Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Jesse Brownlee, right, of Half Wild in Home Valley, Wash., brainstorms at “We Speak the Gorge” hospitality training Monday at the Cascade Locks Port pavilion with Barrett LaMont, left, of Cascade Locks Museum, Brenda Wood of Locks Dogs and Treats, and City Administrator Gordon Zimmerman. The training repeats May 22 at Hampton Inn in Hood River, 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. The event is free and is funded with a $5,000 grant from the Travel Oregon’s Rural Tourism Studio Matching Grant Program and the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce. It is sponsored by the Columbia Gorge Tourism Alliance (GRGTA) and Gorge chambers of commerce, including Skamania County, Hood River County, Mt. Adams, The Dalles Area and West Columbia Gorge. The goals of the trainings are to educate frontline staff (retail, hospitality and restaurant staffs) about key local tourism “assets” (or experiences) so they can confidently advise visitors. The program also teaches about “Ready, Set, GOrge!” and encourages visitors to explore less-visited places, supported by Travel Oregon, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, the U.S. Forest Service and more.