The Oregon Tourism Commission (dba Travel Oregon) announced the recipients of the 2012 Tourism and Hospitality Industry Achievement Awards, which were presented at the 2013 Governor’s Conference on Tourism in Salem, Ore. Oregon State University – Cascades and the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association received the Oregon Tourism Development Award.
The award recognizes an innovative program, promotion or product created by an organization, business, community or region in Oregon that exemplifies best practices, sustainability and creative problem solving. The award was given to the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association and OSU-Cascades.
After decades without a four-year tourism and hospitality degree program in the state, the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association spearheaded an effort with a group of tourism leaders and Oregon State University — Cascades, to raise funds towards the development of a bachelor’s degree in hospitality management at the Bend campus. Currently, the campus offers an option in hospitality management within its business administration program. Campus officials anticipate the bachelor’s degree will be offered beginning in summer 2014.
“We’re grateful for ORLA’s leadership and vision in helping us recreate a hospitality management degree at OSU-Cascades and pleased to share this award with them,” said OSU-Cascades Vice President Becky Johnson. Johnson was in Salem to receive the award. “The support and the generosity of many hospitality businesses will allow us to attract students and faculty, and provide interns and graduates for the state’s lodging and restaurant industries.”
Companies, organizations and individuals from Central Oregon, as well as the Willamette Valley and the rest of the state, donated to the initiative. Leading Central Oregon hospitality businesses and representatives who provided gifts include Bennington Properties, Black Butte Ranch, Tom and Stacy Leursen, Navis, Inc., Sunriver Resort and The Oxford Hotel Group, whose $50,000 gift capped the fundraising effort.
According to Travel Oregon, the annual awards recognize people and organizations across the state that go the extra mile to enhance the tourism and hospitality industry in Oregon. Nominated by peers, the award recipients are outstanding examples of professionals who, by virtue of their vision, perseverance and dedication, are a credit to Oregon’s tourism and hospitality industry.
~ Christine Coffin