Travel Lane County
541.484.5307 · 800.547.5445 · EugeneCascadesCoast.org
Adventure Center/Visitor Information: 3312 Gateway St · Springfield OR (Open daily 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.)
Downtown Eugene Visitor Center: 754 Olive St · Eugene OR (Open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Mailing Address: PO Box 10286 · Eugene OR 97440 s


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Infrastructure Improvements Position Visitor Industry for Growth

Published: August 29, 2016

 

Lane County, Ore. –  The Eugene, Cascades & Coast region attracted a record $633 million in visitor spending in 2015 and 2016 is on pace to run past the 2015 total like Devon Allen sprinting past his hurdle competitors. But without consistent investment in infrastructure the ability to keep pace can be compromised. "It's not unlike owning a home," noted Kari Westlund President and CEO of Travel Lane County. "There's always painting to be done, a roof to replace and a hot water heater that goes out just as the relatives arrive. The difference for our members is adding a few zeros to the payment."  

Whether the investment includes upgrades to beds, televisions and bathrooms, replacing decades old boilers, or constructing a new hotel, Travel Lane County members are making the improvements necessary to provide their guests the best experience possible. What this often means is a return visit that provides additional economic impacts to our cities, county and state. Lane County lodging tax receipts reached a record $10.5 million in fiscal year 2015-16. These funds provide for the direct marketing of the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region by Travel Lane County, however 77 percent of the funds collected return to the cities and county to fund a needed visitor services.   

Most people are familiar with the new construction taking place in downtown Eugene and at the Oakway Center. Home2Suites by Hilton is scheduled to open this fall, while the Hyatt Place will begin greeting guests in 2017. While it would come as no surprise that these projects are pumping millions of dollars into the local economy, and will for years to come, some people may be surprised by the re-investments made on a regular basis by Travel Lane County members. Some recent or on-going projects illustrate a range of investments:

  • Village Inn (Springfield) - Replacement of room furniture, including mattresses,  updates to bathroom fixtures, new televisions and kitchen appliances.  $300,000 
  • Hilton Hotel & Conference Center (Eugene) - $6 million in 2006 and another $5.5 million in 2013 was invested in guest rooms and public spaces.  Still in process is a $12 million package that includes renovation of the conference center, additional guest room upgrades, a new restaurant, exterior glass replacement, roofing and mechanical improvements.  
  • Valley River Inn (Eugene) - Original boilers (43 years old) replaced and a new roof installed. Still to come are remodeled bathrooms, a change to all king beds, a completely new restaurant and an improved patio to provide year-round dining, accessibility updates including all six elevators replaced, and a restructured lobby. $25 million  
  • Hyatt Place (Eugene) - A unique facility intensely developed to meet the needs of guests while providing parking for the hotel and Oakway Center. InnSight Hotel Management President Richard Boyles commented that the budget is "substantial" and went on to say that the 134 room facility, constructed by Chambers Construction, will employ 45 staff when it opens in 2017. Boyles, whose company owns and manages numerous hotels, went on to say "it's not unusual for an owner to invest hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars every six to seven years to maintain a property."

Background documents including contact information, questionnaires, photos and historical documents have been provided.  Contact information on these projects is included on the questionnaire document.  Additionally, the following contacts are available to provide information on recent improvements to their properties:

Westfir Lodge and Kitchen: Dawn Hendrix, 541.782.3103, Westfirlodge@gmail.com

Driftwood Shores: Martin Alletson, 541.997.8263 x5, Generalmanager@driftwoodshores.com

 

Author: Andy Vobora

Vice-President of Stakeholder Relations, Travel Lane County
541.743.8770; 800.547.5445

Andy@EugeneCascadesCoast.org

Travel Lane County markets and promotes the Eugene, Cascades and Coast region as a destination for travel, conventions, sports, meetings and events. It serves as a private, nonprofit association dedicated to economic development through visitor spending, which pumped more than $633.1 million into Lane County, Oregon's economy in 2015. EugeneCascadesCoast.org