Columbia River Gorge Tourism Summit will be held Oct. 15

Topics to include the effects of legal recreational marijuana use on tourism

Spreading the word that tourism is economic development will be among the goals of a regional meeting.

The Columbia River Gorge Tourism Summit will be held Wednesday, Oct. 15, from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Columbia Gorge Discovery Center, 5000 Discovery Drive, in The Dalles, Ore.

The event will begin with a continental breakfast and registration. The cost to attend, $30 per person, will include lunch and a regional beer and wine reception.

The summit is open to the public. Tourism industry professionals, elected officials and potential entrepreneurs have also been invited.

Todd Davidson, chief executive officer of Travel Oregon and the chair of the U.S. Tourism & Travel Advisory Board, and George Sharp, a board member of the Washington Tourism Alliance, will be the keynote speakers.

Stan Hinatsu, with the U.S. Forest Service Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area office, will present information about a new recreation application for smart phones, and Lee Weinstein, president of Weinstein Public Relations Agency, will talk about his plans to showcase the Gorge.

The film, “King of Roads” will be previewed, and plans for the 100th anniversary of the Historic Columbia River Highway will be discussed.

There will also be a panel discussion regarding legal recreational marijuana use and the effects on tourism, featuring Sgt. Paul Magerl, from the Washington State Liquor Control Board, North Bonneville Mayor Don Stevens, and Margie Lemberger, the owner of Margie’s Pot Shop, in Bingen.

A representative from the Washington State Cannabis Tourism Association has been invited to participate on the panel.

The tourism summit will include information about recent strategic planning efforts by the Columbia River Gorge Visitors Association.

For more information, contact Casey Roeder, president of the CRGVA, at casey@skamania.org or (509) 427-8911. To register for the summit, visit www.crgva.org.

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