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Uptown gets upgraded look with new billboard covering

The message is simple: Travelers take heed! There’s more to see in Oakridge. The clean, simplistic, yet eye-catching design will hopefully get travelers to stop and explore our city. herald photo



By LYNDA KAMERRER/for The Herald  —  There is a new billboard cover suggesting, “Explore Uptown” along highway 58.  It replaces a faded cover originally put in place in 2014 by members of the Uptown Business & Revitalization Association, UBRA.  The main objective is to inform vehicle traffic that there is another part of town reached by taking a left at the traffic light.

As an Oregon Main Street affiliate organization, the UBRA board of directors prioritized the project to update the billboard in 2024 to fulfill the objective of promoting businesses in the Uptown District.  In conversations with business owners and managers, it is common to hear the refrain, “how can we get more of the highway 58 traffic up here to check us out?”

Several agencies lent assistance to the new billboard cover

Since no one on the board of UBRA is a professional in the advertising field, we decided to consult with Travel Lane County’s (TLC), marketing experts Stephen Hoshaw and Emily Forsha.  UBRA requested use of some existing digital assets from TLC’s Explore Campaign.  The idea was to multiply the effect of images already in play by repeating them in front of traffic along highway 58.  Readers may have seen the electronic billboard in downtown Eugene with Explore Oakridge/Westfir featured along with the other rural communities in Lane County. The Explore campaign is also on display on one of the panels at the Greenwaters rest area kiosk, which is a high-volume visitor stop.

The design work was done by local artists

The colorized line drawing representing the First Street on the billboard is a collaborative work between Sue Duerksen Cathcart and Barbara Counsil Burney.  Barbara completed the entire graphic layout for the billboard and Haugen Advertising printed the cover.  Webfoot Properties placed the cover on the structure with Kevin Gobelman providing oversight of the installation.  Project administration was handled by Lynda Kamerrer.

Several upcoming events that you should put on your calendar

The UBRA Board is sponsoring several other projects this spring.  On April 25th the community is invited to attend a workshop entitled, Build Your Dream Downtown.  Cayla Catino from Rural Development Initiatives is the workshop leader and there is no cost to participants.  Please reserve your spot via email:  [email protected].  On April 27th UBRA hosts the 15th annual Uptown Clean Up.  This annual event spruces up our district just before the Tree Planting Festival Parade on First Street.  On Saturday, May 11th, UBRA is sponsoring a city-wide Garage Sale.  Businesses in the Uptown district will hold a Sidewalk Sale at the same time.    Details forthcoming, email us with questions.

Lynda Kamerrer grew up in Eastern Oregon and spent 33 years in Seattle before moving to Oakridge in 2008. She loves gardening and is actively involved in Oakridge as a volunteer. Gary Carl photo
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