The Lincoln City Urban Renewal Agency purchased property in the Taft district and supported the development of a privately-operated glass art studio. The Jennifer L Sears Glass Art Studio attracts about 80,000 people a year and the glass floats that are created there have become an iconic symbol for Lincoln City. A 2011 survey by the Lincoln City Visitor and Convention Bureau (VCB) showed that 37% of the visitors to Lincoln City who answered the survey come to visit the Glass Studio, and 99% say they will tell family and friends to come see the studio. These visitors are estimated to add $8 million dollars annually to the hospitality community in Lincoln City. The VCB also estimates that they receive about $2 million annually in editorial press: press for which they do not have to pay anything but are featured in publications like Sunset Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and The Oregonian. Visitors come from all over the United States to both watch art being created and to create their own glass art pieces in the Glass Studio.
- Lincoln City Urban Renewal Agency purchased property, a former brownfield site to include:
- $52,200 for the building
- $30,000 for business relocation
- $30,000 for site clean-up & monitoring
- $30,000 for building improvements
- Partnership with the Lincoln City Visitors and Convention Bureau – Purchase of studio equipment
- Private investment for additional furnace, equipment
- Employees 12 (18 in summer)
- Attracts over 80,000 visitors a year
- Staff works with kids from 8 to 98 years old
- Visitors created 50,000 glass projects over 10 years
- Produces floats for the popular Finders Keepers Glass Float Program – from mid-October to Memorial Day each year “Float Fairies” hide over 2,000 floats on the beach for residents and tourists to find.