By Justin Aufdermauer
We are excited and honored to tell you that the annual Oregon Main Street conference is landing in Tillamook this year, and we at the Chamber are the hosts.
Tillamook has been part of the Oregon Main Street Program for many years and it wasn’t until early 2015 that it became a part of the Chamber. The Tillamook Main Street Program is part of a nation-wide program that works with communities to develop comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies based on a community’s unique assets, character, and heritage.
They chose Tillamook this year because the vibrancy of downtown is quickly being realized by both residents and visitors enjoying their time and patronizing local businesses, and Tillamook has recently underwent a tremendous amount of revitalization with new streetscapes, food-trucks, breweries, restaurants, and parks in a short amount of time.
This year’s conference will focus on techniques participants can use to forge deeper connections in their community and be inspired to take their Main Street efforts to the next level by connecting to resources, connecting to their place, and connecting to partners to help them get work done in their downtown.The events kick-off with Keynote Speaker, author Melody Warnick, discussing place attachment and how to lead longtime residents and newcomers alike to commit to a more passionate relationship with their community.
The conference will welcome 150-200 people from outside the area to our downtown for three days of learning, engaging and of course patronizing our local restaurants, hotels and businesses. We are arranging three walking tours that participants can join in on focusing on the heavy lifting we’ve seen in the last few years to revitalize downtown. Yes, that includes the highway project. While I’m sure many of us would rather leave those memories far behind us, other communities are facing similar challenges and see Tillamook as an integral learning opportunity to understand how and why we kept communication at the forefront of the conversation, advocated for businesses and worked as a liaison with ODOT.
The walking tours will also focus on the Tillamook Urban Revitalization Association and the work they’ve been able to accomplish within the downtown district to eliminate blight and stimulate economic growth.
Above all, we are excited to show off our downtown area and will be utilizing several spots downtown during the course of the conference, including the Tillamook Coliseum Theater, Pacific Restaurant, Flavors on First, and the Tillamook County Library. We’ve been able to make this happen thanks to several local sponsors, including US Bank, Pelican Brewing Co., Visit Tillamook Coast, the Tillamook Creamery, Werner Beef & Brew, Five Rivers Coffee Roasters, Jacobsen Salt Co., TURA, Zwald Transport and the Tillamook County Library and Tillamook Coliseum Theater.