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Board discusses ideas to attract more tourists
Dottie West.jpg

At the monthly strategic planning meeting of the Tourism of Development Board, several ideas were discussed on how to better the city of McMinnville and bring more tourism, as well as business, to the community.

Bike McMinnville is a group that has been formed under the auspices of Main Street McMinnville. It works to support cycling in Warren County. The project would create a bike path, benefitting the tourism industry, community health and fitness, transportation and recreation.

“We have a beautiful city with paths already available for biking. We are striving to create a more bike-friendly community,” says Katie Kemezis, chair of the Tourism Development Board and executive director of Main Street McMinnville.

The overall goal for Bike McMinnville is to encourage the city and county to invest in bike-friendly infrastructure. The hope is to bring those resources to the community through grants and other offerings, as well as focusing on educating the public of safety concerns when it comes to sharing the road with bikers, raising awareness of bike trails already available, and encouraging investments for a bike-friendly McMinnville to better the overall quality of life.

There will be an upcoming event in March to encourage more biking in the county.

“All of our ideas are to help McMinnville blossom in new and exciting ways,” says Kemezis.

An idea from Christy Ross, a Tourism and Development Board member, was put on the table for discussion. Ross believes bringing the Dottie West Music Fest back to McMinnville would increase the tourism industry. 

The festival was previously held both downtown and at the fairgrounds but has been on hiatus for around 10 years. In hopes of increasing the amount of visitors to the county and creating more community events, the festival would be held downtown once again and involve the local food trucks and businesses on Main Street.

Ross says, “McMinnville’s music roots run deep, and it is becoming a musically focused town again so having a festival or event such as this would be very beneficial for the community, especially since Dottie West was recently inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. The timing is perfect for the Dottie West Music Festival to occur in McMinnville once again.”