Tourism Season Begins in Southern Oregon

TourismJACKSONVILLE, Ore. — With the Britt Festival kicking off, the Shakespeare Festival beginning its outdoor season, and several other events continuing this weekend across the Rogue Valley, tourism season is in full swing.

This weekend, the Britt Festival’s summer concert season begins, but people are already arriving in Jacksonville, many of them from out of town and out of state.

Local businesses say it brings a lot of tourism dollars, and that’s money they rely on during the summer months. Bella Union Restaurant in Jacksonville says the Britt season is their busiest time of the year.

Workers say the concerts bring in plenty of new customers from out of town who are arriving to see the shows. They said just this week they served customers from Australia who arrived before the start of the season.

“The summertime is a really big touristy season so even before Britt starts, we get a lot of tourists come to town so in the summertime the town doubles, sometimes triples in size,” said Lindsey Pariani at Bella Union Restaurant.

On Friday night, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival officially begins its outdoor season in the Elizabethan Theatre. Businesses along the Ashland Plaza, including Martoli’s Pizza, say that brings in an influx of new customers as well.

Martoli’s keeps a schedule of the plays, and said they can anticipate a lunch or dinner rush based on when those plays begin and end.