In the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region of Oregon, sustainability, accessibility and inclusivity are core values.
“They are the lenses through which we view all of our work,” said Juanita Metzler, senior director, conventions, at Eugene, Cascades & Coast, the area’s DMO. “They are among our organization’s specific goals, and we seek planners who share those values.”
Community lives its values
Evidence of those values is all around in a region that’s proud and protective of its natural beauty and its diverse population.
A decade ago, Eugene banned plastic bags and began turning food waste into compost and biogas through Love Food Not Waste. Eugene’s goals to cut fossil fuel use in half and reduce greenhouse gases are part of city code. Major event venues have achieved LEED certification.
Parks and gentle paved paths are designed so everyone can enjoy waterfalls and woods. Bike share stations provide inexpensive, fuel-free transportation. A popular challenge course is accessible to all. The importance of inclusivity is noted in many ways: through city and university equity programs, arts alliances that support diverse artists; events that celebrate LGBTQ+ citizens, bike and walking routes that incorporate the area’s Black history.
The region is constantly strengthening its core values.
One way is by making Eugene more accessible through expanded use of hearing loops — a technology that improves hearing aid function. Eugene, Cascades & Coast is helping fund installation of hearing loops in conference centers, hotels, the airport and other public buildings.
Instead of creating volunteer projects for visiting conferences, the DMO instead matches them with ongoing legacy projects that need a boost. “That way,” says Metzler, “they help sustain something and bring an infusion of energy.”
Another new program was originally created to cut back on the waste that would have resulted as Eugene fed thousands of athletes at 2022’s World Athletics Championships. The Sustainable Events Services Program is now available for all events. For less than it costs to buy disposable dinnerware, quality, reusable dinnerware is delivered to an event, picked up afterward and cleaned off site. “With this, we aren’t even putting compostable plates into the planet,” said Metzler.
It’s all part of living those shared values. “We want our clients to know they are valued and have made the best choice,” said Metzler. “They will feel our values because they are their values.”
No sales tax and an incentive mean big savings
Meeting in Eugene, Cascades & Coast can mean cost savings, thanks to Oregon’s lack of sales tax and a meeting incentive offer of $5 per room night (up to $3,500) paid direct to planners with new meetings of 200 room nights or more. “It recognizes the value we place on planners and the relationship we have with them,” said Metzler. “This lets planners know we understand their needs and want to help them rebuild after these last few difficult years.”
For more information, please contact:
Eugene, Cascades & Coast
Juanita Metzler, CMP, CGMP, SEPC
541-743-8758 or 800-547-5445