BEND, OR -- Visit Bend and Hydro-Flask are partnering with local breweries to celebrate Designated Drivers on Bend’s Ale Trail. Kevney Dugan, CEO of Visit Bend, says they rolled out new perks, last week, to encourage responsible participation in the popular program.
The Designated Driver takes their group to each stop, where they get a free non-alcoholic beverage. "They will get a slightly different stamp than the person who is actually doing the Ale Trail," Dugan tells KBND News, "This person will receive a stamp that says, ‘Designated Champion.’ And then, when they come back to Visit Bend after completing 10 stops with their friends, they will receive a different product, which is going to be the HydroFlask True Pint." Dugan says that premium prize is designed to recognize and celebrate the person committed to making sure their friends have a fun and safe visit. Regular participants receive a Sillipint glass in exchange for their completed passport.
Last fiscal year, Dugan says about 3,500 turned in their filled passport. He says there have been no reports of drunk driving cases tied to the Ale Trail, and he'd like to keep it that way, "Let’s enjoy this wonderful community product of craft beer; but let’s add this responsible wrinkle to the program, to ensure that beyond Uber and Lyft, taxis and other ride-share programs, that there is this fun way for someone to be the responsible party and enjoy the Ale Trail as a designated driver." He says most people want to be safe, "They intend to be a connoisseur of beer, and so they’re doing it just to sample beer and see the breweries; and we don’t see a whole lot of people who are doing it for the pure, ‘let’s go hit it all 10 in one day’ or all 16 in a day. It’s become exactly what we want, which is a way to enjoy what is one of those unique facets of Bend that is a differentiator in our community than other communities."