License Plate Sales Fund $391K in Grants for Wine Tourism

Photo by David Burn (CC BY-SA 2.0) via WIkimedia Commons
A vineyard in Oregon's Willamette Valley.

Travel Oregon, which administers the grants, says this year’s amount sets a new record for the program.

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Travel Oregon recently announced that the agency has awarded 19 grants to tourism-related projects around the state. The grants total more than $391,000 from Oregon Wine Country license plates sales via the Oregon Wine Country License Plates Matching Grants Program. This is a record amount for the program.

Since the program’s launch in 2015, more than $1.5 million has been granted to support 78 wine and culinary tourism promotion projects. This year, awardees have until May 31, 2024 to use their funds to help expand the tourism economy or complete community improvement projects.

Travel Oregon’s grant awardees include:

  • Chehalem Mountains Winegrowers ($15,458.50): Design, construction, and installation of steel signage at wineries and vineyards reflecting characteristics of the American Viticultural Area (AVA)
  • City of Dundee ($40,000): Strategic planning to help increase overnight stays and bolster downtown business
  • City of Dundee ($35,000): Development of Main Street Wine and Art Walks from June to September
  • Clackamas County Tourism and Cultural Affairs ($11,721): Update printed Mt. Hood and Columbia River Gorge cookbook, in addition to adding Spanish ads to advertise the update
  • Dundee Hills Winegrowers Association ($10,000): Digital advertising campaign focused on Houston and Chicago
  • Eola-Amity Hills Winegrowers Association ($24,282.50): Digital advertising campaign to drive overnight stays
  • Experience Roseburg/Anvil Northwest ($15,000): Increase advertising to attract more businesses to participate in the Blocktober Fest
  • Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce ($20,000): Purchase a wine trolley to transport guests to area wineries
  • Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce ($25,000): Host a Lake Grove Wine Walk in Spring 2024
  • Oregon Wine Board ($7,500): Update image library 
  • Rogue Valley Vintners ($50,000): Comprehensive digital advertising campaign
  • Rogue Valley Vintners ($36,080): Update the Rogue Valley Wine Country map and hire an administrative assistant
  • Tillamook Coast Visitors Association ($15,000): Create and promote a ‘Cooking with Chefs of the North Coast Food Trail video
  • Travel Lane County ($7,775): Develop photo and video assets that accurately represent the ethnicity, age, and ability of the region’s visitors to use in marketing materials
  • Umpqua Valley Winegrowers Association ($12,250): Create a ‘Digital Passport’
  • Union County Chamber of Commerce ($7,080.64): Create a Grande Ronde Farm Trail brochure and add an online presence for it
  • Visit Corvallis ($12,000): Expand advertising efforts for the Heart of Willamette wine passport
  • Visit Newberg ($15,000): Re-brand and new website creation to attract people to the Oregon Chardonnay Celebration
  • Willamette Valley Wineries Association ($32,500): Execute a post-pandemic study of wine visitors to the Willamette Valley to inform and enhance marketing campaigns

Oregon’s wine and culinary adventures are unlike anything else in the world, and welcoming people to experience those is at the heart of Travel Oregon’s grant funding process.  

“We’re proud to administer the Oregon Wine Country License Plate Matching Grant Program to support the programs and projects that will amplify the wine and culinary offerings that continue to make our state a premier destination for both international and domestic travelers,” Todd Davidson, CEO of Travel Oregon, said in a press release. “These funds have a direct impact on creating and promoting unique visitor experiences while strengthening local economies.”