Last week marked the 20th annual STIHL Tour des Trees ride for research to benefit the TREE Fund. The Tour, sponsored by STIHL Inc., raised money and awareness for tree research. Starting in Portland, Ore. on August 5, more than 100 cyclists participated in the week-long, 585-mile ride, cycling along Oregon’s coastline, vineyards and high desert.
One unique aspect of the Tour is that it changes location every year, giving returning cyclists the opportunity to travel through different parts of the country. This also encourages local businesses to showcase their hometown pride by participating in Tour events. Businesses like Blue Heron French Cheese donated delicious jams and other tasty treats, giving riders a taste of what Oregon has to offer. Phillips Candies offered riders their famous salt water taffy that they’ve been serving for over 100 years.
Several towns played host to the 2012 Tour, offering excitement to riders and locals alike. One standout was the coastal city of Seaside, Ore., who welcomed the 2012 STIHL Tour des Trees to its town following the completion of their first day of cycling.
Director of Tourism Marketing for the City of Seaside Visitors Bureau, Jon Rahl, gave his perspective on the event, which was a first for Seaside. The Tour was “a new and exciting venture,” for John, who is unaccustomed to “having more than 100 overnight visitors come to town on two wheels.”
During their overnight stay in Seaside, riders had their pick of local dining options throughout the walk-able community. According to overnight spending studies provided by Travel Oregon, the boost from a group as large as 2012 STIHL Tour des Trees, even for one night, could have contributed as much as $15,000 to the local economy of Seaside.
Of course, STIHL Tour des Trees would not be possible without the dedicated cyclists who invest time and money into the ride for research. One passionate rider, Terrill Collier, owner of Collier Arbor Care, was instrumental in planning this year’s event. Team Collier, made up of 5 family members, has been riding for tree research since 2001. This is just one of the many ways Terrill gives back, to his community and the planet. As a small business owner, Terrill “believes in the three P’s; people, planet and profit.”
From the trees planted along the way, to the awareness and money raised for tree research, and the boost in revenue for locally owned businesses, the 20th annual STIHL Tour des Trees made a lasting contribution to the people and places involved. To read more and see pictures from the 2012 STIHL Tour des Trees, visit the Tour Blog.