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On your mark get set … spring break!

Side Rail: Kicking off the spring season in Seaside

Published on March 16, 2017 7:42AM


With spring break just weeks away, are you ready?

We’ve seen a little bit of everything when it comes to our weather over the past few months. And this winter has brought more occurrences of snow than any of the previous six winters I’ve lived here. Many life-long residents have echoed my thoughts and told me that it’s one of the longest stretches of cold and wet weather they can ever remember. The mountains have reaped the rewards this year, much the way we did in 2015 where snow was scarce and sunshine and warmer temps were the talk of the town.

Two years ago, that weather helped spark a surge of winter business, and lodging tax brought in 30 percent more than it did during the January through March quarter of 2014. This year, our tourism friends in the mountains are seeing a lot of the same increases we did just 24 months ago. The good news on the travel front is that spring break is kicking off for some this very week (University of Portland is closed from March 13-17). We’ll now see public schools and universities across the Pacific Northwest breaking at different points all the way through the week of April 10-14, where most Seattle area schools get some rest and relaxation.

The biggest spring break week happens March 27-31 when most Oregon schools and universities, as well as the Boise and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho areas release for time off. Many Washingtonians have breaks April 3-7, including Tacoma, Olympia and the Mt. Vernon area. Clark County and Vancouver also break the first full week of April.

With an uptick of weekday business expected through mid-April, are there things you do to get ready for the beach seekers? Much like many of us might do at home with a little spring cleaning after the winter months, I treat this time of year as an awesome opportunity to really brush up on customer service skills and make sure Seaside visitors realize how much we appreciate them visiting.

Consumers have loads of choices when it comes to travel and it’s a huge smorgasbord of options they can pick from. Our marketing efforts aim to keep Seaside as a top choice when it comes to vacationing but a nice string of good weather would complement those efforts greatly. I’d love to hear what you do to help kick off the spring season, so drop me a line at the email below if you have something you’d like to share.


Tourism grant program deadline nears


Do you have an event you’ve been itching to develop during the September through May time period? That’s the preferred time of year for applying programs, but if you have any idea to help increase tourism in Seaside, this may be the tool that helps get you going. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 14 and you can learn more at seasideor.com/industry. Have a thought or a question about tourism in Seaside, or maybe an idea for a future column? Drop me an email at jrahl@cityofseaside.us">jrahl@cityofseaside.us. Jon Rahl is the director of tourism for the Seaside Visitors Bureau and assistant general manager of the Seaside Civic & Convention Center.­­­



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