The Idea for a Destination Hotel is Born
In July of 1971 Valley River Center, which had already become a landmark development in the Pacific Northwest and was about to celebrate its 2nd anniversary, announced a multi-million dollar addition to the complex. The idea for a Destination Hotel (or Motel as it was called back in the day) is born with wild speculations of fountains, river overhangs, and large convention space. The Valley River Inn was a news making icon from day one.
The complex was a joint venture by the Woodard family of the Village Green and the five owners of the Valley River center. It was going to have about 150 rooms in the original build, with plans for more as they were necessary. The complex was also planned to be a large banquet and convention facility with many small meeting rooms as well as a few large spaces. The final cost for the original space totaled 3.5 Million.
In 1972, when the plans of the hotel showed it occupying commanding river view space the city instantly fought back. With the City of Eugene being the environmentally conscious city it is, it worried about the effects that such a large overhang could cause the river and the river wild life. Not long after the public showed its distress over the original renderings the developer retracted their plans and put out new drawings featuring optimal space between the river and the hotel, leaving enough room for the new bike path the city was proposing!