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The Gordon Hotel Lights Its Big Sign, And Rolls Out The Carpet For Guests

Eugene’s skyline has a flashy new feature as of tonight.  At 6:00pm, a few dozen people gathered near the new Gordon Hotel as its large rooftop sign was ceremoniously turned on. 

Casey Obie Barrett lead the countdown…

“3…2…1…Gooorrrdooon!” (CHEERS, APPLAUSE) "Well there it is, that sign will not turn off, ever again," he grinned. "If it does, call the City of Eugene, because we’re on a redundant grid (LAUGHTER)...it’s guaranteed.”

Barrett is executive vice president of Obie Companies. The Gordon Hotel is named for his grandfather, and is part of the $75 million Fifth Street expansion.

Company president Brian Obie acknowledged local officials’ help in making the large sign possible.  

“The City of Eugene went out of their way in many ways, and literally without a special ordinance - approved 100 percent by city council - that sign could not be there. Crazy!” (APPLAUSE)

The 82-room Gordon Hotel opens Tuesday. It’s expected to help boost tourism and commerce across downtown Eugene. It comes during a period of economic downturn for the hospitality industry.

The American Hotel and Lodging Association says the COVID-19 pandemic has battered travel and leisure nine times harder than the September 11th terrorist attacks. And travel’s not expected to hit pre-pandemic levels until 2024.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
Exterior of the Gordon Hotel, on Oak Street and 6th Avenue.

But optimism abounds inside the Gordon Hotel. General Manager Kathryn Allen said 10 out of 82 rooms are already reserved, and she feels the travel season will see an uptick soon.

“We’re still hopeful that when the summertime will come, and people will be able to really enjoy what we have offered and what we’re doing here," Allen told KLCC. 

"So we’re confident that by summer, we’ll be able to knock it out of the park.”

The pet-friendly Gordon Hotel features a multimedia screen display called the Harmonic Wall, original artwork from Pacific Northwestern Artists, and a boardroom featuring original wood fixtures from Hayward Field.  It's proximity to venues like the Hult Center, area retail and offices, and the university district are also seen as keen selling points.

Credit Brian Bull / KLCC
A guest room on the third floor of the Gordon Hotel.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ 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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