2016 Downtown Revitalization Awards


One of the guiding principles of Main Street® is forging a true public-private partnership focused on downtown revitalization. That is exactly what they achieved in The Dalles. From the start, The City of The Dalles has provided financial support to launch the effort and provided staffing support through the RARE program. As The Dalles Main Street developed a stronger organizational foundation, The City of the Dalles provided additional funding support so the program could hire their first full time executive director. This partnership has continued to develop with additional funding for projects such as the Business Retention and Expansion program. The results of this partnership can be seen throughout the downtown. Visitors and community members can now find parklets, wayfinding kiosks, bike racks, holiday lights, and other improvements. Several new businesses have opened, others have moved and expanded. Several facade projects have been recently completed and interiors are being renovated. Many cities help launch local main street efforts, but in The Dalles, the City and local program continue to strengthen this relationship and work together to support on-going downtown revitalization.

Oregon Main Street- 2016 Annual Report/ Read Full Article



Sept 2017

“There’s been this energy shift that everyone’s noticed,” Paulsen says. “When I first moved here [in 2014], streets were empty at night. No one was out and about doing anything, stores were closed. That’s different now.”

Oregon Business / Read Full Article



New face on Main Street

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments

Jeremiah Paulsen is a relative newcomer to The Dalles – he has lived here for about two years — but his presence could end up having a pretty big impact on the downtown area.

Paulsen is project coordinator for The Dalles Main Street, a nonprofit organization geared toward boosting the economic vitality of downtown, and one of Paulsen’s primary objectives is to come up with ways to increase foot traffic to the city’s business district.

“I spend a lot of time out in the community talking with business owners and making those connections,” Paulsen said. “It’s all about increasing the foot traffic to downtown, and making the downtown a destination for people to come to. I think we’re getting there.”

Paulsen, 30, is an AmeriCorps volunteer working under AmeriCorps’ RARE (Resource Assistance for Rural Environments) program. He started in mid-September, and will serve as Main Street’s project coordinator for the next 11 months.

He receives a stipend for his work.

Paulsen, who is from Port Angeles, Wash., first came to The Dalles two years ago when he began serving for the Wishram School District’s “Washington Reading Corps,” an AmeriCorps reading program. When that assignment ended, he opted to remain in The Dalles.

“I wanted to stay here and do something for the community,” Paulsen said. “I’ve really enjoyed the time I’ve spent here. In the few weeks I’ve been here, I feel like I’m starting to find my niche.”

In his Main Street role, Paulsen is leading the way on three key initiatives: One, preservation and improvement of historical facades around the downtown; two, improving support for downtown businesses, including business retention and expansion; and three, improving communication with and increasing participation of volunteers at downtown businesses.

Matthew Klebes, Main Street’s executive director, is Paulsen’s supervisor, and is very pleased with his work.

“He has been busy meeting many of the partners, business owners and community members who will be involved in his scope of work and the Main Street program,” Klebes said.

“I believe we had five applicants through the RARE program, and Jeremiah stood out due to his personal skills, knowledge of the Main Street program, and ability to integrate and work with a rural community.”

Klebes also noted that Paulsen helped to organize some important public events for Main Street.

“Jeremiah is on his third week, and has already been extremely helpful at this busy time of year with Main Street’s recent Pub Crawl event and the upcoming Main Street Uncorked (Main Street’s annual fundraiser) on Oct. 8, as well as the strategic planning session facilitated by Oregon Main Street’s coordinator, Sheri Stuart, on Oct. 4,” Klebes said.

Oregon Main Street is essentially a statewide version of The Dalles Main Street, as the Salem-based agency assists in developing comprehensive, incremental revitalization strategies for communities around the state based on their unique assets, character and heritage.

Paulsen has a creative side that suits him well for his role with The Dalles Main Street.

He graduated from Western Washington University in 2009 with a degree in theater arts, and acted in two shows (“Same Time Next Year” and “Sordid Lives”) during The Dalles Theatre Company’s 2015-16 season.

Paulsen also loves to play the ukulele.

“I sometimes perform at open mic events around town,” he said. “It’s something I enjoy.”

Paulsen took note of all the brew pubs that have opened in The Dalles over the last two years, and said he has noticed the impact of the recent influx to the downtown area.

“The downtown has more vitality because of new businesses coming in, and just in the two years I’ve been here, I’ve seen a lot of improvements,” he said. “Locally brewed beers are becoming especially popular.”

It might sound a bit pedestrian — literally —but Paulsen said one of his favorite pastimes is simply strolling around the city and taking in the sights. “It’s so close to all the outdoor activities and recreation.

“I never used to be an outdoor person until I got here,” he added. “I really enjoy hiking and exploring. The gorge is a special place.”

Paulsen is still not sure what he will do when his 11 months working for Main Street comes to an end next fall, but he is glad to be gaining valuable experience and building a list of accomplishments to include on his resume.

Resource Assistance for Rural Environments / Read Full Article