One of eastern Oregon’s best boutique hotels is up for sale.
The Jennings Hotel in downtown Joseph is officially on the market, owner Greg Hennes said in an announcement Monday, offering potential buyers a recently renovated lodging business in one of Oregon’s most popular tourist destinations.
Hennes said the hotel will remain open as he works with potential buyers, and said people should continue to make reservations through 2023 and into 2024.
As for his decision to sell, Hennes said it was a personal decision, and didn’t have to do with the business itself.
“I just feel like I accomplished all I hoped for and more with the hotel, and now I’m ready to try something different, try something new,” he said.
Housed in a two-story Old West building built in 1910, the Jennings came together one room at a time, initially funded by a Kickstarter campaign Hennes started after buying the property in 2014. His concept was a modern hotel built around communal spaces, where every room was crafted by a different designer.
In 2019, the downstairs storefront opened as The Gold Room, a well-received pizza restaurant helmed by Ross Effinger and JoMarie Pittino, two chefs who honed their skills at Portland’s Ava Gene’s. The Gold Room closed in October 2022, as Effinger and Pittino put their energy into raising their baby.
The three years that the Jennings Hotel and the Gold Room both were up and running marked the culmination of Hennes’ original dream for his property in Joseph, what he calls “a very magical time.” Always a discerning landlord, he said he took his time finding the right fit for the restaurant space, and never found a suitable replacement. Soon, both businesses will be gone, though the potential for a likeminded vision will remain.
“Whoever buys the hotel next will probably either want to open their own restaurant or find a tenant to put down there,” Hennes said. “So hopefully the magic combo of hotel and great restaurant will return.”
The asking price for the building currently stands at $3.2 million. The buyer would be purchasing a historic 10,200 square-foot building, which includes 14 hotel rooms upstairs, with a restaurant and retail space below.
As discerning as he is, Hennes said at the end of the day he’ll have no control over what becomes of the Jennings. Still, he said he’s confident it will remain a hotel, and is hopeful it will retain the charm that he, and his guests, have so lovingly crafted there over the years.
— Jamie Hale
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