The Douglas County Board of Commissioners agreed Wednesday to spend $20,000 for a study of a proposed boutique hotel in downtown Roseburg.

The county’s decision mirrored the Roseburg City Council, which approved the same amount toward the study last week.

Commissioner Gary Leif said community leaders have been working for 20 years to come up with a solution for the vacant Safeway and Rite-Aid properties downtown, where the hotel would be sited. Earlier suggestions for the property included a grocery store or a town plaza. It has also been mentioned as a potential location for part of a medical education college campus downtown.

Proponents hope the boutique hotel would bring high-end tourists to town.

“The idea is to bring a new type of visitor into Roseburg that would enhance the wineries. With all of the problems we’ve had trying to develop this property, this has some really good outlooks for it,” Leif said.

He also said the property owners have agreed to improve the rest of the property if a hotel is sited there.

Commissioner Chris Boice said the county money going toward the project comes from Oregon Lottery funds that must be used for economic development projects.

“This is not money that we can take and spend on really anything else. We can’t fund the library with it. We can’t put it into the parks department,” he said.

The grant approval was recommended by the Douglas County Industrial Development Board.

The money the city of Roseburg will contribute toward the study comes from hotel taxes. Roseburg city staff and The Partnership for Economic Development have spent two years and about $100,000 working with a consulting firm on how to attract high-end tourists to Roseburg. They hope the boutique hotel would accomplish that.

Opponents of the project have said the location is not ideal because of problems with transients and drug use downtown. The move is also being questioned by the owners of the Windmill Inn, who broke ground this month on a new Hampton Inn on Mulholland Drive.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at 541-957-4213 or ccegavske@nrtoday.com.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at 541-957-4213 or by email at ccegavske@nrtoday.com. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

(4) comments

CannaKing

I wonder which one of the commissioners/councilors are thinking about getting into the hotel business!

PickNGrin

"Roseburg city staff and The Partnership for Economic Development have spent two years and about $100,000 working with a consulting firm on how to attract high-end tourists to Roseburg. They hope the boutique hotel would accomplish that." All I can say is Wow, I sure hope they can show some results for that kind of money. Perhaps some town hall meetings and listening sessions among local folks who know the area could've generated many creative ideas at only a fraction of this cost. I'd suggest that local leaders first encourage and support development of primary and secondary tourist attractions before boutique accommodations will pull in the traveling public. At present, a few I-5 travelers might stay at a "boutique" place, but they'll be disappointed by the downtown unless we instead focus on providing things like 1) thriving stores for tourists, 2) riverfront nature walk, 3) gallery openings, 4) historical walking tours, 5) library, 6) farmer's market, 7) music concerts, 8) wine-tasting, 9) museum, 10) murals, 11) parks, 12) outdoor sculptures, etc. etc. etc. Recommend more public start attending and commenting at the City's Economic Development Commission meetings, as well as at Douglas County's Industrial Development Board meetings. Hope the News-Review will cover these meetings too.

nr77

What an awful location for a nice motel (this is the major homeless and druggie side of town) along with a terrible view. Motels historically don't pay family living wages, and target only the tourists. Grocery stores do pay better wages, have better benefits, have customers from all classes v.s. only the tourists, and are exactly what the old Safeway was built for, in addition to being something that is needed and missing on that side of town. Having lived here for so long, I cannot see a lot of thinking going into jumping on the City's bandwagon for this fancy project. All of these people need to think about wages that a family can live on in addition to what the industry is. What a waste of money. The prior comment about a market and park etc sounds so much healthier and viable, no wonder so many like me don't go downtown anymore except for an occasional lunch, the city has turned it into a business district. Also we will have a new beautiful motel soon over by Garden Valley and I-5, this should be a great place for wine tourists to stay. Besides, they don't take care of what they've got. Am truly disappointed in both the city and county for dumping the beautiful library located downtown. Apparently they forgot to encourage supporting the low cost of family time like they did for the crab docks.

just me

what about a general study for what would work best. i'm thinking a market surrounded by a garden/plaza type effect

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