University of Oregon

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments

Mapping the Economic Future of Dallas

As part of the Rural Economic Vitality Roadmap process, community members in Dallas, Oregon, have created action teams, including Community Marketing, Small Business, and Property Development, to hammer out 90-day action plans to build on recent community successes. 
 
RDI’s Rural Economic Vitality Roadmap program is a three-part process, which began in September in Dallas with a series of focus groups. Since then, community members have participated in town hall meetings, given feedback via surveys and interviews, and formed teams to move to action to help map the economic future of Dallas. 
 
Multiple local and regional disc golf teams call Dallas’s disc course home, and the Community Marketing Team is working to bring a signature disc golf tournament to its premier course.
 
The Small Business Team is focusing on a historical walking tour, in part to bring people into current businesses. Chaired by Emma Guida, current RARE (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments) participant, the team is working with the Dallas historian, involved citizens, and downtown business owners to enhance the existing walking tour format. The team is also considering creating a brochure with a map of downtown Dallas featuring historical stops on one side, and restaurants, bars, and stores on the other. “And maybe (hopefully) this could eventually lead to getting some wayfinding kiosks downtown as well!” said Guida, who became involved with the Roadmap process through her role as Program Manager of the Dallas Downtown Association.
 
The Small Business Team is also considering ways to build on the success of the Holiday Bazaar located at Pressed Coffee & Wine Bar, which featured local, small businesses selling their goods and wares. Vendors overwhelmingly were delighted by the event and expressed support for additional events like the bazaar in the future.
 
The Property Development Team narrowed its list of priorities to focus on three anchor buildings in downtown Dallas. The team is working with property owners to better understand their intentions and dreams for these historic properties.
 
Oregon Main Street’s Sheri Stuart excited the community members at a gathering with news of recently released grants for property redevelopment opportunities, and Denise Bacon of The Ford Family Foundation discussed ways the Foundation can help bring support to community driven projects. Attendees were also delighted to hear how RDI’s Gary Stewart can help bring some additional tools and resources to help the various groups stay on task and manage their projects moving forward.
 
RDI’s Economic Vitality Roadmap program takes rural communities through a three-part process to create an action-oriented roadmap to economic success. The process includes an assessment, identification of key initiatives, and implementation. Through roadmaps and other rural economic vitality services, RDI’s staff helps rural communities take the road to community vitality. For more information, contact RDI’s Director of Rural Economic Vitality Mary Bosch, email: mbosch@rdiinc.org, or phone: 503.504.6770.
 
The Dallas Rural Economic Vitality Roadmap is sponsored by the City of Dallas and facilitated by RDI. 
 
Originally Published In: News from RDI: March 2017
Rural Development Initiatives
150 Shelton-McMurphey Boulevard, Suite 201,
Eugene, Oregon 97401