Conference Ideas in Southern Oregon

An endless variety of both indoor and outdoor activities, a flourishing culinary scene and plentiful meeting spaces highlight the cities of Southern Oregon. Mild weather and spectacular scenery make the region an attractive destination in any season. Conveniently located along I-5, Ashland, Medford, Grants Pass and Roseburg each has their individual personalities.

“Southern Oregon offers a wide variety of activities that will appeal to any group,” says Eli Matthews, senior vice president for Travel Medford.  The region is one of the top wine destinations in the Northwest, a center for arts and culture and a scenic mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. “We do outdoor adventure really well,” explains Matthews.

ASHLAND

Home of the world -famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland is the cultural heart of Southern Oregon. A picturesque park-like setting and walkable downtown area make Ashland easy to explore. Southern Oregon University gives the city that special college-town energy. “Ashland’s combination of cultural, culinary and outdoor experiences are unmatched,” says Katherine Cato, VCB & director of marketing for the Ashland Visitor & Convention Bureau.

Meet and Stay

With a peaceful, meadow-like setting and mountain views, Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites is the largest hotel conference venue in the city. Built in 1973 and recently renovated, the hotel has a retro-modern feel. Gena DuQueene, senior sales and catering manager, explains, “the comfortable 1970s-style furnishings and original light fixtures contribute to the character of the facility that provides all the modern amenities.” Guest rooms, located in a separate wing of the hotel from the conference facilities, are modern and spacious.

The 6,600 square-foot Ballroom features a dramatic vaulted ceiling and can be divided into three smaller spaces. Additional ballrooms and meeting spaces can accommodate groups from a business meeting of 16 to a reception for 650 guests. Several specialty suites, including the Executive Stardust Suite that features a sunken bar, offer premier accommodations for executives and are well-suited for a post-conference reception.

Located in the center of the city, only a block from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival grounds, the Ashland Springs Hotel radiates old-world charm. Originally built in 1925, the hotel was restored to its original grandeur and re-opened in 2000. The stylish guest rooms are reminiscent of a boutique-style European hotel.

The Grand Ballroom, bathed in the golden glow of the mica and cast bronze chandeliers, offers theater-style seating for 300 guests. The palm-filled Conservatory, immersed in natural light, can serve as the reception area for the Grand Ballroom and can also accommodate a small conference or presentation. During warmer months, the tree-lined English Garden is perfect for an outdoor meeting or reception.

Nestled in a tree-lined canyon eight miles from Ashland, Callahan’s Mountain Lodge is the perfect Siskiyou Mountain setting for a special event such as a banquet or reception. The lodge can accommodate 150 guests in the Banquet Room. With expansive views, the outdoor deck can serve 150 during warmer months. The grassy lower terrace and the large lawn area offer additional possibilities. Smaller conference rooms and the Penthouse Suite provide space for a business retreat or small conference. The lodge offers on-site catering and complimentary WiFi.

Ashland is the home of Southern Oregon University. With more than 20 meeting rooms of differing sizes and configurations, the university is ideally suited for conferences, lectures, or presentations for as many as 450 attendees.  Full audio visual support is available for any type meeting or event, and WiFi is available throughout campus.

Out and About

The cornerstone of Southern Oregon’s cultural scene, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) has been a renowned mainstay since it began in 1935. One of the oldest Elizabethan theaters in the U.S., the outdoor Allen Elizabethan Theater is a unique setting, presenting a full schedule of performances from spring through fall. With two indoor theaters, there are always several entertainment options. Each year the OSF presents a complete lineup of entertainment ranging from classic Shakespeare to Broadway musicals and contemporary drama. A backstage tour and evening of theater is the perfect relief from a busy conference schedule.

Home of more than 100 restaurants, Ashland can offer cuisine that will please any palate. A stroll through the compact downtown reveals a variety of boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Small theaters and cabarets are active throughout the year, presenting a wide variety of entertainment offerings.

Lithia Park, a 93-acre woodland park adjacent to downtown, has trails that are perfect for an afternoon stroll or morning jog. Whether it is a wine tour of Ashland’s wineries or a whitewater raft or kayak trip on one of the local rivers, Ashland has outdoor activities to interest any group.

MEDFORD

The largest city in Southern Oregon, Medford is a thriving center of commerce. With warm summers and mild winters, the area is a top agricultural region. “We were named one of the top ten wine destinations in the world,” says Matthews. More than 70 varietals are grown in the area.

Meet and Stay

Situated in the heart of downtown Medford, The Inn at The Commons offers a variety of meeting rooms that can serve from 20 to 800 guests. “We are one of the finest hotel conference venues in Southern Oregon,” says Maggie Groves, sales manager. Two event spaces, the 6,600 square-foot, pillar-free Grand Ballroom and the 3,000 square-foot Petite Ballroom can each be divided into thirds. Smaller rooms and suites are available for planning meetings or board retreats.

With fireplace and grand piano, the Back of the Larks room, located behind the cocktail lounge, offers an intimate setting for a social gathering or post-meeting reception. “We are within walking distance of Medford’s downtown shopping and restaurants. You can leave your car here and explore the area,” says Groves.

The Rogue Regency Inn & Suites, located midway between the airport and downtown is the perfect location for a small- to mid-size gathering. It can comfortably accommodate 130 meeting attendees with full audiovisual support and in-house catering. Its 203 guest rooms, an on-site restaurant and a sports bar make the Rogue Regency one of Medford’s largest full-service hotels.  The hotel offers complimentary WiFi and free shuttle service to the airport and to nearby shopping,

Located at the intersection of I-5 and Highway 62, the Ramada Medford is convenient to the airport and to the downtown shopping areas. The Ramada’s Grand Ballroom can accommodate between 410 and 865 attendees depending on the setup. This large ballroom can be divided to accommodate four spaces for smaller groups and additional breakout rooms are available. The hotel boasts the largest indoor pool in the region. The Ramada allows outside catering and can provide advanced presentation-ready audiovisual setups.

With views of the Rogue Valley across the immaculately groomed 27-hole golf course, the private Rogue Valley Country Club provides a sophisticated ambience for any conference or banquet. With seating for up to 350, the Valley Ballroom is a versatile space. “We are able to do a lot with décor and design to meet any group’s needs,” says Darian Harpold, event coordinator. Smaller rooms provide spaces for breakout sessions and smaller meetings.

The newest addition to Medford’s hotel scene is the Hilton Garden Inn. The new facility opened in January. With flexible meeting room combinations, it can accommodate up to 200 conference attendees.  The on-site restaurant and contemporary audiovisual setup provide all the amenities and services in a brand new facility.

For an unusual conference setting, check out the unique spaces at the Rogue Valley-Medford International Airport. Your meeting will feel special in the presidential Oval Office, an accurate reproduction of the President’s office in the White House, one of America’s most famous rooms. From the iconic star-patterned flooring to the desk and furnishings, the room brings a touch of Washington D.C. to Southern Oregon. It can accommodate up to 25 for a conference or retreat.  Additional meeting rooms serve up to 88 guests.

How about having your meeting in an airplane? The airport is also home of a retrofitted KC97 Plane. With seating for 49, the airplane offers an unrivaled meeting space that your group will remember for years.

Out and about

The abundance of locally produced agricultural products supports a thriving culinary scene. Many restaurants such as Larks Restaurant, located at The Inn at The Commons, feature fresh, locally sourced cuisine throughout the year. For a sophisticated dinner in a stylish setting, Porter’s Restaurant, located in Medford’s original train station, offers fine dining and unforgettable atmosphere.

“Medford is one of Oregon’s most important sports event destinations,” explains Angela Wood, director of sales for Travel Medford. “If your group is here to participate in a competition or if you just want to watch, we host sporting events year around,” she adds. An afternoon at a baseball game is a fun summertime group activity. Medford Rogues baseball offers an affordable entertainment option.

With more than 150 wineries in the region, the wine scene in Medford is impressive. Travel Medford has identified several wine trails and they can provide maps and information for a do-it-yourself tour of the local wineries. If you want to leave the driving to someone else, Platinum Xcursions offers customized wine tours for groups.

Only five miles from Medford, the gold-rush town of Jacksonville provides many opportunities for a group activity. Explore the charming 19th-century character of the picturesque town, as your group takes a Segway tour through downtown.  From June through September, groups can experience the excitement of world-class music, dance and comedy at Jacksonville’s Britt Festivals, held in the 2,200-seat open air venue.

For groups seeking outdoor adventure for team building or post-conference fun, Travel Medford can help find the best activity for your group. The region offers a wide array of activities from kayaking, fishing and rafting on one of the region’s rivers to riding a zip line, hiking or skiing in the mountains.

GRANTS PASS

The Rogue River flowing through Grants Pass makes the city ideal for combining a business conference with rewarding post-meeting activities. The region is famous for a multitude of outdoor activities and Grants Pass lies at the center of the action. With a rich and colorful past, Grants Pass offers an assortment of meeting and event spaces, a historic downtown and a wide variety of activities for visitors.

Meet and Stay

On the banks of the Rogue River, the Lodge at Riverside and its Taprock Event Center is the largest event center in Grants Pass. On-site catering provided by the Northwest-themed Taprock Northwest Grill and a picturesque riverside setting make the Taprock event center an attractive space for a conference or retreat.

Located in the center of Grants Pass, the newly remodeled Redwood Hyperion Suites accommodates groups up to 218 for a reception or 100 for a conference at the adjacent Hyperion Event Center. The hotel is a short distance from all the dining, shopping and entertainment in the historic downtown.

For a quiet retreat, the Cascade Mountain Ranch is ideally located 12 miles from Grants Pass on 50 acres surrounded by wilderness. Two lodge buildings each provide comfortable accommodations for 30 guests. With an open floor plan and large common areas, your group will find the seclusion necessary for a productive retreat yet enjoy all the modern amenities. For large gatherings, the lakefront activity deck will accommodate more than 200 guests.

The Boardroom Events Center is a modern professional building in the center of Grants Pass. Conference rooms are available for small meetings, while the event center can support a gathering of as many as 70 attendees. The Boardroom has high speed WiFi, free parking and easy access to a variety of nearby lodging options.

Built in 1924, the Weasku Inn is a fishing lodge on the banks of the Rogue River that has been a vacation destination for celebrities seeking an idyllic setting. The inn has long been used for corporate retreats. The meeting rooms are ideal for brain-storming sessions, team building exercises and trainings for groups with up to 20 participants.

Out and About

Team building and post-conference activities for your group range from a breathtaking ride down the Rogue River to a quiet afternoon exploring the compact, walkable center of the city. For ultimate thrills, your party can skim over the wild rapids of the Rogue River on a 36-mile adventure through Hellgate Canyon. Hellgate Jetboat Excursions offers a variety of trips on their jet-powered boats. Some trips include a lunch or dinner stop overlooking the river at the OK Corral, an old homestead that the company has turned into a modern outdoor lodge.

For an active close-to-the-river experience, your group can tackle the class III and class IV white water rapids on a rafting trip with Rogue Wilderness Adventures. The company offers group trips through the Wild and Scenic section of the Rogue as well as multi-day trips.

For a thrilling dry-land adventure, your group can visit Out ‘n’ About Treesort for a zip line adventure through the Siskiyou Mountain forest. More than a mile of cable strung through the treetops offers an exhilarating ride through the forest canopy.  The Treesort also offers bed and breakfast accommodations for guests to spend the night in the trees in one of their fully-equipped tree house units.

If your group is not into adrenaline-pumping action, Grants Pass also offers a variety of interesting pursuits that are less strenuous. Learn about glass blowing at the Glass Forge Gallery and Studio. Activities can include a tour and demonstration of the ancient art of glassblowing and a make-your-own session where visitors can create their own ornament, paperweight or bowl.

The Bear Hotel Artworks Museum is a one-of-a-kind facility famous for its display of public art, most created by local artisans. The museum is located at the Evergreen Federal Bank. The bank offers free tours of the art displays by appointment.  It also has a meeting room available for non-profit organizations that can accommodate 80 people.

Grants Pass is the gateway to many of the great scenic attractions of Southern Oregon. The underground marble halls of Oregon Caves National Monument lie in the heart of the Siskiyou Mountains, a little over an hour drive from the city. Crater Lake National Park is located at the summit of the Cascade Mountains about an hour and a half from Grants Pass. Both parks make wonderful day trips through the scenic countryside.

ROSEBURG

Located in the heart of the scenic Umpqua Valley, Roseburg is the gateway to a waterfall-studded wonderland along the North Umpqua River and to the Diamond Lake recreational area. “Small-to-medium-size conferences will find Roseburg an excellent destination,” says Rachel Miller, manager of destination marketing for Visit Roseburg.

Meet and Stay

With three meeting spaces and room for up to 100 guests, the Event Center on Edenbower is a flexible meeting facility in a professional setting. The center offers the latest audio-visual equipment and high-speed internet. For groups from out of town, the Sleep Inn & Suites is near the event center and also has meeting space for up to 60.

The Brix Grill, located in the center of downtown and renowned for its breakfast fare, has meeting space for 200. A variety of motels in Roseburg include the Windmill Inn, the Holiday Inn Express and the Best Western Garden Villa Inn. Each have space for meetings with maximum capacities ranging from 60 to 100 attendees.

The Umpqua Business Center is a brand new state-of-the-art office building located in the center of town. The center has conference space for up to 110 participants, HD teleconferencing capability and free WiFi.

Only 30 minutes from Roseburg in Canyonville, the Seven Feathers Casino Resort is the area’s largest event venue. Seven Feathers’ largest room can accommodate as many as 1,550 attendees and can be divided into as many as six separate spaces. Additional meeting rooms are available for smaller groups and breakout sessions. With a full line of concerts and special events, a spa and several dining options, your group will not be bored. Complimentary WiFi and free parking add to the attractiveness of the facility.

Located at the crest of the Cascade Mountains on the shores of Diamond Lake, the Diamond Lake Resort and its Mount Thielsen Convention Center have conference space for up to 300 attendees in a spectacular mountain setting. With motel rooms and resort cabins, your group will experience the seclusion of a mountain lodge and the opportunity for a variety of mountain sports while enjoying all the modern amenities.

Additional meeting, event and conference opportunities are available at the Umpqua Community College. A variety of classrooms, auditoriums and meeting rooms can provide space for as many as 1,010 attendees.

Out and About

The Umpqua Valley is one of Oregon’s fastest-growing wine regions. The area’s 27 wineries and tasting rooms offer a diverse lineup of locally-grown varietals. Oregon Wine Country Tours can provide a fun afternoon touring the region’s wineries, while the Backside Brew Tour bus will take you on a tour of local breweries along the Roseburg Ale trail.

The Southern Oregon Wine Institute, located at Umpqua Community College, has been established to support the region’s burgeoning wine industry through education and support. The institute offers tours and tastings, and it has an event hall that can accommodate meetings or conferences.

Wildlife Safari, Oregon’s premier drive-through wildlife park is located just outside of Roseburg. In addition to the viewing of more than 600 animals in a natural habitat environment, the park offers several animal encounter options where your group members will be able to have an up-close experience with the animals.

The North Umpqua River offers some of the best fly fishing in the country and a variety of recreational pursuits. North Umpqua Outfitters will arrange a rafting or kayaking expedition and the NUT (North Umpqua Trail) is an epic mountain bike trail along the river. More than two dozen waterfalls along the North Umpqua Highway make the drive from Roseburg to Diamond Lake perfect for an afternoon adventure.

By Ron Engeldinger

CONNECT

Ashland

  • Ashland has more than 1000 guest rooms
  • Ashland is 16 miles from Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport

Travel Ashland
541-482-3486
travelashland.org

Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites

  • 220 guest rooms
  • 15,000 sq. ft. of meeting space
  • 7 flexible meeting rooms
  • 560 seated capacity of largest meeting room
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

855-482-8310
ashlandhillshotel.com
gina@neumanhotelgroup.com

Ashland Springs Hotel

  • 70 guest rooms
  • 5,700 sq. ft. of meeting space
  • 4 distinctive meeting rooms
  • 300 seated capacity of largest meeting room
  • Large English Garden seats 180 for outdoor events
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-488-1700
ashlandspringshotel.com
lora.horvath@ashlandspringshotel.com

Callahan’s Mountain Lodge

  • 19 guest rooms
  • 1,800 sq. ft. of indoor event space
  • 150 seated capacity in banquet room
  • Additional 10,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-482-1299
Callahanslodge.com
Southern Oregon University

  • 20 meeting rooms
  • 450 seated capacity in largest room
  • WiFi available

541-552-6462
inside.sou.edu/su/facilities.html
su_scheduling@sou.edu

Oregon Shakespeare Festival
800-219-8161
Osfashland.org

Medford

  • Medford has more than 2,500 hotel rooms
  • Downtown Medford is 3 miles from Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport

Travel Medford
800-469-6307
travelmedford.org
info@travelmedford.org

Rogue Valley-Medford International Airport

  • 1,741 sq. ft. of meeting space
  • 88 seated capacity in largest room
  • 4 meeting rooms

541-770-1234
co.jackson.or.us

Inn at The Commons

  • 118 guest rooms
  • 9,000 sq. ft. of event space
  • 800 seated capacity of largest room
  • 8 meeting/event rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-774-4712
innatthecommons.com
courtney.dykstra@innatthecommons.com

Rogue Valley Country Club

  • 7,200 square feet of indoor meeting space
  • 1,925 sq. ft. outside Terrace
  • 350 seated capacity in largest room
  • 5 meeting/event rooms

541-772-5965
rvcc.com
dharpold@rvcc.com

Rogue Regency Inn & Suites

  • 203 guest rooms
  • 2,540 square feet of meeting space
  • 130 seated capacity in largest room
  • 3 meeting/event rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-770-1234
rogueregency.com
regency@rogueregency.com

Ramada Medford

  • 164 guest rooms
  • 10,000 sq. ft. of meeting space
  • 865 seated capacity in largest room
  • 6 meeting/event rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-779-3141
ramadamedford.net
info@ramadamedford.net

Hilton Garden Inn Medford

  • 120 guest rooms
  • 2800 sq. ft. of meeting space
  • 175 seated capacity in largest room
  • 7 meeting rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-200-6900
hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/oregon/hilton-garden-inn-medford-MFRHEGI/index.html

Grants Pass

  • Grants Pass has more than 800 hotel rooms
  • Downtown Grants Pass is 25 miles from Rogue Valley-Medford International airport
  • Grants Pass is a little over two hour drive from Eugene

Travel Grants Pass
541-476-7574
travelgrantspass.com
office@experincegp.com

The Lodge at Riverside/ Taprock Event Center

  • 33 guest rooms
  • 3,500 sq. ft. of meeting space
  • 300 seated capacity in largest meeting room
  • 6 meeting rooms

541-476-2501
taprockeventcenter.com

Redwood Hyperion Suites/Hyperion Event Center

  • 44 guest rooms
  • 2.900 sq. ft. of event space
  • 100 seated capacity in largest room
  • 1 meeting room
  • Complimentary WiFi

Free Parking
888-535-8824
rhsuites.com

Cascade Mountain Ranch

  • 24 guest rooms
  • 6,000 sq.ft. of outdoor meeting space
  • 200 seated capacity on deck
  • WiFi available in some areas
  • Free Parking

541-890-8437
cascaderanch.org
info@cascaderanch.org

Boardroom Events Center

  • 70 capacity in largest meeting room
  • 3 meeting rooms
  • WiFi available
  • Free Parking

541-244-2650
theboardroomsuites.com

Weasku Inn

  • 5 guest rooms and 11 guest cabins
  • 20 capacity in largest meeting room
  • 1 meeting room
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-471-8000
weasku.com
reservations@weasku.com

Roseburg

  • Roseburg has more than 1000 hotel rooms
  • Downtown Roseburg is 71 miles from Eugene, Oregon
  • Downtown Roseburg is 96 miles from Medford, Oregon

Visit Roseburg
541-672-9731
visitroseburg.com
info@visitroseburg.com

Event Center on Edenbower

  • 2 meeting rooms
  • 75 seated capacity in largest room
  • WiFi available

541-464-7600
eventsonedenbower.wordpress.com

Sleep Inn & Suites

  • 109 guest rooms
  • 2520 square feet of meeting space
  • 87 seated capacity in largest room
  • 3 meeting rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-464-8338
choicehotels.com/oregon/roseburg/sleep-inn-hotels/or091

Brix Grill

  • 200 seated capacity in largest room
  • 2 meeting rooms

541-440-4901

Holiday Inn Express

  • 100 guest rooms
  • 100 seated capacity in largest meeting room
  • 1 meeting room
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-673-7517
guestservices@kensingmgt.com
ihg.com

Best Western Garden Villa Inn

  • 65 guest rooms
  • 30 seated capacity in largest meeting room
  • 1 meeting room
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-672-1601
bestwestern.com

Windmill Inn

  • 128 guest rooms
  • 65 seated capacity in largest room
  • 780 square feet of meeting space
  • 1 meeting room
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free parking

541-673-0901
windmillinroseburg.com

Umpqua Business Center

  • 110 seated capacity in largest meeting room
  • 3 meeting rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free parking

541-440-0995
umpquabusiness.com

Diamond Lake Resort/ Mt. Thielsen Convention Center

  • 38 guest rooms in lodge
  • 55 cabins of various sizes
  • 300 seated capacity in largest meeting room
  • 3 meeting rooms
  • Free parking

541-793-3333
diamondlake.net

Umpqua Community College

  • 1010 seated capacity in largest room
  • More than 20 meeting rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-440-4705
umpqua.edu/venues

Seven Feathers Casino Resort

  • 300 guest rooms
  • 25,000 square feet of meeting space
  • 1,550 seated capacity in largest meeting room
  • 8 meeting rooms
  • Complimentary WiFi
  • Free Parking

541-839-1111
sevenfeathers.com