EUGENE, Ore. — More than 40 employees will lose their jobs next month when the Red Lion Hotel in Eugene shuts its doors.
The hotel announced Tuesday it will no longer house guests after Jan. 31.
Representatives from Red Lion Hotels Corporate says they’ve reached an agreement with the property owners who want to re-develop the land with retail space.
Surrounding businesses say they have mixed emotions about the news. Businesses along Coburg Road says the Red Lion Hotel has been a good neighbor.
“We do get a lot of people that stay at the Red Lion that come to Pegasus Pizza, and I know they’ve been referred by the front desk, which is very nice,” said Lori Reader, Pegasus Pizza Owner.
Just two blocks down, Cafe 440 couldn’t agree more.
“I get quite a few customers from out of town who don’t know where they’re going, and it’s really simple to go two blocks away and come see a local restaurant,” said Todd Schuetz, Cafe 440 Owner.
With news of the Red Lion Hotel closing, businesses say they’ll miss the foot traffic that comes with hotel guests, especially because many sports teams stay there.
“The Red Lion has been very good about referring people over. A lot of sports teams stay there and convention people, so we get a mixed bag of people that come from them,” Reader said.
“I get these large groups of high school kids who just played baseball, or basketball, or football, volley, them, their families, their coaches. I probably won’t be seeing those folks as often,” Shuetz said.
Although they won’t be seeing some of those guests anymore, word from the Red Lion that a new retail space is in the plans has local businesses anticipating what’s next.
“I hate to see any business leave because it’s a great town. I really wish they would stay, but then again I don’t know what’s coming. So we’ll just have to wait and see,” said Dotty Pantle, See’s Candies Manager.
“They will be missed but we all have to be optimistic that something better for all of us is coming,” Reader said.
There is still no confirmation as to what business will be moving in, but the hotel did say the building will be knocked down. The Red Lion says any guests who had reservations for dates after they close will be relocated to nearby hotels.