GOLD HILL, Ore. — The iconic Oregon Vortex announced on Wednesday that it will reopen to visitors in a limited capacity now that Jackson County has entered Phase I of reopening.
For the time being, the Oregon Vortex will be open only for private reservations to local residents of Jackson or Josephine counties.
"This is an exciting opportunity that has been denied everyone for a long time," the Vortex said in a Facebook post. "A chance to just go and relax out in the Vortex. Our new format will be more free form as people will be able to rent the area for anywhere from an hour to all day. You will get to hang out with your guide, ask questions and move around more at your own pace."
In the second week of March, the family who owns the Vortex voluntarily shut it down — initially for just a month — due to growing concerns about coronavirus in Oregon. The Coopers had opened for the season just two weeks earlier.
"While sitting shuttered for the last 10 weeks they have been inundated with phone calls and emails inquiring about when they might be reopening and there have been no answers to give," the Vortex said in a statement.
Reservations at the Vortex can be booked up to a day in advance, limited to groups of 10 or less.
"These rules and the ability to offer tours at all is of course conditional on state regulations and is subject to change as the situation develops," the Vortex said. "Despite the limited audience the Cooper family is excited to bring a new experience to the Oregon Vortex after years of providing the same tour. With private tours being the only real option right now it opens up the area for a more personal approach."
Visitors will have an hour inside the area to explore, take pictures, and "experience the Oregon Vortex." The classic tour will still be available, but people can choose to wander with a guide instead.
"The Vortex management will keep a close eye on Oregon rules and regulations regarding reopening and once appropriate will start taking reservations from the rest of the state, country and world," the Vortex concluded.