high water that rises quickly both on the south side of the bridge and along North Main just north of the bridge. Hitting either puddle can be extremely startling- both can get very deep fairly quickly. They are developing because the current height of the asphalt is about three inches lower than it will be at project completion. For obvious reasons, the curbing, gutters, and drainage have all been poured to accommodate the final road height, and the resulting gap that exists right now is creating the puddling. The faster you are going through the puddles, the more extreme they seem, so not only will you want to use extra caution regarding your own speed, you may want to note when other drivers are going fast through there and prepare for resulting splashing.
We have much to be thankful and joyous about this holiday season, despite the challenges presented to us during this time of growth. Thank you for continuing to follow along with the construction process and frequent the downtown businesses who are muddling through the thick of things. Small Business Saturday last weekend was a testament to shoppers’ ability to find parking; it was a busy day downtown and several businesses reported record numbers despite the construction. This coming weekend is the City of Tillamook’s holiday extravaganza- there will be festivities all afternoon in and around City Hall, including cookie decorating, live music, and pictures with Santa. The Tree Lighting Ceremony is set for 5:30, with the Tillamook Holiday Light Parade following shortly after. Hope to see you there!

Small Business Saturday is coming, and it’s going to be HUGE

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

This is one of my favorite times of the year. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and so many members of our community will be gathering with friends and family far and wide to break bread and celebrate the holiday and tradition of coming together with grateful hearts.

For many, Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday shopping season, which is why Small Business Saturday was created as a way to remind people to shop local and support their local economy when looking for holiday gifts, decorations, Christmas cards, and more.

We celebrate Small Business Saturday every year in Tillamook, and every year we encourage our downtown core to get involved and make it a fun-filled day for shoppers. This year,  they’ve truly outdone themselves with events, contests, sales, and more. Here are just a few of the things going on:

Turkey Trot: This event is on Friday, Nov. 24. And while it’s not on Small Business Saturday, it is sure to get your heart rate up after the big Thanksgiving meal the day before and prepare you for the full day of eating and shopping on Saturday. The fun run/walk starts at Tillamook Ford, 501 Main Avenue at 9am. Bring a can of food for the Tillamook County Food Bank for entry.

Bloody Mary Bar at Rendezvous: Start the day off with a tasty Bloody Mary at the Rendezvous Cabaret, 214 Pacific Avenue. Donna will be serving up this traditional breakfast drink starting at 8 a.m. as well as her tempting breakfast items.

Brunch at Pacific Restaurant: Join chefs Neila and Phil for a world-class brunch experience from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 for adults. And nothing goes better with brunch than mimosas, so come thirsty too.

Cupcake Decorating at Sarasotas: A little hands-on fun for the whole family. Learn the art of decorating cupcakes with our experienced baker and decorator extraordinaire. The fun will begin at 1 p.m. and you can join them until 3 p.m.

Gift Tag Workshop with Art Accelerated: Even if you’re not the type to do homemade gifts, you can still consider homemade gift tags. This mini workshop from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is open to all ages and skill levels and is free to participate. So come visit with the artists, play with the art supplies on hand, and maybe even find some inspiration.

Gingerbread House Building Competition: From 1 p.m. – 2 p.m., YoTime will be hosting a contest for best gingerbread house. Teams of four are asked to register with Sierra before Saturday, and basic gingerbread house building supplies will be provided. The actual contest will kick off at 1:30 p.m. and a winner will be determined by audience applause.

Visit with Santa at Homelife Furniture: Santa will be kicking back in a cozy chair at Homelife Furniture from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and he’s ready to visit with your children and review their Christmas lists. This event is free and parents are welcome to take photos.

As if that isn’t enough to entice to you to spend your day downtown, we are also having a #Contstuctdowntown Sweepstakes promotion! We are lifting the one receipt per day rule for Small Business Saturday. This Saturday only the Chamber office will be open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and will be validating EVERY receipt you have from the day for an entry into both the weekly #Contstructdowntown Sweepstakes and the $1,000 grand prize drawings. The more places you shop on Saturday, the more chances you have of winning Tillamook swag that we will draw for that evening and the $1,000 grand prize drawing around the New Year!

To find out more specifics about each shop’s sales and specials, pick up a pamphlet at any of our local downtown businesses. Sierra started distributing them yesterday and they are a comprehensive guide to help shoppers get the most out of their time downtown.


Come Volunteer with the Chamber!

by Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Sometimes you throw an idea out there and have no idea how well it will grow and blossom. That was what we did with the #ConstructDowntown Sweepstakes, which began last month and runs through the end of December. It was a brainchild of ours that began as a simple conversation, and we’ve been overwhelmed at the response. Participation every week has been phenomenal!

However it has identified a bit of a problem: People want the Chamber office open on the weekends; well, at least on Saturdays. We used to always be open on Saturdays between Memorial Day and Labor dat at our old location, and still had plans to do that at our new location . Yet it seems that with the relocation to downtown and the popularity of the sweepstakes, a paradigm shift has occurred in terms of what our community wants from the Chamber as a central hub.

Naturally, we would love to be open seven days a week to serve our community members and visitors with an inviting gathering place, quality information, and fun merchandise. But here is the dilemma: We aren’t able to cover those extra hours within our current budget and staff capacity. In order to see the Chamber office open more than five days a week, we need help from our community members and loyal readership. Basically, we need volunteers. We need folks who love the Tillamook area as much as we do and want to share that enthusiasm and knowledge with everyone who walks through the front door.

So if you are interested in spending a few hours each month in what some say is the coziest downtown location, helping visitors discover new facets of our town, and lifting up our business and tourism community, then we want you!

You don’t need to be an expert in the area, or know the answers to all the questions that might get thrown at you. You just need to have a positive and professional attitude, dress appropriately, and follow a short list of guidelines regarding how we want to welcome people and refer them to local businesses. Don’t worry – we’ll train you. It’s a fun way to meet new people, share your passions and expertise, and bring a smile to someone’s day. It’s a great opportunity for the right high school student who needs some volunteer experience, and we often heard from our volunteers at the old office how rewarding it was to spend their day educating visitors about the many things to do, places to eat, and sites to see in our area.

If you would like to volunteer at the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce visitor center in downtown Tillamook please contact us by calling (503) 842-7525 or emailing


Chamber Awards nominations due Dec. 1

Tillamook Chamber Annual Awards Banquet

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

There’s an inclination that happens every November where we start to count the things we are thankful for in preparation for Thanksgiving. It’s a time of reflection and gratitude. The bustle of summer is over and the excitement of the holidays is only just starting to permeate throughout everyday lives, and we have time to pause and give thanks.

It’s been quite a year at the Chamber and there is much that I am thankful for. We have a capable and passionate staff, a dedicated board, and members who are engaged and eager to build our community into the best place to live and work on the Oregon Coast. We have watched the construction project from our front window and have kept our readers and newsletter subscribers up to date on what to expect as a way to mitigate any problems or confusion. We’ve planned a trip to Ireland that is almost sold out, and hosted a number of successful community events that brought together people and ideas and celebrated both. We’ve created a fun initiative to shop locally this holiday season, and have watched as our business community has reached across the aisle to support and help one another.

I am hoping that now our readers can channel this wave of gratitude and spend a few moments filling out nominations for our annual Chamber Awards. The nomination form is conveniently located on our website,, where you simply select which award you’re making a nomination, answer four questions and hit submit. You can also upload any letters of support, or drop them off at the Chamber office during business hours.

The categories this year are Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Developmental Project of the Year; and Citizen of the Year. Any and all businesses, projects, and people in Tillamook County are eligible, and nominees will be honored at the annual Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce Awards Banquet on Jan. 20, 2018.  

Once again, there are dozens of qualified candidates that come to mind for each award. All you have to do is take a walk downtown, or drive down Third Street, to see some of the amazing development and community spirit we have in our great city. It almost seems impossible to pick just one.

However, in order for our awards committee to review the applications and have the plaques printed, we need all nominations and supporting materials submitted by Dec. 1, 2017. That gives you just over three weeks to make a nomination. The form is simple, and it will only take a few minutes of your time to consider who and what you are thankful for this year and let them know. You can remain anonymous as the nominator if you wish, and if you would like to attend the ceremony in January you can request an invitation. It’s a small gesture, but I can assure you it means a lot to those in our community who work tirelessly to provide us with goods and services that enrich our lives and sustain our economy. Just knowing that someone out there appreciates the work they are doing and took the time to say “thank you” is a great blessing this time of year.

We will announce the nominees next month – so until then, go over to and fill out the form. There is no limit to how many businesses, projects, and people you can nominate. They will all receive an invitation to the banquet in January. And as always, thank you for your help in making this another successful Chamber event.

Hwy Project Update Nov. 2

Happy Halloween! As I type, chaos is unfolding in front of the Chamber office in the form of Downtown Trick-or-Treating. The construction crews have definitely taken this event in to consideration, and heavy equipment and active work has been moved to accommodate the crowds. Police Chief Terry Wright has mustered his flagging squad to assist families back and forth across the streets, as safety in the midst of this project is a top priority.

A quick update on the overview of the project:

The manhole work that took place late last week in the middle of the intersection of First and Main was smooth and successful, which minimized the length of time the intersection had to be flagged. The dry weather has meant excavation work has been able to move along quickly, and the vault work on Main and the sidewalk and expanded landing in front the Pioneer Museum on the corner of First and Pacific have been progressing nicely. The rest of this week will include the final removal of old materials from the vaults in front of Sunflower Flats, Everything Pets and Tangled Yarns, as well as the placement of the last layers of fill and the waterproof membrane that will be installed below the sidewalk. That work will set the stage for a big next step: the beginning of demolition of the stretch of Main in front of Diamond Art Jewelers down to the corner of Fourth and Main near Wells Fargo. The block will be torn up in two sections, with that southern section coming out first. All involved are optimistic that the stretch there will go quickly, as there are no underground vaults to address. That corner will feature a bioswale, as will the corner in front of Sunflower Flats. The plan is to begin the layout of both bioswales in the next few weeks in tandem with each other.

Be prepared that this upcoming work will mean traffic down to one lane at times and the closure of parking on the east side of Main all the way from Second (where we have seen it closed to Third) down to Fourth (where we have previously enjoyed parking in front of So Chic Boutique and Diamond Art). It does not look like there will be much need for flagging in the upcoming weeks, but with all of these changes and some of the big equipment required to do this work, please continue to be extra cautious and allow plenty of time to move through downtown.

Also, brush your teeth. I mean, enjoy the festivities…


Introducing The Chamber Board of Directors Pt. 1

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Over the next few months, I am going to be using this space to introduce our readers to the Chamber Board of Directors. Because, believe it or not, it’s not just myself, Sierra and Tammy running the show over here. As a non-profit, we have a hard-working and dedicated Board that brings a plethora of skills, expertise and passion to what we do. These 11 individuals come from all different backgrounds and represent a broad spectrum of our county – and together they understand the value of having a strong, thriving business community that enhances the livability for our residents and encourages visitors to enjoy our area.

Whitey Forsman

Whitey Forsman; Board Chair. Whitey has been serving on the Chamber Board for five years now, and is also the manager of Pacific Seafood in Bay City. Whitey joined our board to encourage an improved quality of life in Tillamook County by maintaining and improving our current businesses and striving to add new ones.

Whitey also brings a passion around partnering with other organizations in both Tillamook proper and the county. Yet perhaps one of the greatest assets that Whitey brings to our team is his ability to understand, project and improve finances. Since he joined the Chamber Board he has been instrumental in our ability to strengthen our financial stability, which increases our value as a community partner.

When asked how he would like to see the Chamber grow, he said “By continuing to strengthen our relationships with our members and adding new businesses.”

“It also gives me a positive outlook to have passionate, community-centered people serve with me on the board,” Whitey added. “We have also had the ability to move to the middle of downtown which gives us a strategic location to be part of the revitalization of our downtown.”

Kayla Seaholm

Kayla Seaholm; Vice Board Chair: This is Kayla’s second year on the Chamber Board. She is also the Commercial Lender for US Bank. When asked why she joined our Board, Kayla said, “I was new to Tillamook and I felt that joining such a reputable organization would be a great opportunity to get to know the community better.”

Kayla brings a great understanding of an emerging population of young professionals. Kayla moved to Tillamook from Newport a few years ago for her career, and has since purchased a home and got married just last month. She has a drive to make Tillamook a fun and desirable place to live and do business – which fits in perfectly with the personality of the Chamber and all of our team.

Kayla is a passionate advocate for Chamber members and continually brings new ideas and ways to build our community to the table. “The purchase of the new chamber office says a lot about the stability of the organization with being able to acquire such a large asset,” she said. “That stability really allows us to concentrate on building our community, rather than how to survive as an organization.”

Whitey and Kayla are two individuals who support the work we do and help keep the Chamber relevant in the community and sustainable for the future.  I look forward to introducing you to the rest of our Board in the coming months.

Admiring our ‘neighborhood’ retail community

Sierra Lauder

by Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Development

So much of the work as a Main Street Coordinator is behind the scenes, carrying information, attending meetings and sharing what I’ve learned with business owners around town, and bringing their stories forward at other meetings. Sometimes the work is good old-fashioned networking; introducing one person to another because they share an overlapping interest or idea.

The most important aspect of my work with the Chamber is the relationship and partnership-building role, and there is nothing quite as rewarding as watching those connections blossom in to events, products, or collaborations. I got to witness a lot of that this last week.

If you follow Lucky Bear Soap Co. or Sunflower Flats on facebook, you may have seen a video last week of the soap making process for the Lucky Sunflower Soap, a special blend of soap that is a great example of local collaboration. Lucky Bear Soap Co. makes several collaborative soaps with local businesses, including a series of beer soaps that feature seasonal ales from Pelican Brewing Company. If you happen to find yourself at the Pelican Tap Room, you may also notice they now feature desserts from Sarasota’s – the downtown bakery that is hosting this week’s #constructdowntown Sweepstakes drawing. Last week’s hosts, Art Accelerated (the nonprofit art organization that has the gallery on Third St.) is also in cahoots with the Pelican Tap Room; they are co-hosting a Paint Night on December 1st that is already sold out! This first of many future paint nights is a fundraiser, and the proceeds will be divided between Art Accelerated’s after school children’s program and the local food bank.

Art Accelerated also partners with Yo Time each month for an Open Mic Night. Every third Saturday, Yo Time is packed with artists, musicians and writers, who take turns on the mic to tell stories, share poetry and song. Any time you pop in to Yo Time, you’re likely to notice the gorgeous flower arrangements they have on display near the fireplace. I noticed it very closely last night as I rescued it from near catastrophe as one of my boys displayed his best sugar-induced ninja move, and realized that those lovely flowers are from Anderson’s Florists, who will be hosting the sweepstakes in a couple of weeks.

I could go on like this for pages; the “neighborhood” retail community in Tillamook is truly amazing, supportive, and growing increasingly cohesive. Coordinating this #constructdowntown Sweepstakes has really been an exercise in embracing this partnership culture. There are some fascinating studies floating around about small town downtown revitalization and theories for creating vibrant and healthy clusters. Those conversations can quickly get technical and heavy with phrases like “mixed-use” and “creative place-making,” which are valuable pieces, but they don’t give justice to the people and the personalities that truly create the experiences. It’s all of us – business and property owners, local regular customers, local occasional customers, and visitors – who contribute to the culture we have downtown, and as we brave another wet winter and watch the transformation on our physical space that the highway project brings us, it is uplifting to see the continuing investment in our community.

ODOT Highway Update – October

Justin Aufdermauer


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It’s almost hard to believe that it’s October, because things have not slowed down in the slightest it seems. A few weeks ago  you read about our #constructdowntown sweepstakes that runs until Dec. 29, and this week I thought we should bring you a quick brief of the downtown construction project.

Main Street is, of course, still in the depths of construction – literally. The vaults along the corner of Main and Third are garnering the most attention because of their massive impact, and the workload has been delayed slightly by the recent bouts of rain we’ve been experiencing. Over the course of just a few weeks we saw the sidewalks demolished and the footings and walls formed and poured  in front of Sunflower Flats, which set the stage for the concrete fill. The next two vaults are located just north of that large one – in front of Everything Pets and Tangled Yarns, where the entire process has to be repeated on a smaller scale.

Then, of course, comes the sidewalk building! While requiring extra effort from customers, business access to Sunflower Flats, Annie’s Country Sportswear, Everything Pets, Tangled Yarns, and the now open Pacific Restaurant will be maintained, despite all the construction.

I would like to pause here to highlight that in the midst of all this construction, Pacific Restaurant officially opened their doors and has been at capacity every day for lunch. In a time that could be catastrophic for a business owner, with the end of the tourism season, the return of the rains, and the bustling of construction, Pacific Restaurant is proof that people will walk a block or two to get to something they want to. Even though there is no parking directly outside of their restaurant, people are happily parking on Pacific and cross the Plaza, or over on Ivy and crossing Main.

In just over a week, PUD will be shutting off the street lights in the construction area along Main while they transition to the new light poles. This means that during the evening as we lose daylight, the storefronts along Main will be the only things lighting the way. If you are walking downtown during this time, take extra precautions to watch your step.

Over on Pacific in the northwest corner of the Pioneer Museum, we are starting to see the formation of what will be a unique outdoor area. With the traffic from Hwy 6 now veering off to the north by the Post Office, it has created a nice-sized footprint of creative space. The Pioneer Museum will be inheriting this area, and it’s exciting to think of the ways they will use it. The decorative concrete will be poured soon to enhance the look and feel of the new outdoor gathering spot.

Meanwhile over on the bridge, the shuttle service is still being implemented to get people across. Northbound pedestrians can catch the shuttle at the Post Office, and southbound travelers can hop on just north of Rosenberg Builders Supply. The shuttle will be available from approximately 7:30 a.m. until approximately 6:30 p.m. You are greatly encouraged to use it. If you need to get across during the off-hours, Dial-A-Ride is a back up. While we all understand that circumstances arise sometimes on a short notice, please do your best to plan ahead – for your own safety. Pedestrian access will likely reopen by the end of the month, so just hold tight a little longer and take advantage of the shuttle options.

Speaking of the bridge, the City and the Tillamook Urban Revitalization Association are partnering to try and salvage the railings on the remaining old bridge and relocate them to Sue H. Elmore Park, where they could be integrated as a decorative piece. It’s anyone’s guess at this point as to how much of the original railing will be recoverable, but the City is hopeful that it will be a nice historical addition to the park.

We continue to offer a weekly highway project update by email, and if you would like to sign up or learn more about it, please visit or contact the Chamber office at (503) 842-7525.

HWY Project Update Oct. 11

“Weather dependent” was the most used phrase at this week’s Highway Project meeting. Almost all aspects of the project are impacted by rainfall, and crews are constantly trying to predict where to dive in based on the forecast. The work on Main Street in the vaults in front of Everything Pets and Tangled Yarns was delayed slightly while waiting for an inspection, but has now received a green light and excavation and structural reinforcement will get going in the coming days, followed as soon as possible by concrete fill and then curbing and sidewalk building. Electrical work on both temporary and permanent signals on both Pacific and Main will be ongoing in the next couple of weeks, and lane closures may be necessary to accommodate that work.

One of the concerns that has been brought forward is the signage for the merging on southbound 101. Traffic back-ups are challenging and many folks have expressed significant frustration at cars who speed up in the right lane and are “cutting” in the traffic line. When discussing this at the ODOT table, I was directed to an instructional video on “Zipper Merging,” which, while a common practice elsewhere, is foreign to us polite, considerate Mooks. Here is a link to the video: I recognize that this email and this link are unlikely to change driving patterns that are an inherent part of our culture, but I am hopeful we can together spread the word that “Zipper Merging” is not just jerky people rushing to the front of the line, but rather a taught driving practice. A reminder that we are often all just doing our best that we know how to do.

There is also a big picture update to share. Last week, the Chamber was able to pull together a quick meeting with representatives from ODOT, Senator Betsy Johnson, City officials, and Michelle Jenck, who represents the trucking industry as a “Citizen at Large” with the Oregon Transportation Commission, as well as several local property owners. The purpose of the gathering was to discuss specific concerns that local citizens have raised, including the “pork chop” shaped pedestrian island that was included in design plans on Front Street. The changes that the highway project has brought to the downtown area have been very concerning to the trucking industry, as quarters are tight in downtown. The designated trucking route includes Front St, and, as you can see in the original plan below, the design included a triangular curbed landing area in the middle of the juncture of Front Street and Highway 101. For large trucks, the curb in the middle of the road creates a challenging turning scenario. After careful review of the design and project development process, ODOT determined that removal of the “pork chop” curbed island was appropriate, and instead the pedestrian crossing will feature the continental style of striping (regular readers will remember that this is the description of the “Abby Road” style of crosswalk, which has most recently been painted at the juncture of Second and Pacific downtown). The final design will also clearly stripe the east and westbound lanes on Front, and include small raised bumps that will help alert drivers to lane boundaries.

The design process of this project has been in the works for many years, and the contracting and construction realities make changes in the plan extremely challenging. To have a modification like this at this stage of the game is very reflective of the the strong advocacy we have at the local level. We are very appreciative of ODOT’s willingness to work with us, and will continue our weekly meetings that allow us to share the next stages of the construction effort. If you have questions about the project, whether about the next step, or big picture, feel free to reply to this email, swing by the Chamber office at 208 Main, or give me a call.

5 Reasons to travel ‘Chamber Style’ to Ireland

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Promotions

Director of Our downtown office has been hopping lately. Amongst the downtown construction, launching our #constructdowntown sweepstakes, and planning the annual Awards Banquet, the Chamber is still busy preparing for our trip to Ireland in April 2018. If you’re on the fence about going, there are still some seats open and we would love for you to join us. This is your chance to spend 11 days in Ireland, immersing yourself in the history, culture, cuisine and diverse landscape.

The tour includes nine nights in handpicked hotels, daily breakfast, a private deluxe motor coach and guided sightseeing by local experts. Travelers will be treated to lush landscapes, historical sites with awe-inspiring architecture, and local pubs filled with fresh pints and friendly locals where it is not uncommon for local musicians to share songs and stories.

Eleven days can’t cover everything that there is to experience in Ireland, and everyone has different interests, which is why we opted for a tour company that can flex to build some options in to suit your travel preferences. You can choose to extend your tour a few days, or for added fees you can customize your experience both on the tour and after. So if a banquet dinner in a 17th-century castle overlooking Galway Bay sounds like your glass of whiskey, you can make that happen. Or, if you want to leave the tour in Dublin and go your own way, Go Ahead can help you plan for that.

Here are just a few reasons to consider joining us in Ireland next Spring:

  1. History and Architecture. Ireland’s landscape has been riddled with intense power struggles, severe climate changes, famines, viking raids and turmoil. Yet through all this, Ireland has prevailed. We will have the opportunity to see much of Ireland’s history up close and personal on our trip, including the inside of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the remains of a 6th century church, various historical castles, a Victorian mansion, the iconic Rock of Cashel that dates back to the 12th century, and the Cobh Heritage Centre. The Heritage Centre is situated within Cobh’s beautifully restored Victorian railway station, a building with its own historic story.  Because so many people from Ireland’s past travelled through Cobh, which is still one of the world’s finest natural harbours, you can can learn about the stories of these emigrants, as well as other maritime, naval and military history of the area.
  2. Music and Dance.  Irish traditional music has remained vibrant through the 20th and into the 21st century. Irish traditional music includes many kinds of songs, including drinking songs, ballads and laments –  sung unaccompanied or with a variety of instruments.  Traditional dance music includes reels,  hornpipes and jigs, and even the polka.
    Since the 20th century, Irish pubs have become little outposts of Irish culture, and we will have plenty of opportunities to see the inside of these pubs.  Towards the end of our tour in County Kerry, each tourist gets an entire free day to explore on his or her own (or with new friends) and soak in the Irish culture. You even have the option to visit a traditional Irish music and dance show while we’re there.
  3. Food and Drink. At one time, Ireland was the world leader for producing and distributing whiskey – allotting for 90% of the world’s whiskey at the start of the 20th century. Our tour includes an Irish Whiskey tasting at the historic Kilbeggan Distillery – the oldest licenced distillery in Ireland, dating back to 1757. And let’s not forget that the world-famous Guinness originated in Ireland and is proudly served at nearly every pub and restaurant.
    Food and cuisine in Ireland has experienced a recent renaissance based on traditional ingredients that incorporate international influences. This cuisine is centered around fresh vegetables, fish, traditional soda breads and the wide range of hand-made cheeses that are produced across the country. (Try a “Dublin Lawyer” – lobster cooked in whiskey and cream.) Come hungry and find a new favorite meal or recipe idea to bring home.
  4. Environment. The island’s rich vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent rainfall, earns it the nickname the Emerald Isle. Some may say it is similar in climate and landscape to Tillamook with its farmland, forests and coastal habitats. Our particular tour makes a point to travel around the Ring of Kerry, a 112-mile coastal route that covers Ireland’s most spectacular scenery. For a more hands-on experience, take a walk along the coastline of the Cliffs of Moher.
  5. Community Building. Even if Ireland isn’t your dream vacation, traveling “Chamber style” is worth it if only for the intense community building that ensues. Taking the conversation about how to enhance the livability of Tillamook to a new country opens up new avenues of thought, appreciation and problem solving. It gives us a chance to see how other cultures operate and thrive, and we are then able to bring this newfound energy and excitement home with us to implement in exciting ways. Being an active part of this conversation is hugely rewarding.

Intrigued? For more information about Ireland, contact me today at, or call our office at 503-842-7525.


Hwy Project Update Sept. 27

This week on Main Street we are seeing exactly how big of a deal the vault underneath the corner of Third and Main is! Monday crews boarded up the Main St windows of Sunflower Flats to protect the windows during the excavation. The Sunflower Flats team rushed over to Rosenberg’s and purchased spray paint to create some temporary signage, where they highlighted that they are open, that there are parking opportunities on Pacific, and their website, where folks can place orders and request deliveries. Tuesday morning the excavators came rolling in, and the sidewalks were demolished and rubble scraped out. Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, crews will be on site building forms for the footings in that vault, and then next week forming the walls while setting the footings in the next two (much smaller) vaults just to the north in front of Everything Pets and Tangled Yarns. Because of the depth and size of the corner vault, it will take a few weeks for all of the concrete work to be poured and cured prior to the final fill. All fingers are crossed that the rain will be minimal.

The need for dry weather extends to manhole work and grading on Front Street. The rain we had last week provided a glimpse at areas that would be inundated if opened during a storm, so crews are watching the weather closely as they move equipment around the site and planning where to start based on forecasts. The extension in front of the museum property on the corner of Pacific and First is also on deck for grading in preparation of the radial concrete work that will be done there, although progress may vary depending on weather.

This week will also include the installation of more railing throughout the project. Black railing has been unloaded in Second Street Plaza that is destined for the stretches near Wells Fargo and Little Cheese Coin-op Laundromat. Installation of the orange railing on the bridge is also anticipated this week. Preliminary reports indicate that it will be hard to miss.

As you navigate the downtown area, you may notice that the City of Tillamook has begun to install the parking signs from the Temporary Parking plan that was adopted last fall. Hopefully this will help guide visitors (and locals) to the available parking along Ivy and First. Simultaneously, Public Works has been re-striping many of those lots to maximize public utilization. We’ve certainly noticed an increase in the use of those lots from the foot traffic through the Visitor’s Center.

Due to the Chamber’s move downtown, we have a front row seat for most of the action downtown, and have been able to capture some interesting footage of the excavation work. We are doing our best to get that video up on our Tillamook Area of Commerce Facebook page, and will continue to upload interesting video and pictures that we take. You can access these visuals regardless of whether you are a member of Facebook by clicking here:

#Constructdowntown Sweepstakes hits downtown Tillamook Oct.4 – Dec. 29


By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

We all know that construction has had a significant impact on our community, specifically our downtown businesses. Yet we can all constructively support these businesses through the trials they are facing. “Construction” is not shutting businesses down, nor can it. What can potentially shut a business down is us, the people of the community, not supporting them through their temporary hardship because we lose sight of them or because we avoid downtown due to a little inconvenience.

As an incentive this fall, the Chamber has organized a $1,000 downtown shopping spree. It’s kind of like a contest, it definitely supports our downtown businesses during construction, and it’s sure to be fun. We are calling it our #Constructdowntown Sweepstakes.

Here is how it works: anytime that you shop at one of our downtown businesses between Oct. 1, 2017 – and Dec. 29, 2017 you can bring in your receipt to the Chamber office (208 Main Ave.) and have it validated. Once validated, you will receive an entry form that will enter you in both a weekly giveaway and a grand prize drawing. Your receipts don’t have to be validated on the same day that you shop; you can bring them in whenever, but you can only enter once a day until the end of the promotion.

As an additional incentive to come shop downtown, we will have weekly giveaways. Each week a downtown business is sponsoring the giveaway, and at the end of the week a winner will be chosen by a random drawing from that week’s entries. The winner will receive a prize donated by the sponsoring business. You don’t have to be present to win.

All tickets from each week’s drawing will be put into the grand prize drawing for a $1,000 downtown shopping spree. The grand prize winner will be drawn around New Years.

You may be thinking to yourself, why don’t you draw before Christmas so people have Christmas money? We considered that option, but the reality is that whether we like it or not, we all spend more money around the holidays already. By waiting until the New Year we hope that two things happen: First, that you spend money downtown during the holidays to earn more and more entries. Second, that the spending of the $1,000 grand prize will have a greater impact downtown during the slower winter months. Remember, as much as this is about the customer, it is also about helping ensure our local entrepreneurs have a successful season.

You probably recall in the past we have organized cash mobs at specific businesses as a way to boost their sales. These cash mobs have been widely successful and often help raise awareness when a business or service may be on the verge of a closure. So why aren’t we just having a variety of cash mobs this winter? This #constructdowntown promotion covers a much longer period of time and has the ability to positively impact a significant amount of businesses, instead of just one or two. We are hoping that by engaging the community with these weekly giveaways and a grand prize drawing, we will see a boost in the downtown economy for the rest of the year, and not just on a single day.

Remember that anywhere you spend money between First and Fifth and Stillwell and Laurel is eligible for an entry into both the weekly drawing and the grand prize shopping spree. The things you do every day and the special shopping trips you make can all qualify you – just bring your receipts to the Chamber at 208 Main Avenue for validation during regular business hours (Monday-Friday; 9-5pm). You can enter once a day, every day. And be sure to use the hashtag #constructdowntown in your social media posts to raise awareness about this fun, new downtown promotion and customer appreciation recognition.

And for legal purposes: No entry necessary. Official Rules available at

Make your 2017 Chamber Banquet award nominations online

Tillamook Chamber Annual Awards Banquet

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

Fall is officially here. And I think we are all a little glad to see the rain, if only for some much-needed relief from the wildfires across the state. The first rain of fall always adds a refreshingly clean look to everything – like our town just took a shower to wash off all the summer dust. The leaves are also starting to change colors before they let go of the branches to make room for new ones next year. It must mean that it’s time to get ready for the next chapter.

Fall is when we always start prepping for our annual Chamber Awards Banquet. Even though the event doesn’t take place until January, our staff, board and volunteers spend a lot of time planning to get things ready. The most important piece leading up to the of the event, of course, is choosing the award winners in each of the four categories. But that can’t be done without your help first.

Each year the community nominates who and what they think deserve to win in each category. The categories are Business of the Year; Small Business of the Year; Development Project of the Year; and Citizen of the Year. A selection committee reviews the nominations and any letters of support, and makes their decision based on some additional criteria – like how the nominee adds to the quality of life in Tillamook, and does the nominee demonstrate future commitments to enhancing this quality of life. We have had some incredible nominations every year and are honored to be able to recognize and celebrate some of the accomplishments and outstanding businesses we have in our area.

This year, to make the nomination process as convenient as possible, we have added the form to our website. Now, instead of printing out the form and returning it to the Chamber office, you can go to, pick in what category you are making a nomination, fill out the criteria and answer four simple questions then hit submit. You can also upload any supporting documents or letters of recommendation right there, or submit them at a later time. And, if you would like an invitation to the awards banquet in January, you can request one on this form. It’s that easy.

All nominations and supporting letters must be submitted by Dec. 1, 2017, to give the committee enough time to review and make their selection and have plaques created for the awards banquet.

Remember, it takes a lot of time, energy, dedication and hard work to have a business in our community, be a leader, or finish a project. They sacrifice a lot so that we can have the best quality of life – and this award ceremony is a chance to tell them thank you. Each nomination will receive an invitation to the banquet and, even if they are not awarded the award, they will know that they are appreciated and that someone took the time to make a thoughtful gesture and say thank you. So please, let’s all take a moment to visit and give your favorite business, citizen, or project a virtual pat on the back.


‘Change is the name of the game’

By Sierra Lauder
Director of Events and Downtown Promotions

With the passing of Labor Day, it seems like change is the name of the game. The fall and winter phase of the highway project has brought a new footprint for the traffic pattern, which will continue to shift and adjust as crews focus on different areas downtown. There is a weekly email that we send out to help inform folks about the progress of the construction, and I would encourage you to be in touch if you would like to be added to the email list. You can also sign up for that email or view past emails on our Chamber website: Often people will pop in to the Chamber office to talk about highway project or other matters, and that is one of my favorite ways to interface with people. We are open at 208 Main Ave. (next to the Dutch Mill Diner) Monday through Friday, and you are welcome to park on Ivy and use the rear entrance, especially now that parking on Main is closed.

While we welcome and encourage dropping by anytime, we continue to host the Mornings on Main Street gatherings each month, 8-9 a.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. These events are always casual, and full of representation from many businesses, agencies, and non-profits in the community. It’s a great chance to meet and visit with others. This month, Anna Shapiro from the SBA will be joining us. We’re excited have her and build a connection with the SBA, who offers some really great resources for new and established businesses. Anna sent me this quick description:

“The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) provides critical support and resources across every state and in every congressional district to help small businesses grow and create jobs. SBA’s core operations are focused around what we call the “Three C’s”: Capital, Contracting and Counseling.

Additionally, SBA plays an increasing role in helping to spur innovation and strengthen the nation’s competitiveness through successful investment and research and development (R&D) focused programs, as well as export and trade assistance. Finally, SBA also serves as one of the leading federal agencies providing assistance to businesses of all sizes, homeowners and renters following natural disasters.”

This Saturday, September 16th, the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce will also be at the Tillamook Farmer’s Market! We will of course be happy to talk highway project, Mornings on Main Street, or any business, but what we really expect to be popular is much more light hearted: the second run of our “Umbrella Swag!” We sold out of our new sweatshirt designs at the Fair this year, and local printing company PSI has been working hard to get us another round. Anyone who has pre-ordered will have their order set aside, and if you miss us at Farmer’s Market this Saturday, don’t despair! We will have everything available at our office.

Planning has started for the fall and winter downtown events schedule, and we anticipate many fun activities in the coming months, including Tillamook classics like Downtown Trick-or-Treat, Small Business Saturday, and The City of Tillamook’s Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration. A quick reminder to all to be safe and patient and keep in mind that there is lots of parking available along Ivy.

Get ready, Tillamook – more traffic changes are headed our way quickly

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

The number one question that Sierra and I get about the Hwy 101/6 construction project is when will it be finished? I know that at this point it feels like it’s been a part of our daily lives for a lifetime, but the simple answer is that the project will be completed in Fall of 2018. That has been the projected completion date since the beginning and hasn’t changed.

That means we have a little over a year to patiently maneuver around construction crews and carefully pay attention to traffic flow changes so that we all stay safe and get through the next 16-18 months.

First up is you’ve probably noticed that north- and south-bound traffic are now both traveling over the new Hoquarton Slough bridge. The old bridge will be demolished so that the west half of the bridge can be constructed. Duringthe first few months of this phase, the new bridge will be closed to all pedestrian traffic. If you regularly walk across the bridge to get to work or go shopping, you will need to be aware that for your safety you cannot cross the bridge on foot.

Fortunately, ODOT has partnered with the Tillamook County Transit District to provide a few shuttle for pedestrians who need to get across. Northbound pedestrians can catch the shuttle at the Post Office, and southbound travelers can hop on just north of Rosenberg Builders Supply. The shuttle will be available from approximately 7:30 a.m. until approximately 6:30 p.m.

If you need a ride earlier or later than that, you can call 503-457-7009 to be picked up at one of the locations listed. This service will remain in effect until the ADA accessible connection is completed on the east side of the new Hoquarton Slough bridge, scheduled for mid-October.

Along with the bridge completion project, Main Avenue will also be getting a facelift. Wider lanes and brand new sidewalks between First and Fourth are coming to match the work that was done on Pacific.

Work will begin on the east side of the street, replacing the sidewalks one block at a time starting at Second Street, before jumping across the street to the west side. Of course during this time period there will be very limited parking on Main Avenue between First and Fourth Streets, and Third Street might potentially be reduced to one lane again between Main and Pacific.

But before you start groaning, I want to bring to your attention a few reasons why we believe this next section will be much smoother than Pacific:

  • There is significantly more parking available off of Main than there is off of Pacific. If you own a business on Main, or frequent one, you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a place to park nearby.
  • We are also expecting significantly less rain this winter, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, and with any construction project that is impacted by weather this prediction is good news.
  • The sidewalk improvements will begin between Second and Third Streets because of the vaults, and crews want to get those finished before we are in the depths of winter.
  • Many of the things that held up the Pacific side have already been completed and don’t have to be done again. All of the engineering tasks have been checked off and the work along Main should wrap up prior to next summer.

We are also getting new sidewalks on the southern side of First Street, and will see the completion of the cross-town connection path at Goodspeed Park and Hoquarton Slough that will be built over the highway.

As always, we appreciate your patience and our business community appreciates your patronage as we head into another fall and winter impacted by construction.  

If you would like to stay up-to-date on all the highway project news as it happens, sign up for our weekly e-newsletter at


Heading back to school

By Justin Aufdermauer
Executive Director

It was American author Napoleon Hill who once said “the mind becomes withered, stagnant, narrow and closed unless it searches for new ideas.”

The same can be said for an organization like the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. Unless we are always searching for new and innovative ways to add value to our members and increase the livability of our community, we will become stagnant and irrelevant. 

With this in mind, we recently facilitated a number of meetings with groups of large and small businesses in our area. Our goal was to talk about the Chamber somewhat candidly and learn directly from our stakeholders about what we as an organization are doing well, and what we need to be doing more of. During these meetings, we were able to hear feedback from both members and non-members about our role in the community. We always want to ensure that what we are doing is aligned with what the business community needs, after all they are what sustain the organization – and sometimes the only way to do that is to ask.

It seems as if everyone is heading back to school this fall.

One of the many things we heard from our stakeholders is that they are also wanting new education opportunities – like social media basics, bookkeeping dos and don’ts, creating and maintaining websites, and different types of funding opportunities – the types of things that directly affect small businesses that may only have a handful of employees wearing a multitude of hats. What to do if you can’t afford to hire a professional bookkeeper? Or a social media manager? How can the Chamber help bring some education around these and other topics?

Now we feel as if it is also back to school for us, as we take that information and relearn some of our best practices and methods to meet our stakeholders’ needs. We will be educating ourselves on the most efficient ways to bring these trainings and resources to our small business community, likely relying on local professionals,and hopefully our business owners take it upon themselves to participate and keep working on their “education.”

So, as our teachers prepare for students and the upcoming school year, we will also be preparing to refocus our energy and to meet these types of needs for our smaller businesses. We will be continually searching for new ideas, new opportunities, and new partnerships. Stay tuned for these educational trainings coming in the near future.

If you are interested in future educational opportunities or if you are a local professional that has an area of expertise you would love to share with small businesses, please don’t hesitate to email us. Feel free to contact us anytime at

Hy 101/6 Project Update Aug. 24

The summer construction season is wrapping up quickly, and we will be seeing some big changes on the ground throughout the Highway 101/6 project. Definitely expect night work- paving on Pacific is a priority, and this week we will be navigating single lane closures as paving begins, with a full detour in place Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night next week. Pacific Ave. will be closed from fourth street north to First St. at night, and traffic will be detoured using Laurel and Fourth Street as alternatives to Pacific and Third.

The bioswales along Pacific will be drained, and, once all of the liners are down, the filtration pipe installed and the first layers of fill will be placed in the coming weeks. This should cut down on the standing water and make cleaning and maintenance simpler. A downtown cleanup effort is set for Friday, September 1st, from 9-noon. Organized by Tillamook High School Senior River Veek, this event is part of his larger Senior Project, in which he has mapped the downtown and recruited service organizations to adopt blocks during community clean up days. The debris build up in the bioswales has underscored how important these community cleanup efforts are.

Parking on Main Street will close on September 5th, immediately after Labor Day. Construction in that area is getting a jump start on the parking closure- crews will be tearing in to the underground vault on Third St just east of Main starting next Monday. Businesses intend to remain open and access to them is guaranteed by ODOT throughout the work on Main Street. This is a great time to check out the public parking lots along Ivy, as the reasons to visit the construction zone just increased by the release from Pacific Restaurant that they plan to open almost in tandem with the parking closure.

Bridgework will also get serious after Labor Day. The southbound bridge between Rosenberg Builders Supply and Front St will be closed, and traffic will be reconfigured over the new bridge to accommodate both north and southbound traffic. There have been many creative discussions about managing access to Rosenberg’s, and conversations continue. Pedestrian traffic through the area will also be challenging, and we are hoping the final pedestrian plan will be released early next week. Chief Wright continues to encourage people to be patient and vigilant as they navigate the area, whether on foot or behind the wheel.

Despite the stress and challenges that the coming months will bring, take heart in the fact that we are now essentially halfway through this project. The next few months will be especially tough as crews scramble to take advantage of the weather window and get a jump start on this next phase.

If you have any questions or concerns about the project or the next steps, feel free to contact us at the Tillamook Area Chamber of Commerce. We are open at our new location at 208 Main St., right in the thick of all this, Monday through Friday 9-5.