Central Oregon

COVA and EDCO to relocate to joint offices

Old Mill site much like Welcome Center was

BEND, Ore. - The Central Oregon Visitors Association announced Monday it will be co?locating office space with Economic Development for Central Oregon in a move planned for year end.

The two regional non?profit organizations are charged with destination tourism promotion and economic development, respectively. The office will be located at Mill Point, 750 NW Bonnett Way, Suite 1000.

EDCO and COVA will continue independent operations, but will share common area space, conference room and reception areas.

At the new Mill Point site, COVA will also operate the Central Oregon Welcome Center, providing visitor information about the region and COVA's tourism partners statewide. COVA serves an average of 2,100 visitors monthly in its Visitor Center.

"This is a welcome and fiscally responsible opportunity for both COVA and EDCO," stated Alana Hughson, CEO of the Central Oregon Visitors Association. "With an estimated 80 percent of new businesses initiated by people who first discovered the region on vacation, there has long existed a natural synergy between the mission of
COVA, to attract destination visitation to Central Oregon, and the mission of EDCO, to invite and facilitate new business development in Central Oregon."

"Both COVA and EDCO share a resolve to maximize the resources we can dedicate to programs and minimize overhead," said Roger Lee, executive director of EDCO. "The ability to optimize savings with operations efficiencies makes good business sense for both our organizations."

COVA, EDCO and the former Bend Chamber/VCB have a history of shared office space. For more than a dozen years. the organizations were collectively housed in the former Central Oregon Welcome Center at the north end of Bend. With the opening of the Bend Parkway, the original Welcome Center was sold to ODOT and now houses the Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles and ODOT operations.

In an effort to retain a cost?effective Visitor Information presence in the Old Mill retail area, COVA is coordinating with the Old Mill on a satellite visitor Information kiosk in the Old Mill center plaza.

The Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA) has been the non?profit tourism Destination Marketing Association serving Central Oregon since 1971. Supported by nearly 500 member businesses and operating with an annual budget of $1.8 million; COVA manages tourism advertising, marketing, promotion, public relations, industry relations, special event management and a region?wide Housing Bureau. For more information, go to www.VisitCentralOregon.com.

Economic Development for Central Oregon (EDCO) is a private non?profit  corporation founded over 30 years ago and dedicated to building a vibrant and thriving regional economy by attracting new investment and traded-sector jobs (manufacturing, professional, headquarters and high technology businesses) through marketing, recruitment and substantive assistance to existing companies. Learn more about EDCO at www.edcoinfo.com.

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