By Jessica R. Wheeler
A crew from Travel Oregon was in Condon last week to film a short video showcasing Oregon Frontier Chamber of Commerce Executive Director K’Lynn Lane.
Lane will be receiving the coveted Oregon Partnership Award at the 2023 Governor’s Conference on Tourism, set for April 3-5 in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center.
Lisa Itel, director of Strategic Partnership Development for Travel Oregon, said that filming went well and that Lane had clearly made an impact on the region.
“So I wasn’t surprised to see her name come in through our nominations to the Oregon Governor’s Conference Awards,” Itel said. “And, she had multiple nominations, which is not surprising either.”
Itel said the conference is a great way to bring together people from across the state’s tourism industry, and it’s also a chance to celebrate some of the partnerships within the industry — and honor leaders such as Lane.
“There are a lot of people who’ve just seen her passion,” she said. “The review committee, based on the submissions, really felt like she was deserving of this award. And after today, it is very apparent that is the case.”
The video will debut just in time for the conference, and Lane will be at the opening reception in Portland on April 3 to accept the award.
Travel Oregon will also announce winners of the Governor’s Tourism Award, the Oregon Leadership Award and the Stewardship Award, among others.
“It’s a really big night,” Itel said. “And it’s a really awesome opportunity for us to recognize industry.”
Itel said she’s familiar with Condon and has visited the area many times over the years.
“We’re big fans of this region,” said Itel, whose 7-year-old daughter loves rodeo and riding horses. “We feel a personal connection here.”
She said they’re very much looking forward to the Spray Rodeo, her daughter’s favorite, since it’s the first one of the season.
Travel Oregon brought a small team from Allied Video of Salem to shoot the interviews.
Co-owner and senior producer BrAd Steiner and freelance tech Gar Russell arrived Sunday night for their stay at Hotel Condon.
“They do a fantastic job,” Russell said. “It’s very comfortable, it’s very classy. I loved all of the history.”
And the owners were top notch, he said.
“They went the extra mile to welcome us,” Russell said. “And the hotel breakfast was great.”
Steiner said he was impressed by the town of Condon and thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
“It’s like a little oasis,” Steiner said. “I noticed when we drove in, for miles it’s like there’s nothing — and then suddenly there’s this little bit of civilization. It’s pretty neat.”
Steiner said he last visited the area probably 15 years ago with his kids to hunt for fossils.
Russell said he used to fight fires in eastern Oregon and was thrilled to be able to return.
“It just feels so good to come back out to the stars, and the people, and the smells, and even the wind — it’s nostalgic. The quiet and the heart out here, it’s really something I connect with.”
He said he instantly felt welcomed in Condon.
“It’s beautiful, and the folks are very kind,” Russell said. “I’m not finding this on the west side or other places. It just kind of innately, immediately felt like home.”