NEW OREGON WINE COUNTRY LICENSE PLATE TO BOLSTER TOURISM

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WHAT: SB 442 was recently signed into law by Governor John Kitzhaber establishing the Wine Country specialty license plate, the first initiative of its kind in the nation.

Plates will be available for a $30 surcharge due at issuance and every two-year renewal. Wine Country plate proceeds will be directed to the Oregon Tourism Commission to support the promotion of Oregon as a travel & tourism destination, and will be distributed as follows: 50% to matching grants for wine & culinary tourism promotion 50% to regional tourism agencies throughout Oregon, based on an acreage formula of grapes in production

The bill was conceived and initiated by Travel Salem and co-sponsored by Senator Jackie Winters and Representative Kevin Cameron. The Oregon Winegrowers Association provided critical guidance and advocacy on behalf of the bill.

WHY: This “jobs bill” was developed as an innovative marketing strategy to focus attention on Oregon’s culinary scene, drive new tourism revenues to support economic growth across the state, and to galva-nize the tourism & wine industries. The Wine Country plate celebrates Oregon’s rich agricultural re-sources and world-class culinary heritage, and serves as a moving “billboard” promoting Oregon’s status as an agri-tourism hotspot. The plate provides Oregonians with the opportunity to show their support for the tourism industry and contribute toward a healthy and vibrant tourism economy.

WHEN: At the earliest, plates will be available in January 2012.

RESOURCES:
Angie Morris/President & CEO, Travel Salem
503-581-4325 ext. 26, amorris@TravelSalem.com

State Senator Jackie Winters
503-986-1710, sen.jackiewinters@state.or.us

State Representative Kevin Cameron
503-986-1400, rep.kevincameron@state.or.us

Jim Bernau/President & CEO, Willamette Valley Vineyards
503-588-9463, jim.bernau@wvv.com

Michael Donovan/Managing Director, RoxyAnn Winery
541-776-2315 ext 304, michael@roxyann.com

Steve McCoid/President & CEO, Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association
503-682-4422, smccoid@OregonRLA.org

Sue Horstmann/Executive Director, Willamette Valley Wineries Association
503-297-2962, sue@willamettewines.com

Todd Davidson/CEO, Travel Oregon
503-378-8847, todd@traveloregon.com

Kari Westlund/President & CEO, Travel Lane County
541-743-8750, Kari@TravelLaneCounty.org

Sheryl Kelsh/Executive Director, Chehalem Chamber of Commerce
503-538-2014, sheryl@chahalemvalley.org

Doug LaPlaca/President & CEO, Visit Bend
541-382-8048, doug@visitbend.com

Lorna Davis/Executive Director, Newport Chamber of Commerce
541-265-8801, lorna@newportchamber.org

Alice Trindle/Executive Director, Eastern Oregon Visitors Association
541-856-3356, tnthorse@eoni.com