Eugene's first boutique hotel, which has 70 rooms, offers a touch of class, Oregon style, with original art from local artists in every room. That the hotel opened at all is considered a minor miracle in the hotel industry.
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina
“It was easy to make that connection,” he says. And from that point on he began learning about the hotel business, making notes about his likes and dislikes, and creating a vision for his own hotel that he was confident would someday become a reality.
“If you dig deep into any story of success,” says Obie, “you’ll find it’s born out of commitment to some vision or thought or belief.”
The 70-year-old Obie followed his father, Gordon Obie, into his transit and outdoor advertising business, Obie Media, in 1962. After other pursuits, including ownership of Monaco Coach (then Caribou Manufacturing) from 1974 to 1987, and a term as Eugene’s mayor from 1985 through 1988, Obie took the company public in 1996. Lamar Advertising acquired Obie Media in 2004, but he is still president and CEO of Obie Industries, which handles real estate development.
His reputation as an honest and adept businessman served him well when shortly after the 2009 collapse of Lehman Brothers and the continuing financial meltdown, Obie began looking for backers for his hotel.