Could 2015 be a record year for Oregon tourism?

The lodging occupancy rate surpassed 90% in July.

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It’s been a great year for the tourism industry in Oregon.

The lodging occupancy rate surpassed 90% in July and 2015 is shaping up to be a record-breaking year.

“It started in January and we haven’t had a break,” said Court Carrier, executive director of the Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce on the northern Oregon coast. “I’ve had operators of leading businesses tell me they need some time off. That’s how remarkably steady it’s been.”

The mild winter weather that made snow sparse in the mountains sent people to the Oregon coast in big numbers far earlier than normal. Cannon Beach saw lodging revenue growth of 16.1 percent the first quarter over last year, then 16.9 percent over last April to June. Peak summer numbers won’t be available for two months, because the busy season continues through September.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department also notes big increases in day visitors to the coast, to 16.2 million in the first seven months compared to 14.1 million during the same period last year. Camper nights increased to 899,000 from 805,000 over the same period.


A spokesman for Oregon State Parks said the high temperatures in the Willamette Valley “drove more people to the coast.”

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