The Coquille Indian Tribe is opening an outpatient medical clinic…in Eugene.
The tribe’s already developing a wellness center in Coos Bay, but citing the “Potlatch Tradition” of sharing resources, Coquille officials say they’re starting a new one in Eugene – more than 100 miles away – where an estimated 6,000 Indigenous people live. (Read more)
Margaritaville Enterprises and The Coquille Indian Tribe Announce Upcoming Compass Hotel in Medford, Oregon
Following completion in Q1 of 2022, Compass Hotel Medford will become the first Margaritaville lodging concept in Oregon.
MEDFORD, OREGON – Today, Cedars Development announced their partnership with Margaritaville Enterprises to bring a new 111-room Compass by Margaritaville Hotel to Medford, Oregon, expected to open in early 2022.
Owned by the Coquille Indian Tribe, Cedars Development is managing the Cedars at Bear Creek, the Tribe’s multi-property economic development project along Pacific Highway in South Medford.
Bringing the fun and flavor of their full-scale resorts to a more boutique concept, Compass Hotel will be the first Margaritaville venue in Oregon. Development kicked off this November on the Tribe’s property at 2399 South Pacific Highway and comes at the same time the community has begun rebuilding from the devastation of Oregon’s Almeda Fire.
“This hotel represents a very important step for the Coquille Tribe’s economic development vision for its Medford properties and for the economic recovery of the South Medford and Phoenix area,” said Coquille Tribal Chair Brenda Meade. “We are fortunate to have a partner like Margaritaville join us in this exciting endeavor.”
Compass Hotels launched in 2020, capturing the Margaritaville state of mind, while delivering fresh, up-scale, and vibrant designs. Compass Hotel in Medford will feature plush and comfortable, island-inspired accommodations and amenities signature to the branded concept in an attentive but laid-back ambiance. Relaxed and casual dining and drinking spaces will offer flavors and entertainment that transport guests to paradise.
“Our team is thrilled to work with Cedars Development on expanding our West Coast portfolio,” shared Tamara Baldanza-Dekker, Chief Marketing Officer at Margaritaville. “We knew this partnership was the perfect fit when Cedars shared their commitment to making visitors feel at home, through the spirit of potlatch, the ancient practice of greeting, feeding and bestowing gifts on guests in daily life, a practice we share in our passion for hospitality.”
Financing for the project comes from Columbia Bank and is guaranteed by the Division of Capital Investment of the federal Office of Indian Energy and Economic Development. Architects for the project are ORW Architecture and Jansen Construction Company of Oregon. Jansen also will manage construction of the hotel.
“It took a truly collaborative effort by all partners to bring the project forward during a pandemic,” said Judy Duffy, CEO of Tribal One and manager of Cedars Development LLC. “We are thrilled to be working with a brand that complements our vision for development in our community and we have appreciated working with staff and agencies at the city of Medford for required permitting and entitlement. We also are particularly grateful for Norton Smith, and the Smith Family who are the former owners of the development site. This project would not have been possible without their support.”
Margaritaville, a state of mind since 1977, is a global lifestyle brand inspired by Jimmy Buffett, whose songs evoke a passion for tropical escape and relaxation. Margaritaville features over 20 lodging locations and over 20 additional projects in the pipeline, with nearly half under construction, two gaming properties and over 60 food and beverage venues including signature concepts such as Margaritaville Restaurant, award-winning JWB Prime Steak and Seafood, 5 o’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill and LandShark Bar & Grill. More than 20 million travelers every year change their latitude and attitude with a visit to a Margaritaville resort, residential real estate destination, vacation club, vacation home rental or restaurant.
Compass by Margaritaville is the newest addition to global lifestyle brand’s growing collection of concepts, where casual luxury, comfort and convenience all meet. Compass offers a fresh way for guests to relax, rejuvenate and escape the everyday, with an ideal design concept for new builds, adaptive reuse and conversion projects in smaller leisure markets, vibrant downtown hubs and college towns.
Compass by Margaritaville’s first property, Compass Hotel Anna Maria Sound, launched in Florida in Q2 of 2020. Future Compass properties are under development in Medford, Oregon, Beaufort, North Carolina and Louisville, Kentucky.
CHARLESTON — Just up the hill from Cape Arago Highway, atop a former cranberry bog, heirs of an ancient culture are creating a new approach to health care.
The Ko-Kwel Wellness center will offer primary health care, dentistry, a pharmacy, behavioral health and more — all under one roof. Coquille Indian Tribe families, tribal employees and patients from the surrounding community will come together in a diversified “one-stop shop.”
“Our goal is to be able to take care of the whole person, not just the part that needs a prescription,” said Coquille Tribal Chairman Brenda Meade. “If you’re a patient here, we want this to be your home for health care.”
The wellness center will be Oregon’s first tribal health facility to welcome the non-tribal public. Upholding the ancient potlatch tradition of sharing resources, it will serve hundreds of Oregon Health Plan patients in collaboration with Advanced Health, the organization that administers OHP locally.
Ben Messner, Advanced Health’s CEO, described the center as “an innovative, patient-centered, full-service primary care model that is truly of significant benefit for Advanced Health members and our entire community.”
When it’s finished next year, the 22,000-square-foot facility will nearly triple the Coquille Tribe’s existing health-care space. The center’s medical, dental and pharmacy departments will work alongside additional services such as chiropractic, massage and acupuncture.
“We have a lot of opportunities to offer more services,” Meade said. “It’s really going to depend on the needs of our patients.”
Situated amid homes and tribal offices on the Kilkich Reservation, the wellness center will be an up-to-date structure, infused with more than 10,000 years of tribal history.
Reinforced concrete and quake-resistant steel piling will combine with indigenous cedar planks and Coquille River rock. The color scheme will evoke the South Coast environment. Indigenous plants will fill an interior courtyard, flanked by corridors tracing the shape of a fishing spear. Showcases will display the tribe’s virtuoso basketry, beadwork and even a cedar canoe.
The facility’s name is another salute to tribal heritage. “Ko-Kwel” is a phonetic spelling of the tribe’s name, based on an Indian word for the Coquille River’s once-abundant lamprey.
“We want tribal members to feel welcomed in a setting that celebrates their history,” Meade said. “And we want to share that sense of history and that feeling of potlatch with others in our community.”
Meade emphasizes that the center won’t aim to compete with existing clinics. Rather, it offers a new option in a community where health care providers can be hard to find.
Construction began in April, led by Medford-based S+B James Construction and aided by several Coos County subcontractors. The job is on schedule despite the economic hardships of a global pandemic.
An innovative financing plan is the reason. A regional nonprofit, Craft3, created a financing package that employs federal lending plus an investment tool called New Market Tax Credits. The investor, Wells Fargo, fronts construction money to the tribe in return for a future tax break.
“Craft3 invests in projects that meet community needs and bring people together – and the new wellness center checks both of those boxes,” said Adam Zimmerman, Craft3’s president and CEO.
“We look forward to seeing this vital community project benefit the local community for years to come,” said Kelly Reilly, a Wells Fargo vice president for corporate communications.
NORTH BEND – Just in time for the 25th anniversary of its original opening, The Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park once again will welcome the public to enjoy its hospitality and entertainment.
The Mill Casino’s limited reopening will commence Monday, May 18. Hours will be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday.
“Seeing our friends again after a two-month closure will be an exciting moment,” said Brenda Meade, chairman of the Coquille Indian Tribe. “The Mill is a hub of community life on the South Coast, and we’re delighted to resume that role.”
The Mill closed in late March, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the shutdown of public places across the country. With Oregon counties and local businesses making plans to reopen, Meade said the Coquille Tribal Council deliberated carefully about resuming operations. As a sovereign Indian nation, the Coquille Tribe self-governs all operations at its businesses.
“Closing The Mill Casino was heartbreaking for the tribe and our employees, and we’ve been eager to get back to work,” Meade said. “We want everyone to know we remain committed to the health and safety of our guests, our employees and our community.
“Things may look a little bit different for a while, but we are all doing everything we can to make The Mill as friendly, comfortable and fun and as it always has been.”
The Mill Casino originally opened on May 19, 1995, in a converted wood-products plant on the shore of Coos Bay. It has grown into the Coos Bay area’s premier entertainment, lodging and dining venue, as well as Coos County’s second-largest employer.
The Mill Casino = Hotel & RV Park’s contributions to the community’s economy include not only its payroll, but also purchases of goods and services, millions of dollars in grants to community organizations, and taxes and fees paid to local government.
“Like everyone else who closed during the pandemic, we have to rebuild our business,” Meade said. “It won’t happen all at once, but we’re thrilled to be starting.”
A crew drives piles to support the foundation of the future Ko-Kwel Wellness Center. The tribe’s existing health center is visible in the background.
Tribe will expand local care access
Project provides ‘some good news’ during pandemic
The Coquille Indian Tribe has begun construction of Oregon’s first tribal health center offering services to the general public.
“This is an exciting opportunity to apply our potlatch tradition of community sharing,” said tribal Chairman Brenda Meade. “It will be another option for people who have had trouble finding a health-care provider.”
The Ko-Kwel Wellness Center will be a 22,000-square-foot building on the tribe’s Kilkich Reservation near Charleston. When it opens next year, the $12 million center will offer primary care, dental care, behavioral health, a pharmacy and other services.
The tribe has discussed the project for several years, and plans solidified in the fall of 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic hasn’t affected the construction timeline.
“In the midst of this crisis, we’re really pleased to be able to give the community some good news about health care,” Meade said.
The tribe is working with Craft3, a nonprofit lender that serves Oregon and Washington, to develop a financing package expected to include a direct loan and allocation of federal New Markets Tax Credits.
The New Markets Tax Credit program attracts outside investment to projects that benefit critical community needs. Together with favorable loan terms and several private grants, the financing package will let the tribe pay for the wellness center with only a minimal investment of the tribe’s own money.
“It’s a wonderful example of how a tribe can be an economic engine for the broader community,” Meade said.
The new facility nearly triples the square footage of the tribe’s existing Community Health Center, which it replaces. The wellness center will open its doors to several hundred new patients from the community at large, along with tribal families and tribal employees.
“Our vision is for a wraparound health-care home for patients,” said tribal Chairman Brenda Meade. “We’re aiming to create a holistic wellness experience, in keeping with our people’s traditional values.”
The tribe will welcome patients using Medicare, the Oregon Health Plan (Medicaid) or private insurance.
Construction began in April, and the facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2021. The tribe intentionally named it a “wellness center” to reflect a focus on serving each patient’s overall needs.
“We want to care for the whole person,” Meade explained. “People will be able to get primary medical care, dental care and a pharmacy, all under one roof. And we don’t want to stop there. Over time, we want to add alternative therapies, such as massage, acupuncture and chiropractic.”
The wellness center will not be a hospital. Nor is the tribe positioning it as a competitor to existing medical clinics. Instead, the intent is to cooperate with other care providers to meet community needs.
“Finding a primary care provider can be challenging for patients, especially those on Medicare and Medicaid,” Meade said. “We’ll provide another option to help relieve the strain.”
The wellness center is being built atop a former cranberry bog on the tribe’s Kilkich Reservation near Charleston. Its design will reflect the tribe’s indigenous heritage: Its exterior will evoke a tribal plankhouse, with a main entrance simulating a traditional round door. The center’s interior corridors will trace the shape of a forked fishing spear, a common symbol of the Coquille Tribe. The space between the fork’s tines will form an interior courtyard where patients can relax in a secluded green space.
S+B James Construction, Medford, is the design-build contractor for the project. Several subcontractors on the project are local or employ local workers, including Billeter Marine, Coastline West Insulation, Guido Construction, Knife River Materials, Kyle Electric, One Way Builders, Rich Rayburn Roofing and Umpqua Sheet Metal.
The word “Ko-Kwel” in the center’s name highlights the historical pronunciation of the tribe’s own name. Although the city and river bearing the Coquille name are commonly pronounced “ko-keel,” the tribe has revived the older pronunciation in recent decades.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Coquille Indian Tribe has carefully taken steps to protect the safety of our employees, customers and tribal member families, while maintaining essential services to our membership. The tribe has canceled group events, curtailed travel by our employees, and closed most tribal facilities. (Our Community Health Center remains open.) Many of our employees are working from home, while others practice safe social distancing as they perform essential workplace functions.
We will evaluate further actions as the situation develops. In the meantime, we offer our best wishes to the entire community.
NORTH BEND – Almost six dozen worthy community groups collected grants on Friday, March 6, from the Coquille Tribal Community Fund.
Grantees and local dignitaries gathered at The Mill Casino-Hotel to celebrate the work of 71 grantees. Totaling $366,126, the grants will help communities in five local counties.
This year’s largest grant, $20,000, went to the Egyptian Theatre Preservation Association, to reroof the landmark Coos Bay movie house. Southwestern Oregon Community College received the second-biggest award: $11,300 to buy “Chester Chest” simulators. Student nurses will practice accessing the simulators’ plastic veins as they prepare to care for local patients.
Even the smallest grant will deliver a visible community impact. It provides $1,000 to the Coos County Master Gardeners to stage a horticulture seminar. A more picturesque and verdant community is the likely result.
The fund is a leading source of charitable grants for South Coast nonprofits, distributing nearly $6.8 million since 2002. The money, drawn from casino revenue, supports organizations in categories including education, public safety, health, historical preservation and the arts.
Each year an appointed board of tribal members and community leaders meets to review applications and decide on the awards. This year’s board consisted of Coquille Tribal Council Secretary Linda Mecum; Coos County Commissioner Melissa Cribbins; state Rep. Gary Leif; Coos Bay Mayor Joe Benetti, Terri Porcaro, chief executive officer of The Mill; and tribal members Jon Ivy and Scott LaFevre.
The tribal fund’s next application cycle will begin Sept. 1. Learn more at www.coquilletribe.org, or call fund Administrator Jackie Chambers at (541) 756-0904.
Here’s a complete roster of the Coquille Tribal Community Fund’s 2020 grantees:
Agness-Illahe Rural Fire Protection District, $1,929 to buy brush jackets, pants and helmets
Alternatives to Violence, $6,410 for its Batterers Intervention Treatment Program
Animal Shelter Partners, $5,324 for new fencing for the Animal Shelter
Aviva Health (formerly Umpqua Community Health Center), $5,000 to expand its denture program
Bandon Historical Society Museum, $2,750 for storage space renovations
Bob Belloni Ranch Inc., $7,000 for therapy sessions for families and individuals
Boys & Girls Clubs of Emerald Valley, $6,000 for a reading and enrichment program
Brookings Harbor Community Helpers Food Bank, $5,000 for snacks and snack packs for youth
Brookings Harbor Education Foundation Inc., $4,300 for iSTEAM program funding for Brookings-Harbor Schools
CASA of Douglas County Inc., $7,500 for ACE mental health assessments for children
CASA of Lane County, $7,000 for its “Serving the Need” capacity expansion project
Center for Nonprofit Stewardship, $2,000 to bring a nonprofit learning series to Coos County
Charleston Fishing Families, $1,500 for Fisherman’s Appreciation Day 2020
Christian Help of Gold Beach Inc., $2,000 for food pantry purchases
City of Port Orford, $10,000 for a new trail and overlook at Fort Point Bluff
College Dreams, $6,000 for its college barrier removal services (transportation, college appication fees)
Community Presbyterian Church, $2,000 for its Lakeside warming center expansion
Compassion Highway Project, $5,000 for services to homeless and low-income individuals in the Medford area
Conference of St. Vincent de Paul Myrtle Creek, $5,000 for its “Feeding and Clothing Our Future” program for children in rural south Douglas County
Consumer Credit Counseling of Southern Oregon, $5,000, for credit counseling for low-income families
Coos Art Museum, $3,500 for its annual maritime art exhibition
Coos Bay Area Zonta Service Foundation, $5,000 for its Little Red Schoolhouse project, providing school supplies to Coos County Students
Coos Bay Coast League, $3,000 to replace outdated equipment in compliance with new athletic standards
Coos Bay Schools Community Foundation, $5,000 to buy shoes for needy students in the Coos Bay school district
Coos County Friends of Public Health, $5,000 to provide access to preventive health services to Coos County residents
Coos County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue, $10,000 for new radios, uniforms, GPS units and rain gear
Coquille Indian Tribe Community Health Center, $5,000 for its fresh produce program for tribal Elders
Coquille Valley Art Association, $1,800, for pottery wheels
Curry Watersheds Partnership, $5,000 to replace undersized culvert at Greggs Creek
Dolphin Players Inc., $2,500 to upgrade theater lighting, heating and outlets
Egyptian Theatre Preservation Association, $20,000 to replace its roof
Eugene Opera, $5,000, for its “Opera is Instrumental” project
Florence Food Share, $5,000 to help deliver food to the food bank
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, $5,000 for free meals to seniors and homeless community members
Gold Beach Community Center, $5,000 to prepare and deliver food to home-bound seniors
Habitat for Humanity/Rogue Valley, $10,000 to buy a box truck for the Restore
Harmony United Methodist Church, $2,500 for its Blossom Gulch snack pack program
Kids’ HOPE Center, $5,500 for Darkness to Light training materials
Knights of Columbus Council 1261, $4,000 for its holiday food basket program
La Clinica del Valle, $10,000 expand expanding La Clinica’s health services in Jackson County
Lane Arts Council, $5,000 for its in-school residency programs in Lane County Schools
Lane Leadership Foundation, $5,000 to provide housing and other support to those aging out of foster care system
Lighthouse School, $5,427 to purchase and install magnetic locking doors for emergencies
Maslow Project, $7,000 for its mental health counseling services program
Millington Fire District No. 5, $5,940 for updated fire boots
North Bend High School, $1,900 for Spanish books
North Bend School Foundation, $10,000 for the NBHS construction trades program
Operation Rebuild Hope, $5,000 for interior renovations at Bryan’s Home
Oregon Coast Community Action Food Share, $5,000 to expand its fresh produce programs
Oregon Coast Community Action, $7,500 for Court Appointed Special Advocates training
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, $3,000, for its financial aid program, offering increased access for underserved students to participate in science programs
OSU Coos County Master Gardeners , $1,000 for a one-day garden seminar
Parenting Now!, $5,000 for its “Make Parenting a Pleasure” program
Pearl Buck Center Inc., $5,000, for its Urgent Necessities Fund, providing basic shelter, food, health and hygiene
Powers Food Pantry, $5,400 for healthy food purchases
Reedsport Rotary Foundation, $4,000 for its Renovation of Henderson Park Playground in Reedsport
Roots & Wings Child Development, $7,000 for financial assistance to families for early childhood education and child care
Safe Project, $2,000, for its Upgrades to the current facility, including better security
Save the Riders Dunes, $2,000 for new radios to help with safety issues
Siuslaw Outreach Services, $5,000 for its emergency voucher fund and homelessness relief program
Smart Reading, $5,000 to buy books
Southern Oregon Songwriters Association, $3,146 for a new public address system for performances
Southwest Oregon Public Safety Association (CERT), $8,000 for a storage unit or container to house readily available CERT gear
Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation, $11,300 to buy 10 Chester Chest simulators for students to practice accessing veins
Southwestern Oregon Veterans Outreach Inc., $4,500 for taxi vouchers and bus passes to transport veterans to out-of-town appointments.
Springfield Young Readers, $3,000 for books
The Child Center, $5,000 for its wellness program, with services such as food, clothing and housing
The Friendly Kitchen/Meals on Wheels Roseburg, $5,000 for its “Frozen Fridays” weekend meal program
Umpqua United Soccer Club, $1,500 for its “Empowering Girls Through Soccer” program
United Way of Southwestern Oregon, $5,000 for its “Day of Caring” and “Coats and Shoes for Kids” programs
Waffle Project, $3,000 for provide free meals to the public on Thursdays, (when the Nancy Devereux Center is closed)
PORT ORFORD – Climb to the top of Fort Point on a clear day, and you’ll be rewarded with a jaw-dropping, 180-degree view of Oregon’s gorgeous southern coastline. The Siskiyou Mountains stand to the south. The Redfish Rock marine reserve lies below. To the north are Humbug Mountain and a working port.
The view is so compelling, the city of Port Orford plans to build a trail and overlook that will make the coastal bluff easier to reach. The path to that project just got a little clearer thanks to a $10,000 grant from the Coquille Indian Tribe’s Community Fund.
The project started in July 2016, when a group of Port Orford citizens became concerned about foot traffic on a nearby sea stack called Battle Rock.
“We needed to redirect people off the rock to reduce the impact of human erosion, and look for another place where people could still have a panoramic view,” said Steve Lawton, the volunteer spearheading the project.
“This grant for the Fort Point Bluff project will make a long lasting impact on a beautiful Oregon landmark,” said Community Fund Administrator Jackie Chambers. “We are excited to see the project come to life and be open for all to come and enjoy.”
Battle Rock was the site of a famous 1851 skirmish between land-hungry European settlers and local Native Americans. Capt. William Tichenor had dropped off nine men to set up a settlement. When the Indians tried to evict them, the white men wielded a cannon to protect their perch atop the rock.
The battle ended when the surviving white men escaped northward by cover of darkness. Tichenor returned later that year with 70 soldiers and established what is now called Port Orford.
Since then, Battle Rock has been a popular destination for visitors– whose relentless footsteps have begun to damage the historic site. At the City Parks Commission’s request, Lawton began seeking an alternative viewing spot.
Fort Point caught his attention in 2017. After much research, Lawton determined that the city owned the land. A viewing site there seemed like an obvious solution.
“I got encouragement from city councilors and the community, and we moved forward in 2018 to propose it,” he said.
State law requires local authorities to consider a project’s effect on cultural resources before approving it. So Lawton contacted the State Historic Preservation Office to make sure the project would honor indigenous interests as well as the community’s needs. Project supporters met with Kassandra Rippee, the Coquille tribe’s historic preservation officer, to discuss a collaboration.
“We met with Kassie and it was a really positive experience,” Lawton said. “We need to embrace the history of this region, and it starts before we arrive. I think that’s really important for people to recognize.”
Tribal people were Oregon’s stewards for thousands of years, and tribes still care about the land that holds the history of their village sites and way of life. Coquille people still live and work in the Port Orford area.
Thanks to the tribe’s grant and a previous $20,000 donation from another source, the Fort Point overlook will be a low-profile viewing site. Building it on pressure-treated poles, atop a concrete pier, will minimize impact to the land.
“This is a lovely site,” Lawton said. “We plan to have an interpretive sign here that’s going to talk about history and the modern economy. We have forestry over here, you have commercial fishing over here, we have a community that’s expanding and people recreating … so it’s a living, working landscape as well.”
“I’m excited about this project,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a lasting resource for the community.”
A resource that will help preserve Battle Rock.
About Coquille Tribal Grants
The Coquille Tribal Community Fund’s grant to Port Orford was part of $366,126 awarded during the tribe’s 2020 Grant Week. Fueled by revenue from The Mill Casino-Hotel & RV Park, the grants help 71 community agencies in southwestern Oregon.
The Fort Point project was one of two projects to 2020 tribal grants in the Historic Preservation category. The Bandon Historical Society Museum received $2,750.
Since 2002, the tribal fund has distributed nearly $6.8 million to organizations in five counties.