What I love about the gorge is the landscape is unlike any place else yet within this landscape our communities that really have forged their own identities for me it was that incredible dripping wet forest and then true desert and to have that all in one little national scenic areas it’s pretty spectacular you’re doing ordinary everyday things and you.

Have the spectacular view you’re looking at Mount Hood and Mount Adams we’re 40 minutes from an international airport but you can come out and be.

In wilderness in a very short amount of time we are getting.

30 to 40,000 people moving into the.

Portland metropolitan area every year and certain areas of the gorge are feeling more impact than others essentially 80% of the people who visit the gorge visit 20% of it places and so we have to think.

About how do we flip that model because the gorge is not just the waterfall area the National Scenic Area is two states and six counties so when you’re trying to do something collectively is really challenging because it’s all completely different jurisdictions and so that’s really.

Why we reached out to travel Oregon because we knew that they had the ability to help us see the bigger picture and we knew if we could do it right it was going to conserve lands it was going to enhance recreation and it was going to support the communities after our year of meetings we realized we needed to have a formal entity that this would live on in and we created the Columbia Gorge tourism alliance and so we’ve launched several.

Programs that are really helping lay the future for gorgeou tourism we’re working on car free transportation visitor communication and then finally signature trail initiatives one of the challenges is teaching our visitors.

How to love our place so Ready Set gorgeous really about recreation safely and being a good steward when you’re out recreative we’ve developed a brochure that has been made.

Available to businesses to all of our agency partners there’s the trail Ambassador Program nothing like contacting visitors right where they are starting to record we’ve been here for a couple of hours already and we’ve met almost 200 people do you have any like big food recommendations there’s people who come and they.

Just heard Multnomah Falls was a place to stop at once they stop and talk to us for a few minutes and we start talking about the different communities they’re encouraged to travel.

Further and linger longer as a visitor somewhere I hate driving and what we’ve learned is that if there is transit they will use it and that’s what has been the experience with the Columbia Gorge Express you can now get on a bus from Portland and get to.

Cascade Locks and a Hood River without driving your own car that is by far the most exciting thing maybe I’m too excited about this and it connects our communities the major components of this car free experience our trip planning itineraries where you can learn what public transit you can use to.

Get where you want to go be fair so that it’s just one click you buy a ticket and then also linking together all of the active transportation modes like walking or biking with the public transit in a way that transportation becomes part of the joy of the experience one.