State lodging and restaurant groups merge

The Oregon Restaurant Association membership has voted to merge with the Oregon Lodging Association.

The restaurant organization membership approved the merger Monday, following the lodging group's approval on April 13. The new entity will be named the Oregon Restaurant and Lodging Association. The merger takes effect July 1.

The newly formed association will be one of the largest trade associations and political bodies in Oregon, representing more than 3,500 members and advocating for more than 9,000 food service locations and 860 lodging establishments. The restaurant and lodging industry provides 170,000 jobs and produces more than $6.9 billion in annual sales and generates 40 percent of the state's tourism dollars.

ORA Chairman Bob Jensen becomes will lead the new association's board while Steve McCoid, current ORA chief executive and president, will have similar duties for the expanded association. The current lodging staff will relocate into the Oregon Restaurant Association offices in Wilsonville.

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