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New Hotel Gets Its Ducks In A Row For Eugene Visitors

Graduate Hotels
AJ Capital Partners

Last year we reported on AJ Capital Partners in Chicago buying the Hilton Eugene for $80 million, one of the biggest real estate deals in city history.

Now the building has re-opened as a Graduate Hotel…a chain that models its look on local history and culture.

Jason Williams is general manager for Graduate Eugene.  At last night’s grand opening party he told KLCC that much research and conceptual work went into the facility, which sports a front desk lined with vintage Nike shoes, a giant wall lined with sports posters, and an oversized green and gold toy duck in the lobby.

Credit Graduate Hotels / AJ Capital Partners
AJ Capital Partners
Nearly four dozen vintage Nike shoes line the front desk at Graduate Eugene, illustrating the local legacy of the company in the city.

“The research and development team, the interior design team, and the marketing team all worked together from the home office in Chicago," he explains. 

"And there’s been several years of development behind our hotel, there were multiple sites looked at and considered when they decided to build here.”

Other fixtures include artwork inspired by the movie Animal House, and waffle-iron lamps – a nod to Nike co-founder Bill Bowerman who designed a waffle-like tread for the company’s earliest shoes.

Copyright 2019, KLCC.

WEB EXTRA: Hear Williams himself touch on some of the hotel's distinctively Eugene/Oregon accents for guests:

Brian Bull joined the KLCC News Team in June 2016. In his 25+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional), the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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