City hopes to build lodging network
City of Estacada leaders are inviting those interested in renting out a room or section of their home to attend a meeting about the city's short term rental process.
These alternative lodging options will become part of the Estacada Lodging Network, which will include information about additional options such as Wonser Woods and the Red Fox Motel.
"The program is meant to introduce a more diverse set of lodging opportunities," said Estacada Economic Development Manager Matt Lorenzen.
The information sessions for joining the network will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 10, at The Mason Jar Cafe, 360 Broadway St., and 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at Clackamas River Growlers, 367 S.E. Broadway St.
The meetings will discuss the benefits of hosting, the city's procedures for short -term rentals and what qualifies as a rental, among other topics.
Lorenzen noted that alternative lodging has benefits for both those who host and the city itself.
"It's a nice supplemental income (for those who host)," he said, noting that several rental options include bedrooms and improved campsites. "It's fun to meet all of these new people (while hosting)."
Additionally, city leaders may be able to use data from the network to draw another traditional hotel to the area in the future.
"If we have eight participants, and they are all booked for 270 days of the year, we have data for a developer," Lorenzen said as an example. "If we can prove the demand for lodging, we can use that as a recruitment tool."
He also noted that the network would eventually benefit local businesses.
"Economies with a strong tourism aspect tend to be healthier economies than ones that don't have tourism," he said. "It's a way of exporting. Businesses will have a broader customer base, and hopefully their revenue will get stronger over time."
The lodging network project was inspired by a $7,500 grant the city received from the Mt. Hood Territory several years ago, paying for a consultant to update the code for short term rentals.
Lorenzen noted that he thinks lodging in Estacada will fill a unique niche.
"Some people who come out are not necessarily looking for the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Portland," he said. "They want something off the beaten path."
He encouraged anyone hosting to attend one of the meetings.
"The process is designed to be pretty easy," he said.