REDMOND With about 6,000 motorhomes and the people traveling in them expected to gather in one place, the Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce found it an opportunity to promote the border coast.
However, the Family Motor Coach Association Summer Rendezvous attracted a bigger crowd than expected. Les Cohen, Brookings-Harbor Chamber of Commerce executive director, learned Friday morning that there were 8,500 motorhomes and at least 16,000 people in attendance.
Cohen said about 3,000 brochures were distrubuted promoting the Brookings-Harbor area at the event, which was Tuesday through Thursday.
Many who visited the chambers booth said they planned to drive down the Oregon Coast on their way back to California and stop by Brookings, said Lynn McCann, a member of the chambers Promotion Committee and booth volunteer. McCann and Cohen were joined by Dick McCann for the three-day event.
Three gift baskets were given away at the booth, which included a Rogue River Mail Boats trip, a Salmon Run golf package, two nights at one of three R.V. parks and a deep-sea ocean fishing trip from Tidewinds.
Businesses participating in the event from Brookings included Port of Brookings Harbor, Driftwood R.V. Park, Portside R.V. Park, Salmon Run golf course, Curry Coastal Pilot, Brookings-Harbor Ford, Lucky 7 Casino, Rogue River Mail Boats and Trees of Mystery.
Following the event, the city of Redmond, meanwhile, will return to life without motor homes in every parking lot in town.
City streets and the hospital here have remained generally quiet despite this weeks onslaught of enough people to almost double the citys size, city leaders say.
City hall has been silent, too, said City Manager Jo Anne Sutherland, who noted her office received no complaints from the community.
Thursday, the association wrapped up its annual summer rally at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds.
The group chose Redmond as its convention site last year, which immediately caused city, business and community leaders to embark on several months worth of planning and preparing for the big rigs week-long stay.
The group announced its arrival Sunday when more than 1,000 caravanning motor homes lined up to enter the fairgrounds gates.
Throughout the past two days, most drivers left on their own time, like in the early morning and late evening hours, said Chris Doty, assistant engineer for the city.
What weve been led to believe, the exodus is typically minimal in respect to traffic impact, he said.
The only problem throughout the entire week happened on Monday afternoon when 1,000 motor homes arrived at the fairgrounds expecting a spot to park. Organizers scrambled and sent the RVs to the old fairgrounds site, off Highway 97, Sutherland said. Other members not upset enough to leave were sent to the Redmond Airport, where there was a little extra space.
Clean-up work at the fairgrounds still needs to be assessed, but it will only happen after the last crews leave the site come Saturday, said Dan Despotopulous, fairgrounds director. He said he expects the grounds will receive a lot of watering and possibly more grass seeding.