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Mount Hood Chamber resumes in-person meetings posted on 04/01/2022

The Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce was set to resume in-person meetings in January, when the pandemic took a turn for the worse and the chamber held off once again. But with the coronavirus waning, in-person meetings are now on the agenda, and fortunately for the chamber, January’s scheduled speaker will be able to kick things off in April.

Jason Brandt, President and CEO of the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association (ORLA), will offer a picture into the state of Oregon’s hospitality industry with the latest available trends and data at the Tuesday, April 5 meeting, held at 10 a.m. at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort, 68010 E. Fairway Avenue in Welches.

“Oregon’s hospitality industry is vast with varying business models and types,” he explained in an email to The Mountain Times. “The way the pandemic felt varied greatly based on the business type of the operator and where the operator’s business is located in the state.”

Brandt noted that staffing challenges remain a constant in the industry and hopes that consumers can be patient as businesses attempt to resume full service, while continuing to embrace dining and to go services.

“Pending any major wildfire challenges Oregon could have a significant rebirth this summer after two plus years of pandemic anxiety,” Brandt continued. “The best case scenario would be record sales and top level demand for Oregon’s restaurant and lodging locations so our operators can continue working to pay down the debt they took on to stay in business during the pandemic. Paying down debt will be a major behind the scenes focus for many of our establishments post pandemic.”

He noted that the trend towards mobile and flexible work plans created new opportunities and changed the dynamics of the industry, with some regions benefiting while others didn’t.

“A number of Oregon’s coastal, gorge, and valley markets saw record sales months during periods of the pandemic,” Brandt wrote. “Others more reliant on business and conference travel like Portland took a hard hit and continue their recovery process. We have certainly seen a tale of two realities within the hospitality industry over the course of the past two years.”

“I’m excited to see everyone again,” wrote Coni Scott, co-president for the chamber, in an email.

“Many of us have not been working with one another these last two years and now are excited to get back in the loop,” she added

For more information on the chamber, visit https://www.mthoodchamber.com.

By Garth Guibord/MT

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