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Grants Pass, OR

The county seat of Josephine County, the city of Grants Pass lies in the Rogue Valley of southwestern Oregon. The climate here is different from the rest of western Oregon. Grants Pass enjoys short, hot summers that are offset by pronounced, yet mild, winters. The city's motto is "It's the Climate!" The population of Grants Pass is estimated at about 24,600.

NEIGHBORHOODS AND DISTRICTS

Historic Downtown Grants Pass has undergone a major, multimillion-dollar renovation. It has received new streets and sidewalks and city plans included the implementation of many other amenities designed to make the area more efficient and convenient for pedestrians, while at the same time creating an economically vibrant ambiance.

Grants Pass contains 10 primary neighborhoods, including:

  • City Center: This suburban neighborhood consists mainly of single-family homes, although there are some apartment buildings, mobile homes, and complexes. Many of the homes have one to two bedrooms. The area is described as mostly walkable, quiet and artsy.
  • Wonder/Wilderville: This remote neighborhood is made up of mostly single-family homes, but it does feature some mobile homes and apartments. Many of the dwellings are three- to four-bedroom homes. Wonder/Wilderville is described as mostly quiet.
  • Lower River Road: This suburban neighborhood consists mainly of single-family homes, although there are some apartment buildings, mobile homes and complexes. Many of the homes are three to four bedrooms. The neighborhood is described as mostly quiet.

ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

The economy of Grants Pass used to hinge primarily on timber. In recent years, the importance of timber has been surpassed by tourism. In addition, the city is attempting to diversify.

Grants Pass has been described as an ideal location for many businesses because of its easy access to many markets, such as the West Coast, the Far East and Asia. Today, a number of secondary industries exist in Grants Pass, including health care, retail, manufacturing, tourism, and construction.

The city's largest employers include MasterBrand Cabinets and Three Rivers Community Hospital.

EDUCATION

Fourteen percent of the citizens of Grants Pass who are 25 and older have a bachelor's or an advanced college degree. High school graduates make up almost 82 percent of the population, and an estimated 3.9 percent of the population is presently pursuing a college degree.

Children in Grants Pass enjoy small classrooms: Classroom sizes average out to about 11 children to a classroom, compared with the state average of 19 children per classroom. There are more than 10 elementary, middle and high schools in the district.

Grants Pass is also home to Rogue Community College's Redwood Campus, which offers lower division transfer, job training, and developmental studies programs.

BEST BETS

Because tourism is so important to Grants Pass, the city places a great emphasis on its area recreational activities. Visitors can enjoy a variety of seasonal indoor and outdoor recreational activities, including:

  • Oregon Caves National Monument: This national monument is 48 miles south of Grants Pass and is known for its marble caves.
  • Riverside Park: Visitors can enjoy summer concerts in this park located on the Rogue River.
  • Outdoor activities: Boating, rafting, fishing, hiking and wildlife observation are plentiful here.
  • Historic downtown shopping: Residents and visitors alike will enjoy the many restaurants, bookstores, and even a day spa located in this shopping area.
  • South Oregon wineries: Nearby wineries include Rosella's Vineyard, Troon Vineyard, Wooldridge Creek Winery and Vineyard and John Michael Champagne Cellars.

EVENTS

Visitors and residents can always find something to do in Grants Pass. Events and activities include:

  • Grower's Market: This summertime farmer's market offers fresh-picked vegetables and homemade items.
  • The variety of art galleries and museums in Grants Pass include the Authentic Tattoo Art Gallery and the Grants Pass Museum of Art.
  • Boatnik: The annual Memorial Day weekend festival known as Boatnik consists of a whirlwind of activities, including a world-renowned whitewater hydroplane race, a parade, arts and crafts, and food booths.
  • Art Along the Rogue: This annual music and street chalk art event is held downtown every October and attracts more than 10,000 visitors.
  • Back to the Fifties: For 16 years, proud car owners have been flocking from all over the United States to display their classic vehicles. This five-day event occurs in July.
  • First Friday Art Nights: The city's stores hold art shows year round on the first Friday of every month.
  • Christmas celebrations: The town celebrates with Christmas murals and Santa's arrival to Grants Pass by train in December.

LOCAL MEDIA

Grants Pass is home to a number of local media sources:

  • Grants Pass Daily Courier: This daily newspaper is owned by Courier Publishing Company.
  • KAGI 930 AM: This public radio station broadcasts local information and NPR.
  • KAJO 1270 AM: This local radio station has been serving the Grants Pass area for more than 50 years.
  • KLDR 98.3 FM: This station plays popular music.