For industry partners

Image of AVA logo and text for Newsletter

Welcome to our industry page built specifically for our tourism industry partners. We encourage you to check back periodically and see announcements of interest to our local hoteliers, restaurant owners, and business operators. Feel free to contact us if you have information to share that would benefit our hospitality and tourism industry.

Industry news and current affairs

Look in this section for upcoming projects, news, or other call to action announcements. You can also subscribe to these and other important industry announcements about grants, conferences, scholarships, etc. by filling out our e-news form below this section.

September 2020  –  Comfort Suites Albany in Highpoints for the WV Responsible Reopening program

See page 2 here for more: It’s not too late to sign up for the WV Responsible Reopening program to be included in local, regional and statewide efforts to encourage safe travel to Albany.

September 2020 – Calling all Willamette Valley Lodging Partners.

Our Willamette Valley lodging community has come together to support our communities in need. We thank you for your support, and the call to help is not over. As the federal disaster declaration has been signed, the region will see an influx of federal workers in our state, who in addition to the displaced will also need housing. Oregon Office of Emergency Management and FEMA are encouraging hotels and lodging operators to sign up for the Emergency Lodging Assistance Program.

FEMA Transitional Sheltering Assistance (TSA) Program
FEMA determines all Emergency Lodging Assistance (ELA) program activations. Upon notice from FEMA, Corporate Lodging Consultants (CLC) communicates ELA Program activation information to hotels through a variety of delivery methods (fax, mail, internet alerts.) CLC encourages prospective hotels to visit the ELA Program website ( to create an account and encourages lodging partners to stay informed on activation alerts, comprehensive program news and updates.
Hotel Support Line: 1-866-545-9865
ELA Program website for hotels to register:

September 2020 -Grants are now available for Albany’s small businesses

adversely affected by  the COVID-19 pandemic. From their website: “Estimated time to complete this form: 5 minutes.”  For-profit and non-profit (limited to 501(c)(3) corporations) businesses with 25 or fewer employees may be eligible for grants between $2,500- $25,000. Preference will be given to sole proprietors and historically disadvantaged businesses owners including women.Businesses that received federal PPP or EIDL are NOT disqualified but will be limited in how much they can receive. If you wonder if you qualify, apply. Grant funds may be used for most business-related operating expenses. These funds are administered through Community Lending Works. For any questions, please contact

August 2020 – Cultural Grant Application now Live! Deadline is August 24 at 12pm

The Cultural Grant opportunity for Linn and Benton Counties is live and available at this link:

Please move quickly on this with such a short 12-day window for applications. Deadline is August 24 at 12pm.

All Oregon cultural nonprofits and community venues are welcome to apply. Eligible grant recipients include, but are not limited to, cultural institutions, county fairgrounds, cultural entities within federally recognized Indian Tribes based in Oregon, and festivals and community event organizations. Funds will be distributed through the Cultural Trust statewide network of County and Tribal Cultural Coalitions. Funding will be determined based on eligible request amounts, an award allocation formula that establishes a base amount of funds per county or tribe and the organization’s fiscal size. COVID-19 expenses previously reimbursed by other federal CARES Act programs are not eligible. Complete guidelines are posted on the Cultural Trust website here.

Our Linn and Benton counties’ direct resource for assistance with this grant process is Liora Sponko. You can reach her directly via email:  or phone: (971) 345-1641.

August 2020 – Small Business Grant Available in Linn and Benton Counties – deadline August 14

If you have not received PPP or EIDL funds through CARES Act, you may be eligible for a grant through the BUSINESS OREGON COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Grant.

Central Willamette has secured funding for small businesses in Benton, Douglas, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Linn and Marion counties. To fill gaps not reached by other programs, these state funds are directed to adversely affected businesses with 25 or fewer employees, and only those that have been unable to receive federal CARES Act funding, including the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan Emergency Advance program, or other federal programs for emergency pandemic funding to date. Businesses may use the proceeds for any business-related operating expenses.

Review the criteria for your businesses eligibility here and send them an email to secure an application for your small business. To review the application you can find it online here. Grants will be awarded on a first-come-first served basis with a focus on sole proprietorships. All applications are due to Central Willamette by no later than Friday, August 14, 2020, so time is of the essence.

July 2020 – Need help to gently remind customers to wear a mask?

One thing that hasn’t changed: it’s still up to our customers whether or not we stay open. It’s up to all of us to wear a mask. Travel Oregon and the Governor’s office have provided a toolkit of social message tiles and images. These are free and available for you to use:  If you would like specific ones printed and don’t have the capability, we will print them for you, just let us know which ones you would like.

Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA) provides some great information: For frequently asked questions about mask requirements and information about the Statewide Mask, Face Shield, Face Covering Guidance click here  and information on Mask-Wearing and the ADA.

You can help your front line employees with a positive and proactive approach by

  • sharing with your customers in advance, what they should expect when coming to your business.
  • having steps in place for those who do not comply with wearing a facemask. This is highly recommended by ORLA. This includes asking the right questions: Do you have an exemption or a disability preventing you from wearing a mask? (A medical condition is not a reason not to wear a mask. They must have an exemption or a disability). If they say yes and do not want to wear a mask, simply offer the reasonable accommodation you have already planned for.
  • A reasonable restaurant accommodation would be taking their order outside and allowing them to wait outside to take their meal to go. For a hotel, this might be checking them in outside and offering an alternative route to their room so they are not coming within 6ft of other guests and employees who are wearing their masks.
  • If you come up with your steps ahead of time, your employees will be better equipped to keep interactions positive while providing the hospitality we are known for.

Remember your employees are one of your greatest assets – you need them to be healthy. Should an employee report being sick with Covid-19. Here is a link for information:  GUIDANCE FOR RESTAURANTS RESPONDING TO COVID-19 POSITIVE EMPLOYEE.  As always, ORLA’s Website is a great resource too.

July 2020 – The City of Albany SEAT program is an easy step out onto the sidewalk.

Are you street (or sidewalk) legal?  For those who would like to extend their business beyond their own building, and use the public right of way on the sidewalk for outdoor seating or retail space (outside of a permitted event) a permit is required. Restaurants and retailers, are eligible for a free permit with a simple application form. The City of Albany has made it very easy for you to get this covered through the SEAT program. The main requirement is to maintain an ADA-compliant path on the public sidewalk. Keep in mind, additional state mandated guidelines must also be met requiring face masks (even outdoors) when 6ft distance cannot be maintained.

Please use the SEAT application provided by our City of Albany specifically for you and return it for approval to Matthew Ruettgers (link here:

June 2020 – Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Safety Check List 

ORLA’s Commitment to safety lodging checklist and Commitment to safety restaurant checklist should prove helpful to restaurant and lodging partners during the initial phases of COVID-19 re-opening procedures. View the lists ans download them at When a restaurant or lodging operator completes the checklist they can submit it to ORLA and receive collateral to showcase their commitment to safety precautions for their customers. While the checklists may be used by any industry partner to help guide re-opening precautions, collateral is reserved for active ORLA members.

May 2020 – Oregon Community Foundation Recovery Grant Program

The Oregon Communities Foundation has $1 million in grant funding to support communities. Oregon Community Recovery Grant Program: Funding for nonprofit organizations in Oregon that are particularly affected by the outbreak of COVID-19 and which provide services related to basic needs, jobs and economy, childcare, social and emotional needs, and school closures. And Oregon Arts and Culture Recovery Program: Providing flexible resources from a cohort of participating funders to support the arts and culture community who have been adversely impacted by the outbreak of COVID-19.  Please visit their website to review application questions and FAQs for both programs. 

April 2020 – Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association Virtual Town Hall

Restaurant and lodging operators in Benton and Linn Counties are invited to a virtual town hall on Friday, April 24 from 9:30-10:30 a.m. hosted by The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA). The purpose of this meeting is to provide you with a summary of the latest industry intelligence from the Governor’s Office as well as from state and local leaders on two fronts – ongoing relief programs available to the hospitality industry and brainstorming strategies about what it looks like to start opening up Oregon’s economy again. If you are interested in an overview of relief programs and participating in a discussion about what reopening your business looks like, this virtual meeting is for you. Please RSVP by sending an email to Greg Staneruck and include any questions or comments you would like considered as part of the conversation. Questions? Telephone 503-858-0086. Join the town hall via Zoom Join online or by phone on Friday, April 24, 2020 | 9:30-10:30 am, Join via Zoom Meeting

April 2020 – Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail updates

Two female children holding garlic picked at Mid-way Farms in Albany, OregonThe Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail is featured in Travel Oregon’s culinary e-news, Oregon Food Trails From Home. Would you like to share with your customers where you they can buy their favorite Oregon Food Trails products right now?  “There’s no need to let quarantine keep you from enjoying Oregon’s bounty!” Many of the featured  tastemakers are offering to-go service and have products in grocery stores and markets across the state. Oregon Food Trails showcase the freshest local offerings of farmers, fishers, brewers and chefs. Each trail features the signature flavors of the region — from wine and beer to fresh fruit and produce and more. Take a look at how to get a taste of Oregon Food Trails near you or delivered to your doorstep.

April 2020 – City of Albany Emergency Response Business Survey

Albany business owners are encouraged to participate. The information provided by you will help to inform the city’s collective response as they do their best to support the business community to cope with and move through the COVID-19 crisis. If you are a business owner, please take a few minutes to let us know how we can help. Please share this survey with your clients, partners or members. Take the survey.

April 2020 – Survey on COVID-19 impact to small businesses

Business Oregon, Travel Oregon, and Small Business Development Centers have partnered to develop a survey to understand how COVID-19 is impacting businesses across the state. Information gathered by this survey will be vital to policymakers who are working to provide assistance to businesses during this crisis. Individual responses to this survey are completely confidential and will not be shared publicly, only aggregate information will be shared. The survey closes on April 15th.  Thank you for taking the time to complete this survey.

March 2020 – Apply for Federal CARES Act relief

The Federal CARES aid package was approved and signed on Friday, March 27, 2020. To learn more about COVID-19 relief grant and loan opportunities available for small businesses, visit the SBA.

It might be helpful to view the following video (created by James Acres) showing the application step-by-step instructions on how to apply.

March 9, 2020 – Coronavirus Toolkit – Travel Oregon

Photo of a healthcare professional in a white lab coat holding a red stethoscope Travel Oregon is working closely with state and national partners to continually monitor the ever-evolving situation associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. We have gathered resources that will be helpful for you to monitor the situation and learn how your business or community might be affected.

In an effort to support our partners in a time when up-to-date information is crucial, Travel Oregon has created a toolkit that points to resources from national and state public health organizations to give you the information you need around COVID-19. As you receive questions and/or concerns from industry partners and tourism-related businesses, please direct them to the toolkit.

Our intention is to provide information that will help mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19, including both the fear of contracting the virus, as well as its spread.

It’s important to reiterate that Oregon is open for business while empowering potential visitors to make informed travel decisions. With that in mind, refer them to the following resources:

Travel Oregon will link to resources on the Travel Alerts page on We recommend using a similar format on your website and communications channels. We will continue to update the toolkit with information as the situation evolves. Check back as questions or concerns arise, or reach out to us at

March 5, 2020 – Opportunity to Place Banners/Signs in Softball Fields – Albany Parks & Rec

Albany Parks & Recreation is looking for businesses that might be interested in doing sponsor signs for the 2020 softball season. The season also includes the USA Men’s Softball National Championship Tournament in September. This will be great added exposure for local businesses. View the pricing information (PDF) and contact Nicole Markel at 541-917-7774 if interested. Games get underway in April.

March 4, 2020 – “Nation of Makers Conference” – Registration open for Eugene workshop

The greater Eugene area will host the Nation of Makers’ third annual conference, NOMCON 2020, June 5-7 at the Mary Spilde Downtown CenterThe Nation of Makers brings together leaders of organizations dedicated to supporting the maker movement through supporting the maker community. The maker movement began with the resurgence of DIY and continues to grow as makers, creatives, and entrepreneurs join forces to create products, solutions, and services to serve and build their local communities and impact the larger ecosystem. NOMCON 2020 is an opportunity to showcase Oregon’s maker ingenuity and enterprise locally and nationally.

Maker Fest including UpCycle Maker Hall, a pre-event for Nation of Makers national conference, celebrates the maker legacy in Oregon. This is a rare opportunity for Oregon legacy companies, maker spaces, and makers to come together during a public event and share their stories with community and national audiences in engaging ways. These stories reflect regional diversity, inspire community pride, and showcase our deep roots as makers and doers. Click here for more information and to register.

February 25, 2020 – City of Albany Waterfront Project 

The City of Albany is taking the next steps in this long-standing effort to improve Albany’s waterfront and how it connects to downtown. The expectation is that new waterfront redevelopment will ultimately create one of the most unique downtowns in the state of Oregon. When complete, the riverfront will be a major downtown anchor, linking the community to the rivers to which it was historically connected.

Attend an Open House on March 5th, at the Albany Senior Center, from 4 – 6 p.m. and learn more about this economic vitality project. The open house is not a formal presentation but rather a drop-in to learn more and give your input.

Sign up for project email updates and stay in the know.

February 11, 2020 – Grants list for Oregon Industry partners

A variety of Oregon industry and business grants are open for application and this Travel Oregon document includes the specifics, including links and deadlines. Grants range from rural businesses and agricultural to community non-profit opportunities.

February 10, 2020 – Linn County Expo Center Marketing Video

Our friends at KEZI and the Linn County Expo Center (LCEC) created a video about the stunning facilities available to industry partners. Are you an event or conference planner looking to site a large-scale gathering in Oregon? The LCEC is located in the beautiful Willamette Valley and is sited near to brand hotels and restaurants. 

January 30, 2020 – Oregon Wine Country License Plates

Travel Oregon is now accepting applications for Oregon Wine Country License Plates Matching Grants funding. The program awards grants to eligible applicants for projects that promote wine and culinary tourism. Recent awarded projects have included: event promotion, digital marketing upgrades, winery visitor research and food trail maps/passports.

Applicants may apply for grants up to $50,000 for projects that promote wine and/or culinary tourism. Applicants must demonstrate a one-to-one match with at least 50% of matching funds being cash. Download the Wine Country Plates Matching Grants Guidelines for specific eligibility requirements and to view the application questions.

Important dates

  • May 26, 2021 – Project must be complete and final reporting documentation submitted

Travel Oregon administers the Oregon Wine Country License Plates Matching Grants Program, which is funded through sales of the Wine Country license plate. Learn more and complete the online application at:

Tourism Industry Quarterly Newsletter

Sign up to receive announcements and a quarterly newsletter featuring grant opportunities and upcoming items of interest geared just for the tourism industry.

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Advertising successes

Albany Visitors Association and its tourism marketing partners published a seven page insert inside 1859 Magazine’s 2019 Holiday Foodie issue that featured Albany restaurants, lodging, historic districts, the carousel, and Linn County points of interest. 1859 is widely circulated and is a prime travel and tourism glossy publication with a dedicated following.

Albany businesses featured included:

  • Lodging: 206 1/2 Historic Hotel, Phoenix Inn Suites, Comfort Suites, Quality Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Best Western Plus Prairie Inn
  • Historic: Monteith House Museum, Historic Carousel & Museum, Historic Districts, Albany Regional Museum, Whitespires Church, Christmas Parlour Tour
  • Food and Libations: Brick & Mortar Cafe, Frankie’s, Sybaris Bistro, Sweet Red Bistro, Deluxe Brewing, Vault 244 Bistro, Calapooia Brewing Co., Springhill Cellars Winery, The Barn at Hickory Station, Margin Coffee
  • Shops and Other Businesses: Oak Creek Collection Marketplace, Eclectic Zebra, Sniffany’s Pet Boutique, Emma Downtown and Emma Sales Closet, The Natty Dresser, Albany Antique Mall, Cronies Vintage & Antique Emporium, Pix Theatre, Albany Civic Theater, Gallery Calapooia, Splatter Box, Restyle Upscale Resale
  • Linn County Attractions: Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site, Talking waters Garden
View the insert and issue

The insert is on page 111 through 118 of the virtual magazine. For print publication, the insert was featured in the front-middle portion of the magazine.


October 2019 – Linn Benton Food Trail Agritourism Project

Baskets of food at market.Albany Visitors Association (AVA) and Visit Corvallis, in partnership with Travel Oregon, are seeking Linn County and Benton County agritourism and culinary businesses to participate in the creation of the “Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail.”

What is a food trail? It is a grouping of businesses that will be featured in a brochure and on the Travel Oregon website. These businesses should showcase locally sourced products and ingredients, and practice a farm-to-visitor model.

If you own a restaurant, bakery, brewery, winery, or distillery tasting room, farm, ranch, nursery, roadside stand, lodging facility (Air B&B, farm-stay experience, etc.), or any other type of business in Linn or Benton Counties that uses locally produced, sourced and grown ingredients, you may meet the project’s criteria.

Applications will be accepted until November 15, 2019 (Applications are now closed for 2019), and we anticipate acceptance decisions by early January. If your application is accepted, you will be required to attend a business training in January or February 2020 — before the official launch of the brochure in March 2020 — to learn more about the program, marketing and agritourism best practices.

Connect to more information and fill out the application.

If you have additional questions about the program, contact Rebecca Bond ( at Albany Visitors Association, or Christina Rehklau ( at Visit Corvallis.

Video about the Oregon Food Trails Program

Our friends and partners at Travel Oregon produced the following video snapshot about what defines a food trail and how it can be a major draw for your visitors.


Industry partner links

Travel Oregon and the Oregon Tourism Commission Sign up for industry newsletters, join a targeted tourism development group, participate in workshops, receive hospitality training, attend commission meetings and tourism conferences.

Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association Sign up for podcasts, industry video news, e-newsletters, and a variety of information pertaining to the restaurant and lodging industry—including important legislative bills.

Hospitality Vision A mobile “pocket” concierge and hospitality app developer, providing lodging and tourism partners with welcome screens, hotel digital directories, interactive GPS maps, food delivery systems, iPad concierge lobby services, lobby displays and local business coupons, hotel info channels, and much much more.

Willamette Valley Visitors Association “WVVA” is the tourism-marketing umbrella for destination marketing organizations that fall inside Willamette Valley counties, including Yamhill, Clackamas, Polk, Linn, Lane, Marion and the Mt. Hood Territory. WVVA offers multiple opportunities for industry businesses to obtain grants and training, and ways to keep in touch by subscribing to e-news, and publishing itineraries and blogs of interest to visitors.

Photo of a vendor at the Oregon Governor's Conference on TourismConferences

Travel and Words Conference This annual conference is produced by a group of travel media and industry professionals who live and work in the Northwest. The next conference takes place May 3 -5, 2020 in Bend, Oregon.

The goals of the Travel and Words conference are to:

  • Explore changes and trends in the freelance travel writing world.
  • Facilitate mutually productive networking between destination marketers and freelance writers.
  • Support travel and tourism industry professionals who highlight destinations, attractions and all season recreation in Washington, Oregon Idaho, Montana, Alaska and British Columbia.
  • Educate participants about the use of social media and online forums in marketing one’s brand related to travel writing.
  • Expose freelance writers to potential editorial markets, including print and new media.
  • Address best practices of interest to travel writers, bloggers, editors and destination marketers.

Industry associates may find it beneficial to either attend the conference or exhibit as a vendor.

Oregon Rural Tourism Conference Travel Oregon is hosting this first-ever rural-focused conference that delivers practical and applicable education, collaboration and networking opportunities that support Oregon’s destination marketing and management organizations, businesses and industry partners that work in rural communities. The conference is at Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon, April 26-28, 2020.

For the purposes of the conference, rural is defined as a city that is less than 25,000 population and not adjacent to or part of an urban or metropolitan area. Anyone who works in, or with, rural Oregon communities is invited to attend the conference.

  • Attend Registration is now open. The cost to attend is $200. Scholarships are available through Travel Oregon and Visit Central Oregon. 
  • Register at, where you will find details on the conference agenda, workshop session topics and more.

Partners, sponsorship and exhibitors As an Oregon Rural Tourism Conference Sponsor or Exhibitor Partner, your support of this conference ensures the right people are able to attend at the right price point. Whatever your level of support, we know your investment in this new conference will bring significant returns on investment, along with the benefit of being further invested in the people and places within the rural communities of our state.

To understand the different partnership opportunities and price points, visit the website or contact Travel Oregon’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Lisa Itel.  Contact if you have any questions about Travel Oregon’s conferences.

Oregon Destination Association Conference The date and location for the 2021 ODA Annual Conference will be announced soon. (The conference was just held at the end of January 2020.) This is a tourism destination marketing association conference. A lineup of exceptional content, educational panels, keynote speakers and exhibitor vendors is in development. To receive information about exhibitor sponsorship opportunities and registration for 2021, please contact For more information, visit:

Oregon Governor’s Conference on Tourism Organized by Travel Oregon, this industry-wide conference brings organizations and businesses together to educate, inspire and connect tourism stakeholders and partners. Through innovative programming, the conference will help guide and align Oregon’s seven diverse regions. Attend and/or be a sponsor or exhibitor. Anyone in the tourism or hospitality industry can register. The next conference will be held April 11-13, 2021 in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center. Registration and room blocks will open January 2021. Check the Travel Oregon Industry website for information.

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COVID-19 - See updates for AVA, Albany businesses including restaurants, hotels and retail shops, and local events
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