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The role of tourism in the local economy has grown over the years as resource-based industries such as mining and timber have become less viable. Following the Travel Oregon McKenzie River Valley Rural Tourism Studio (RTS) in 2011, the Tourism Steering Committee approached the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce to join the organization.

From June 2015 to February 2016, the Tourism Committee and McKenzie River Action Team had the opportunity to work with two Hatfield Fellows hired by Lane County Community and Economic Development. The Year-Round Tourism Action Plan was selected as a pilot project for the Fellows. Through stakeholder interviews and research of past documents, the Fellows developed the Year-Round Tourism Action Plan to guide community efforts surrounding tourism.

Working with the McKenzie River Chamber of Commerce and the Tourism Committee, the McKenzie CDC seeks to support local business and entrepreneurs who bring people as well as additional resources to the community.