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Old 10-18-2007, 10:03 AM
Location: Gila, NM
29 posts, read 118,418 times
Reputation: 22
Well, I am still doing a lot of research on Oregon and the costal/central areas of the state and have some pretty big questions still. I hope that I can get some honest feedback in a few areas of concern.

A little history...

When I relocate I will be moving a very successful retail business from Silver City, New Mexico. We are a family of merchants that buy and sell just about anything we see as marketable for the region, (ie. soutwest textiles, pottery, Cowboy and Native American merchandise, old west mystique and antiques, collectables, sage smudges, incense, international imports and the list really does go on.) We are able to sell as we do from our 8,500 sq. foot space because of the draw to the area from tourists and a devoted local following. The area has an identity and "vibe" all it's own that brings peole to it. Having worked in the same field in our native state of Maine proved to be the same story. A costal Maine touristy vibe and a devoted local following.

The questions are these...

What is the identity or mystique of the state?

Why do people come?

Does the tourist industry thrive?

Is there a healty spendable income for locals to purchase wants and not always needs and what areas are they?

What "local flavor" is there in specific regions?

What areas do people vacation to and why?

Do people just live and work or do they make time to play?

What are the biggest Art, (performing and visual) communities in the state?

We are a family of merchants that buy and sell "stuff" and have fun doing it! We are all creative and like the challenge of figuring out the markets in any given area and catering to that demographic.

I want to thank the people here who have already answered some posts and look forward to reading up on this one and continuing my research.

Kim Young
The Marketplace
Silver City, New Mexico
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Old 10-18-2007, 10:40 AM
Location: Socialist Republik of Amerika
6,212 posts, read 11,315,897 times
Reputation: 1101
For Southern Oregon, Anything outdoorsy.

Hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, rafting, boating, scavenging for wild edibles.
Western Oregon trail history. Horseback, 4-h. Golfing. etc....

Think of what Oregon has, and you will know what the draw is...

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Old 10-18-2007, 12:06 PM
Location: Gila, NM
29 posts, read 118,418 times
Reputation: 22
Thanks for the quick reply. Do you think a business such as the one I described would fly in any part of the state? You seem to have a wealth of knowledge aout the area.

Again, thanks.
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Old 10-18-2007, 03:08 PM
Location: Oregon Coast
1,642 posts, read 3,453,866 times
Reputation: 1997
And along the Coast from Florence to Coos Bay, don't forget the Dunes. ATV and 4-wheeling is big.
As for Southwestern Art and Native American, honestly, I don't think it's too big here. Our Casinos pretty much have that covered.
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Old 10-19-2007, 10:04 AM
13 posts, read 32,165 times
Reputation: 19
Hey Girlbard11,

I can speak for Southern Oregon (Ashland, in particular) regarding the tourist industry and the kind of shop you are describing (not so much the Native American merchandise, but other "Oregon" type stuff). You would definitely make it in Ashland! I worked in a tourist gift shop for 4 years; my mom worked there for 12. The Oregon Shakespeare festival is the main attraction, with summer in general being a great time for sellers such as yourself. Winter is good too, if you have those really unique gift items such as specialty ornaments and jewelry (costume, sterling, etc.). Oregon exclusive items do well too, as souvenirs for the non-native visitors. The store I worked in only carried items made in Oregon and that was a huge attraction. Very unique, often local artists' wares. That store went out of business, as the owners who took over right before I left basically changed the store's dynamic and ran it into the ground. The rent is very expensive though. You would probably need quite a bit of capital to get your store stocked and pay the rent for awhile before turning a profit. Best bet would be to move well before summer so your store is in top selling condition for the tourist season.

That being said, the majority of tourists coming to Ashland have money. The town is filled with Victorian B&Bs, and a variety of shops ranging from second hand "oddities" stores to expensive art/jewelry stores, that have all survived for decades.

I would suggest taking at least a weekend trip to check it out. You will fall in love with the town - so cute, so much to look at and such an eclectic feel. Something for everyone. Not to hand you a pair of rose colored glasses or anything. It does have its share of "problems", depending on your tolerance. There are pan-handlers on a daily basis. People playing the guitar on the sidewalks for money mostly. Once in awhile the local shop owners call the police to remove a homeless person from the front of their store because they are asking the patrons for money as they come and go. That said though, the local law enforcement is great. Bicycle cops patrol on a regular basis, and their response times are great.

Housing in Ashland is on the pricey side, however the neighboring towns are quite reasonable and the commute is easy. (Check out housing in Talent, Phoenix, Medford).

Jacksonville would also be an option for you (just outside of Medford), but I never worked there and experienced the daily shop owner life. I will say that most of the time when I go, there are a lot of lookers but not a lot of people standing in line at the register.

Hope this helped, and GOOD LUCK!
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