BACKSTREET GALLERY HEADLINES JUNE ART EXHIBIT AT CHAMBER

Backstreet Gallery, a co-op of 24 local artists in Florence, is this month’s featured local exhibitor at the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitors’ Center, 290 Highway 101. Visitors to the exhibit will get to see more than a dozen pieces within a theme of “A Summer Flight to the Oregon Coast.” The artists have each chosen an original piece of their artwork depicting birds. Represented artists include Stephanie Ames (photography), Kristin Anderson (fused glass), Pattie Brooks Anderson (ink on watercolor), Kathryn Damon-Dawson (watercolor), Russ Dixon (wood), Charles Draper (photography), Meredith Draper (bas relief/paper clay), Daphne John (fiber art), Claudia Ignatieff (oil), John Leasure (oil), Colleen McKnight (gourd art), Karen D. Nichols (paper painting collage), and Jane Rincon (watercolor). “We are delighted with Backstreet Gallery’s display this month. It fills the walls of the Chamber’s Visitors Center with some really stunning original artwork,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “They are […]

News from BLM on Loon Lake Causing Confusion and Financial Loss for Private Businesses

(LOON LAKE, OR) Recent news releases by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) about the status of their camping facilities at Loon Lake in the Oregon Coast Range remain confusing to the public. The entire Loon Lake, and Loon Lake Lodge and RV Resort and Loon Lake Watersports and Marina, not affiliated with the BLM, remain open. It is true that due to winter snowstorm damage, the BLM closed its campground and recreation facilities on the west end of Loon Lake for the 2019 season. However, inaccurate article headlines and television news reports relating to the BLM press release have not been corrected, further compounding the public confusion. Also, social media comments continue to state the inaccurate news reports. The lodging and marina businesses located at Loon Lake have experienced many cancelations and a lack of new reservations as a result. The beach and docks at the BLM are closed, […]

Oregon’s Coastal Playground Gets New Summer Bus Service!

As of May, and continuing through September of 2019, Florence-area visitors and residents have a new option to see one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in America. The Florence-Yachats Connector Bus Service shuttles passengers between these two fun destinations so passengers can relax and take in the awe-inspiring ocean, lake, and forest views—for just $5 for a day pass, or $2.50 for a one-way pass. Service includes two round-trips per day, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 7:35 p.m. except holidays. The bus picks-up and drops-off at Grocery Outlet in Florence, makes one mid-route stop at Carl G. Washburne State Park, and makes its turn at 3rd and Pontiac (Historic Log Church) in Yachats. For details, route maps, location of stops, and more information visit www.ltd.org/florence-yachats-connector or call Lane Transit District at 541-902-2067. Exact change or pre-purchased tickets are required. The bus is fully accessible and bikes are […]

FLORENCE PICKED AGAIN AS ONE OF BEST PLACES TO RETIRE

A publication out of Houston, Texas, has named Florence as one of the top eight coastal places to retire. In its recent edition, Where to Retire magazine looked at several categories including cost of housing, quality of life, arts and community involvement.  They also considered climate, the Rhody Festival, and the Winter Music Festival as major benefits. The magazine’s website boasts that Where to Retire is “The authority on retirement relocation since 1992.” The publication’s editor Annette Fuller says though she has never visited, Florence sounds like an ideal place and some of the views she has seen from photographs, amazing. “The Heceta Head Lighthouse, with that red roof, when that is on the horizon, oh my god, it is absolutely compelling for us to see,” she writes. Other retirement destinations mentioned in the best-of list were Washington, North Carolina; Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida; Bainbridge Island, Washington; Carlsbad, California; Picayune, Mississippi; […]

FLORENCE VOTED #2 BEST HARBOR IN US

USHarbors.com has tallied the votes from across the country and from among their 4 million users. Florence was voted #2 Best Harbor of 2019 in the US, overtaking Lubec, Maine, in the final week of voting. Padanaram/South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, was voted #1. The Best Harbor contest kicked off in January with nominations of 1,278 harbors across 23 states. During the nomination phase readers of US Harbors narrowed down the list of eligible harbors leaving 90 across the US. Online voting began in early March. Rounding out the top five were Florence, Lubec, ME, Rockland, ME, and Oyster Bay, NY. The organization announced in its news release that “Over the past few months US Harbors has been on a mission to find out which community our users deem the Best Harbor of 2019. It’s been a long, tight race. For us the best part of the contest was getting to read […]

The Whales Are Coming! The Whales Are Coming!

Whale Watching Week starts March 23 here in Florence. Book a cozy, comfortable room in one of our award-winning lodgings for your base of operations, then grab a coffee or hot chocolate to go from one of our great coffee places before hitting the road for the day. Better yet, order a lunch to go from one of our many excellent restaurants and head north on Highway 101 to the many state parks, turn-outs, or attractions (Sea Lion Caves, Heceta Head Lighthouse, Cape Perpetua) for the best views. Bring your binoculars or telephoto camera lenses for close-ups, and appropriate clothing. As we like to say, “There is no bad weather in Florence…just bad clothing choices!” Look for the “Whale Watching Spoken Here” signs along Highway 101 so you can talk to the volunteer experts and learn more about these majestic migraters. Even though whales live off the Central Oregon Coast […]

Blue Heron Gallery Exhibits in Visitors Center!

The Florence Area Chamber of Commerce’s Visitor Center features a different local art exhibit each month. In February the exhibit spotlights a variety of works by local and Northwest artists from The Blue Heron Gallery in Old Town. “Visitors will find a beautiful display of a wide variety of jewelry, sculpture, and artwork in several mediums by locally-, regionally-, and nationally-acclaimed artists,” says Jack Butler, owner of the Blue Heron Gallery, Sticks and Stones Gallery, and Wind Drift Gallery.  “It’s exciting to be invited to participate in the Chamber’s monthly exhibit,” he adds. “We appreciate that the Chamber supports our vibrant arts community.” “We are delighted to have a sampling of The Blue Heron’s collection on display at the Chamber’s Visitor Center this month,” says Chamber executive director Bettina Hannigan. “The Chamber is listed in the local art tour map because of our monthly displays of photography, paintings, or three-dimensional […]

CLAIM YOUR SHARE OF 705 MILLION IN FLORENCE

Last year, nationally, more than half of American workers left 705 million vacation days unused—up from 662 in 2017. Nearly 10,000 of those days were left on the table by Oregonians. That’s why the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce is participating in National Plan Your Vacation Day on January 29. The event, promoted by The U.S. Travel Association, encourages everyone to take 30 minutes early in the year to plan a vacation. “It is proven that those that take vacation time are happier, healthier, and more productive,” says Bettina Hannigan, executive director of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. “Vacation is essential to strengthen personal relationships, inspire creative thinking, improve professional performance and promote better health—and Florence should be at the top of your list of vacation destinations for many reasons. “And we think there is no better place than right here in Florence—Oregon’s Coastal Playground.” Research shows that individuals […]

OSCC Releases Pay Equity Guide for Employers

Last month, the Bureau of Oregon Labor & Industries released their final rules for employers and employees on Oregon’s groundbreaking Equal Pay Act, passed by the 2017 Oregon legislature. The new law that goes into effect on January 1, 2019 requires that employees be paid equally for comparable work regardless of gender or any of Oregon’s ten other protected classes. We believe this will be the most challenging human resources issue for most of our Chamber members over the next year. Further complicating matters – and increasing the level of urgency – is that lawsuits are allowed based on violations of the law starting on January 1st. The guide, which you can view here, provides helpful information for your members as they prepare to comply with the new law. The guidance includes an overview of the law, frequently asked questions, a guide for employers on self-evaluations, a sample checklist of policies […]

FLORENCE NAMED A NATIONAL TOP-25 GETAWAY FOR FAMILIES!

The recognitions keep rolling in for Florence, Oregon. TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website, recently named Florence, Oregon, as one of its 25 Best Family Weekend Getaways With Kids. In introducing their recommendations the site said “From kid-friendly adventures in the great outdoors to classic theme parks, we’re featuring our picks for the best family weekend trips in every US region—so no matter where you live, there’s a convenient spot not too far away.” TripAdvisor touted Florence as a place with “plenty of activities to do with kids—whether it’s a visit to Sand Master Park, the world’s first sandboard park, or spending the day on Heceta Beach. The entire family will love the Sea Lion Caves, a favorite roadside attraction and must-see spot. There’s mini golf, horseback riding on the beach, and giant dune buggy tours, too. With an activity to satisfy every mood, it’s a top choice if you’re […]