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Island state of mind comes to Medford at the Compass by Margaritaville Hotel

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A new Southern Oregon hotel aimed at bringing a tropical island vacation vibe to Medford held its grand opening ceremony on Wednesday.

The Coquille Tribe’s entertainment and hospitality company, Cedars Development, officially opened its 111-room Compass by Margaritaville Hotel located on South Pacific Highway.

“We are pulling off something magical here, people [thought] that I was crazy when we said we would bring this to Medford, but as the first Compass by Margaritaville in the west, we are so excited to pull it off where you don’t even know you are in Medford, but you are transported to paradise,” Judy Farm, the CEO of the Tribal One Economic Development Corporation said.

The hotel is pet-friendly and includes a fitness center, pool, a ‘5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill’, and complimentary breakfast.

Tribal One is the economic and business development corporation of the Coquille Indian Tribe, which serves to help the tribe expand its business developments.

Farm explained it wasn’t an easy process to open a brand new hotel during the coronavirus pandemic, but the hard work was well worth it to see the tribe open its first hotel in the Rogue Valley.

“As COVID progressed we started seeing significant challenges in the pipeline, significant challenges in logistics and hauling, and then, of course, inflation and trade labor became a real issue as well,” Farm said. “We have overcome a lot of challenges as a team.”

Once the structure was complete, hiring staff to oversee and take care of day-to-day operations was another challenge she and her team were able to overcome.

Farm said now with the hotel officially open, one of the effects of the new business is its ripple effect on the local economy.

“We have needed food and beverage, for procurement needs, for special events, and as always, we go local first to see if we can meet those needs, it will have an impact there in terms of buying locally and expanding our buying power here,” Farm said.

For its grand opening event, the hotel partnered with Alpha Lit Medford, Huntley Party Co., and Travel Medford to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Throughout the hotel and inside each room there is tribal art. Farm said each piece was handpicked by tribal leaders on the tribe’s arts committee.

The new business also collaborated with mural and sculpture artist Kirk Seese to incorporate the island vibe, as well as tribal artwork on the side of Roxy Ann Lanes which faces the hotel.

Seese said he wanted to try something unique for the new hotel.

“We went with this accordion style and it really gives it a 3D look, I actually used an AI (artificial intelligence algorithm program where you type in keywords and you select different styles, designs, and collages based on what it's found associated with those words,” Seese said.

This isn’t Seese’s first work in the city. He won a national request for proposals for a transportation-themed concept and painted the mural on the Southern Oregon Historical Society’s building in downtown Medford.

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