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Press Release

U.S. Department of Commerce Invests $1.2 Million in American Rescue Plan Funds to Support Tourism-Related Business Growth in Eugene, Oregon

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo announced that the Department’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) is awarding a $1.2 million grant to the city of Eugene, Oregon for expansion of an existing trail system to catalyze the local tourist sector. This grant is funded by the American Rescue Plan.

This project will support the Suzanne Arlie Park Trails and Mountain Bike Facilities project by extending the 13-mile Ridgeline Trail system, boosting the local tourism economy by expanding opportunities for outdoor recreation. This EDA grant will be matched with $724,836 in local funds and is expected to create 22 jobs, retain four jobs, and generate $200,000 in private investment, according to grantee estimates.

“President Biden recognizes the vital contribution the tourism industry makes to the American economy,” said Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo. “This project will provide a boost to the tourism and hospitality industries in Eugene by enhancing a keystone visitor attraction.”

“The travel and tourism industry is an important part of many local economies across the country,” said Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Alejandra Y. Castillo. “This investment will help the city of Eugene leverage a regional asset to boost tourism, create jobs, and fortify the local recreational infrastructure.”

“Enjoying the outdoors is synonymous with living in Oregon, and this federal investment for Eugene will generate an even better recreation experience in the region while also creating local jobs in tourism,” said Senator Ron Wyden. “I’m glad the American Rescue Plan I fought to make into law is making a real difference for everybody wanting to hike or bike a trail in Eugene.”

“The COVID crisis showed each of us the huge value of outdoor community spaces,” said Senator Jeff Merkley. “The EDA funding made possible by the American Rescue plan going to Eugene will create new ways for residents and visitors alike to engage with natural areas in the city, supporting both the community and its economy.”

“This grant to expand Eugene’s beloved Ridgeline Trail system is a wonderful project for local tourism and residents alike,” said Congressman Peter DeFazio (OR-04). “Oregonians enjoy hiking and biking year-round and this investment in our local community will help ensure that the trails are well-traveled for years to come.”

This project is funded under EDA’s $240 million competitive American Rescue Plan Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation program. EDA awarded $510 million in 2021 to all 50 states and territories. The two programs are designed to accelerate the recovery of communities that rely on the travel, tourism and outdoor recreation sectors. Effective May 26, 2022, EDA has officially closed all of its American Rescue Plan programs for applications. The $3 billion program funding will be awarded on a rolling basis through September 30, 2022.

About the U.S. Economic Development Administration (www.eda.gov)
The mission of the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) is to lead the federal economic development agenda by promoting competitiveness and preparing the nation's regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy. An agency within the U.S. Department of Commerce, EDA invests in communities and supports regional collaboration in order to create jobs for U.S. workers, promote American innovation, and accelerate long-term sustainable economic growth.

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