Biz Beat 10-2-2014

At least three new hotels are popping up on the drawing boards for Eugene and some might actually get built. One hotel is included in proposals for redevelopment of the EWEB surplus property, a seven-story hotel is back on the expansion plans at Oakway Center and a third hotel was revealed in tentative plans for the Civic Stadium property. 

How great is the need for hotel rooms in Eugene and Springfield? “The indicators are very strong right now,” says Kari Westlund of Eugene, Cascades & Coast, the local tourism agency. Occupancy so far this year is 67.4 percent and overall room revenues are up more than 13 percent, breaking records four years in a row. “Typically when average annual occupancies get into the mid-60s, you’ll see a new hotel built,” Westlund says. “Indicators would be very positive for prospective developers.” One indicator is the increasing number of times hotels are booked solid for Duck games and other events.

The Organic Cannabis Growers Society is a new enterprise that serves its members with information and support regarding certification of organically grown marijuana. “We are striving to unite and promote growers using organic methods and the businesses that support them in the cannabis industry,” says Clark Tippin, who helped open a medical marijuana dispensary in Eugene. “Many people think they are growing ‘organic’ but can easily be misled by labeling and sales persons in grow stores. A Buddha or dragon on the label will not make it organic.” The website is

Lane County is going digital to get feedback from county residents who can’t make it to those 9 am Tuesday morning County Commission meetings. County spokesman Trevor Steele says has launched in the spirit of continuing to make the county more transparent. Steele calls Engage with Lane County “a site to ask questions and get input” and says county commissioners, County Administrator Steve Mokrohisky and staff will be listening to the feedback. Steele says issues that will be discussed include the county’s strategic plan and how to pay for county road maintenance — including a proposed local vehicle registration fee.

The nonprofit Community Alliance of Lane County (CALC) is close to reaching a $10,000 fundraising goal that will kick in a matching $10,000. Find out more about CALC and how to contribute at or call 485-1755.

The city of Florence is gearing up for Octoberfest Saturday, Oct. 4, at the Florence Events Center on Quince Street. Numerous local businesses and nonprofits are sponsoring the fourth annual event, held this year in a new venue. $5 for adults, kids 12 and under are free. Call 997-3128 or email for more information.