Event cancellations affecting C.O. communities

Not just businesses taking a hit from smoke impact

Cancelled events hurt business

LA PINE, Ore. - Cycle Oregon's cancellation is due to wildfire smoke has been a big hit to the city of La Pine and La Pine High School athletics, which were set to receive big donations from Cycle Oregon.

The school's athletic director, Aaron Flack, is trying to keep it all in perspective.

"Huge thing for the whole community, so, you know, what can you do with the smoke though?" Flack said Thursday.

Now the school will not receive funding from the event that was set to go toward the football program.

"It affects not only our school but our whole community," Flack said. "Our football program was going to help, and in two days they were going to make around $3,000."

The school says they have other ways to raise money, but the loss of the event does hurt their bottom line.

And for many businesses in Sisters, the Folk Festival brings the biggest weekend of the year. With its cancellation, businesses are taking a hit.

Five Pines Lodge was gearing up for a busy weekend, according to front desk manager Claire Mutchler.

"We were 100 percent full, and now I think we're about 50 percent less then what we were," Mutchler said.

After a promising start to the summer, businesses are feeling the effects of the smoke.

With the cancellation of the folk festival, it makes things even tougher for people such as Pam Wavrin, the owner of Depot Cafe in Sisters.

She was hoping this weekend would bring a strong financial finish to the summer.

"First two weeks of August were great. We were having a great summer and the weather was ideal," Wavrin said. "And then about halfway through August, just before the eclipse, it started slowing down,  and it's been way down."

Now, Wavrin is working to just stay afloat.

"We are just going into winter mode now to try to prepare," she said.

Along with Cycle Oregon and the Sisters Folk Festival, the Walk to Defeat ALS, the Sole Support for Parkinson's Walk and Saturday's grand opening of the Hollinshead Water-Wise Garden have also been canceled.

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