185 NE 10th St.

Prineville, OR 97754

541.447.6304

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Tourism and Small Towns: Smart Growth in Prineville

Tourism dollars have a lasting effect in Prineville, a town that seems to have mostly small businesses

As the warmer weather begins and travelers start infusing our community, there are differing opinions on having outsiders come into the Prineville community. Yet economic growth and sustainability are important, and when we have an opportunity to grow an industry financially, we should take a close look at the benefits.

In 2018, figures for the Oregon travel industry came in at their strongest since the 2008-2009 recession. Statewide travel spending was more than $12 billion, with approximately $50 million coming into Crook County.

In Prineville, a town that seems to have a majority of small businesses, tourism dollars have a lasting effect. The money brought in via tourism will travel not only to the local restaurant or retailer, but it infuses money into the local community, which has a snowball effect of economic support throughout the entire local supply chain, including the City of Prineville and Crook County.

At the Chamber, we also take on the role of promoting tourism in our area. One of those goals is to bring people to our local events, such as the Crooked River Roundup rodeo, horse races and more. We also find ourselves promoting local activities.

As one of the well-renowned rockhounding locations in the nation, we are regularly giving maps and information on the many mines our county holds. Fishing is abundant on the Crooked River and brings in many anglers. With the designation of the Crooked River Scenic Bikeway, cycling is growing in mass numbers, and travelers are flocking from larger cities to enjoy the peace of our rural areas. And on occasion we get tourists just wanting to come experience the charm of a small town, the scenery of a ranch, and the smell of country air.

While we want to take advantage of the opportunity to bring tourism dollars to our local businesses, it is also important that we don’t lose sight of the roots of our area.

Prineville has a unique history, and it needs to be in the forefront of our minds to understand and protect — yet promote the people, geography and natural resources. We must look at why tourists enjoy coming to our region and grow upon those attractions.

We have a rich and abundant outdoor recreation area that can host most activities, from a simple walk, to a hardcore bike ride. Most locals know where the best outdoor spots are, but to capture tourists, we should also be looking at providing more information about our location attractions and the amenities to go along with it.

Signage and brochures are one elemental key, but do we have retailers that support all of the items needed for fishing, rockhounding, cycling, biking and birding? What businesses are our visitors already frequenting and what items are in demand?

Just as the Chamber is asked to inform the community on our goals and initiatives around tourism, it is also important that we seek input from the community so that we preserve and protect the uniqueness of our county. Here at the Chamber, we are constantly looking to engage residents, business owners and stakeholders to assist in creating a vision for our region’s future. We want to keep our small town charm, but we also want to share it with others and gain economically from the industry of tourism. With every dollars a tourist spends, those dollars go back into local goods and services, wages, schools, roads and more.

Prineville is already on the radar for vacationers, and although it is important that we preserve our rural character and protect our natural resources, we can also use tourism as a way to strengthen our economy by having those dollars go toward improving affordable housing, transportation and infrastructure. Smart growth, economic success and protecting our rural town from urban sprawl are the goals of the Chamber.

NANCY
NENNIG

Board Member

Meet NANCY.

Prineville Lions Club

My husband and I have lived in Prineville for 17 years. I retired from the Banking Industry after 18 years, most recently working for Oregonians Credit Union. I enjoy the trails and camping in the Crook County
area.

In addition to that, I have volunteered for the Crooked River roundup for 15 years, am the current President of the Prineville Lions, a member of the Prineville Elks and a Member of the American Legion Auxiliary.

I was an active member of the Chamber Ambassador Committee for 15 years and supported all the Prineville-Crook County Chamber events and projects.

The Prineville Chamber represents all of Crook County and its individuals, organizations and business and I feel with my volunteering and networking I am able to support the Vision and Mission of the
organization.

Duane Porter

President

Meet Duane.

Financial Advisor, DFP Financial and Consulting

I grew up on a small cattle ranch in rural Southern Oregon which taught me the values of hard work, family, and a rural way of life.  I made the move to Central Oregon in 1993 for all of its beauty and activities.  Over the last 3 decades in Central Oregon, I have seen and experienced the incredible growth and expansion of this wonderful area.  In 2018 my wife and I decided to return to a rural lifestyle in Crook County.  With its diverse community, wide variety, and ever-expanding industry, the area has maintained a small-town rural feel and culture.


In 2019 after 25 years in Insurance and Investments, my wife and I decided to open DFP Financial & Consulting, a Private Wealth Management, Planning, and Consulting Firm.   We completely enjoy the people, community and all Crook County has to offer.  Being part of the Prineville Chamber is an important focus for us to give back to and help the business of the community.


In our spare time we enjoy our family and grandchildren; camping, riding horses and doing all that Central Oregon and Crook County offers, and fly fishing the Crooked River as often as possible.

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Andrea weaver

Secretary

Meet Andrea.

Recreation Coordinator, Crook County Parks & Recreation

I grew up on the North Oregon Coast in a small tight knit community. About 18 years ago my husband and I started traveling to Central Oregon a few times a year to escape the rain. We always talked about wanting to move to the Prineville area. We enjoyed the small town feel as well as the ranching lifestyle the area offers. In the fall of 2020 we made the move with our  three teenage daughters and we are so glad we did!

In the spring of 2021 I started with Crook County Parks & Recreation. A few months after that I took the Recreation Coordinator position. I love  working with Parks & Rec. I have met so many wonderful people in Prineville which has helped with adjusting to a new environment.

I got involved with the Chamber to learn more about the community and to grow relationships.

In my spare time I love working with my family on our ranch as well as watching my girls play sports and show livestock.

Casie Allen

board member

Meet Casie.

Owner - Bayberry Lane

My family has called Prineville home for several generations. Being born and raised in this amazing community, I have always felt so incredibly blessed. I strive to be an active part of the community and volunteer regularly. I am deeply involved in 4H, several youth sports programs, and have served on many other local boards and committees. 

My mom and I own a small downtown boutique called Bayberry Lane. Our motto is local people supporting local people. We enjoy being able to give back and strive to love the people of Prineville well. 

Being on the Chamber Board has allowed me to not only serve and express my opinions as a business owner, but also as a local who wants to foster a community that is able to adapt to change while holding on to their core values.

SHEENA
YORK

Treasurer

Meet SHEENA.

Signet Realty

I am the Owner & Lead Coordinator at Firefly Events and I have been planning and coordinating events for over a decade.   I also recently took on a role as a local real estate broker here in Crook County. 

I grew up around southern Oregon. I made a road trip to Prineville with a cousin, on that trip I was introduced to a handsome young Prineville man that later became my husband. I love Prineville and although I wasn’t raised here over the last 16 years it truly has come to feel like my hometown.

I was working for a business that was a Chamber member and I was looking for opportunities to get involved in the community. After several years of attending Chamber functions I was encouraged to join the Ambassador team and then the Board. It has been a great learning experience and a lot of fun to be part of the Chamber both as a member and on the Board.

I love the weather in Prineville. After growing up in the valley with so many days of rain, I truly appreciated having (mostly) defined seasons. Summertime in Prineville is definitely my all-time favorite! We enjoy paddle boarding at Ochoco reservoir, swimming at the Prineville reservoir, floating the refreshing Crooked River, hiking the Barnes Butte or Chimney Rock trails and riding our ATV’s on the many OHV trails.

Alexandra Greenberg

Vice President

Meet Alexandra

Chiropractor, Slater Chiropractic

I was born and raised in Prineville where I graduated from Crook County High School in 2009.  After that, I moved to Portland where I attended both Pacific University and the University of Western States for Chiropractic School. 

After ten years, I returned to Prineville and am now an Associate Chiropractor at Slater Chiropractic.

Since moving back, I have enjoyed how close this community is and realized how much I missed all that Crook County has to offer compared to the big city.  I started attending Chamber events to become more involved in our community and am excited to continue working with the Chamber as Vice President of the board.

I love spending my free time with friends and family, and enjoy getting out to explore all of Central Oregon.  I enjoy hiking, rock climbing, camping, kayaking and many other outdoor activities available in this beautiful area I get to call home.