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Coquille tribe plans Medford hotel

The Coquille Indian Tribe plans to build a 111-room hotel in south Medford on land next to its proposed casino.

The 63,350-square-foot Hotel at the Cedars would be located at 2355 South Pacific Highway on a 3.6-acre property and employ up to 20 people.

“We have been working on this project for over a year,” said Ray Doering, spokesman for the Coquille Economic Development Corporation. “We’re hoping that this is something the community can be proud of.”

Doering said there has been no word yet on the tribe’s request to put a 2.42-acre property at 2375 S. Pacific Highway into federal trust, which would pave the way for a casino.

The Cedars at Bear Creek, as the casino would be called, would be built on the site of Roxy Ann Lanes bowling alley and the former site of Kim’s restaurant. The casino would have 650 video gambling machines, but it wouldn’t feature the card games available at other larger casinos in the state such as Seven Feathers in Canyonville.

The Coquille tribe has asked the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the 2.42-acre Medford property, excluding an adjacent golf course, into a government trust.

Separately, the tribe has asked the Medford Site Plan and Architectural Commission to review an application to change the zoning of the proposed hotel property from heavy commercial to general commercial. Heavy commercial has a 35-foot height limitation, but general commercial allows for up to 75-foot height, which would accommodate a five-story hotel.

In the application filed with the city May 8, the tribe indicated the hotel would have 149 parking spaces and a pool. The parking area would be located on the backside of the hotel, next to the Bear Creek Golf Course.

The proposed hotel is being designed by ORW Architecture of Medford.

To build the hotel, the tribe proposes removal of an existing church, warehouse and shop building. The hotel would be located on a property located between an existing bowling alley and roller rink.

The front of the hotel would face north, rather than west toward South Pacific Highway, to help attract travelers who get off the south Medford interchange, according to planning documents filed by the tribe.

In south Medford, a number of hotels are located on both sides of the freeway, but the Coquille’s proposal would place its hotel close to Harry & David as well as U.S. Cellular Community Park.

Kevin Stine, Medford City Council president, said, “I think it’s interesting that they’re moving forward with this, and it’s a good investment in Medford.”

Eli Matthews, vice president of Travel Medford, said there are five hotels in various phases of planning for Medford, including near the airport, in the downtown and the Coquille proposal.

He said the hotels range in size from 75 rooms to 115 rooms.

He said hotel companies had been moving forward with the proposed developments before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We think it’s a great opportunity to have more room inventory,” he said. “As we get back to normal we hope to see more activity.”

Medford has 2,588 rooms at 39 hotels, Matthews said.

He said hotel operators have conducted their own economic analyses and concluded there is a need for more rooms. Many of the projects are part of a long-range planning pipeline, so he expects new developments could take some time before they are built.

He said U.S. Cellular Community Park and the proposed $60 million aquatics and events facility at Howard Memorial Park have both caught the attention of hotel owners because they would attract a lot of visitors to the area.

Voters will decide May 19 whether to increase the transient lodging tax from 9% to 11%, which would be used to help pay for the aquatics and events facility.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.

Correction: Crawford Family Properties, LLC owns the adjacent golf course to where the proposed hotel would be located.

These are plans of a proposed hotel to be built next to the Coquille Indian Tribe's casino in south Medford.
The Coquille Indian Tribe has purchased Roxy Ann Lanes and the former Kim?s Restaurant in south Medford and plans to turn the properties into the Rogue Valley's first casino.Mail Tribune / Jamie Lusch