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Posted: November 16, 2015 Sweet dreams, Eau Claire: Remade downtown hotel will focus on city's identity

As the two-time Grammy Award winning frontman of the internationally acclaimed band Bon Iver, Justin Vernon has traveled the world, staying in hotels of all sorts. 

Now, Vernon is drawing on those global experiences as he helps remake the former Green Tree Hotel & Suites at Galloway and North Farwell streets into a trendy, boutique venue named The Oxbow Hotel that exudes an unmistakable Eau Claire vibe.

“Our town has a big problem with having zero identity when it comes to our hotels,” Vernon, one of the Oxbow’s investors, said Thursday as he described his vision for transforming the old Green Tree into a downtown landmark that appeals to local residents and out-of-towners alike. “Too many of (those hotels) could be located anywhere. There isn’t really one that says, ‘Hey, this place is about Eau Claire.’ ”

The Oxbow would be just such a place. Plans for the hotel, projected to cost $4 million to renovate, include plenty of amenities designed to showcase Eau Claire’s offerings. For instance, customers would be able to rent canoes, kayaks, tubes and bikes to take advantage of the city’s extensive trails and rivers near the hotel. A courtyard between the two hotel buildings — one with 16 rooms, the other with 14 — would provide space for gatherings and include a fire pit and space to play games such as kubb. The hotel also would include a gallery and artist-in-residence program


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