Salem businesses recognized for economic impact from travel

Participants in the Ironman event race past spectators in Riverfront Park during the 13.1-mile to Minto Brown Island and back on Sunday, July 25. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Salem’s tourism bureau is recognizing ten businesses and one person that helped bring in revenue to the local economy from travel in 2020 and 2021.

Travel Salem’s Most Oregon Part of Oregon awards honor “a few of the region’s superstars” who helped lead the tourism industry through the first two years of the pandemic, according to a press release.

Longtime Salem resident and historical preservation advocate Hazel Patton receiveed the “Most Dedicated” award for her committment to preserving the city’s history, showing its beauty and “helping create a rich, welcoming destination through every project she has been a part of,” including Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, the Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health, and her work raising money for micro shelters that help people transition out of homelessness, the press release said.

Parallel 45 Brewery received the “Most Brewlicious” award for their production of “crowlers” – sealed, singular cans on demand – during the height of the pandemic.

The “Most Authentic” award went to Don Froylan Creamery for their in-house, hand-crafted artisan cheese made from 11,000 gallons of raw milk weekly and “for creating an authentic visitor experience,” the release said.

The Santiam Canyon River Territory got the “Most Resilient” award for their “remarkable leadership and resilience” following the 2020 wildfires.

The “Most Impactful” award went to IRONMAN 70.3 Oregon for drawing 2,300 athletes in 2020 and more than 7,000 spectators as well as while bringing more than $10 million in revenue for the local economy.

The Willamette Heritage Center was awarded “Most Connected” for bringing different generations together through preservation, interpretation and innovative events such as Magic at the Mill, Sheep to Shawl and the “Zooming Back to History” online presentations.

Taproot Lounge & Café received the “Most Collaborative” award was for their “innovative partnerships and commitment to support and assist neighbors in times of need,” the release said.

The “Most Oregon Part of Oregon” award went to the Salem lodging community for creating the Salem Tourism Promotion Area, which brought a 2% lodging fee. “Their collective vision injected funding to increase tourism marketing, sales, and development efforts which has driven increased visitation to the area, along with increased visitor expenditures,” according to the release.

-Ardeshir Tabrizian