Natural Grocers to replace Red Lion Hotel on Coburg

      EUGENE, Ore. After 51 years, the Red Lion Hotel Eugene has announced it will close its doors at the end of January.

      The hospitality chain relinquished its long-standing lease, so the owner of the property can redevelop the plot of land.

      According to county tax record, RLH Development owns the property, which will be used for commercial retail space after the hotel vacated on January 31.

      Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage said they will be the next tenant on the lease.

      The company started in Colorado in 1955, and has expanded throughout the Western United States.

      It is focused on natural and organic goods.

      Residents said the area is ideal for retail with nearby Oakway Center, which includes a Trader Joe's.

      "I've lived in Eugene for 35 years and love to shop. I really believe it's better suited for retail," said Carlene Girouard.

      Pam Scott with Red Lion Hotels says the company is actively looking for another site in Eugene to welcome guests.

      "We would like to find another property in Eugene that we could convert to the Red Lion brand, because we've had a presence in that region for so long and our associates at the hotel have done such a great job," Scott said.

      Red Lion is working with guests who have reservations to find alternative accommodations, and are assuring employees their jobs are secure through January.