COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - You don't have to remind Blair Winter the importance of bike recreation.
He's on the front lines at his Rainy Peak Bicycle shop on Main Street.
"It's meaningful to restaurants, hotels, retail stores on Main Street," he said. "We have a lot of unique shopping here."
It's a point not lost on the folks at the state bikeway conference in Cottage Grove.
"Timber isn't what it used to be. The mills aren't running at the same capacities that they used to," said Travis Palmer with the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce, "but tourism is growing."
Bike travel is big business $400 million a year in Oregon.
"That's $1.2 million a day into the Oregon economy through bicycle recreation," said Alex Phillips with Oregon State Parks.
Now the City of Cottage Grove is going to help launch a new program: the bike friendly business initiative.
Businesses go to the Travel Oregon website, answer some questions and get certified.
What's in it for them?
"Extra promotion for their business," Palmer said. "Talks about what things that they have as far as amenities that would be attractive to cyclists."
Earlier version of this story
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. - Bicycle tourism is a $400 million industry in Oregon with the potential for growth, according to participants in the Oregon Bikeway Conference.
The conference at the Cottage Grove Chamber of Commerce Tuesday discussed developments and programs, like the Oregon Scenic Bikeway program.
Cottage Grove is the hub for the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway, as well as the site for the Oregon Gran Fondo event and a triathlon.
Oregon's tourism and parks departments are launching a new bike friendly business plan to boost biking even more.
Cottage Grove will be one of the two pilot programs for this effort.