Welcome to the meeting and event planning guide for Eugene, OR – a city guide written specifically with meeting planners in mind. Eugene is home to a strong arts scene, as well as having a dynamic academic influence, a thriving economy and many full-service, Eugene event venues. But it also known as Track Town USA, and is an outdoors-minded, adventure-driven destination that is rich in outdoor recreation and natural beauty. Located in southern Willamette County and centered between the Oregon Coast and Cascade Mountains, Eugene has an extensive park system and miles upon miles of running and biking trails.
Oregon's state capital, Salem, is within an hour's drive of Eugene; while Portland is approximately two hours away. The city is served by Eugene Airport (EUG), located 15 minutes outside of the city center. EUG offers direct flights from a number of major cities, including Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle. Once in Eugene, groups can ride the EmX bus system, which connects many hotels with attractions and event venues, including the Lane Events Center.
Located on the city's fairgrounds, the expansive Lane Events Center features 75,000 square feet of exposition space. Meeting spaces include the 37,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall, 22,000-square-foot Performance Hall with stage, an 810-seat auditorium, a 5,100-square-foot, glass-enclosed atrium and four meeting rooms. Additional event venues on the fairgrounds campus include the 36,000-square-foot Livestock Arena, ice center, round pavilion and six expo halls. Lane Events Center features 2,500 parking spaces, full-service catering and Wi-Fi access.
In addition to Lane Events Center, several Eugene event venues are found from the banks of the Willamette River to the heart of the downtown arts district. Home to six resident companies, the Hult Center for the Performing Arts features a 2,450-seat concert hall, a 495-seat theater, a towering glass lobby and gallery - all of which are available for private events. Groups can gather at the new PK Park while cheering on the Eugene Emeralds, a minor league affiliate of the San Diego Padres. The $19.2-million PK Park features seating for 4,000 guests, picnic plazas, luxury suites and a children's fun zone. Unveiled in 2011, the 12,500-seat Matthew Knight Arena is home to the University of Oregon Ducks basketball teams. The arena also hosts concerts and special events, as well as offers private spaces for group events. For adrenaline-fueled group gatherings, the Willamette Pass Ski Area features 29 downhill runs, six lifts and a vertical drop of 1,563 feet for downhill skiing, snowboarding and snowtubing. Willamette Pass welcomes groups with its ski-day comprehensive program, while its lodge with restaurant and lounge is available for private events.
Eugene features a strong academic and economic presence. The city is home to the University of Oregon and Lane Community College, as well as the birthplace of Nike.
An outdoor enthusiast's dream destination, Eugene is surrounded by lush forests, agricultural stretches, wine country hills and two mountain ranges. The city hugs the scenic Willamette River and is within one hour of the Pacific Ocean. It's no surprise that Eugene is known as Track Town USA, thanks to its extensive park and trail system and athletic heritage. Some of the country's most celebrated Olympic runners have gotten their start on the city's miles of trails with diverse terrain. Running legend Steve Prefontaine attended Eugene's University of Oregon. (The city's Pre's Rock honors Prefontaine, while the four-mile Pre's Trail runs through the 400-acre Alton Baker Park.) Eugene's historic Hayward Field is one of the most famous track and field-only facilities in the world. Built in 1919 on the University of Oregon campus, the field has hosted a number of NCAA championships, national championships, Olympic trials and the annual Prefontaine Classic.
A number of Eugene's attractions and activities celebrate its diverse landscape of waterfalls, forests, sand dunes, whitewater, ocean estuaries and other natural elements. Florence is home to Sand Master Park, the world's first sandboard park. Featuring 40 private acres of sculpted sand dunes perfect for beginner to advanced sandboarders, the park also features the largest sandbox in the state, ziplines, themed gardens, dune buggy tours, helicopter tours and RV park camping. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is home to wind-sculpted sand dunes that tower 500 feet above sea level, part of the 40-mile line of dunes along the Oregon coast. The nonprofit nature center and wildlife hospital known as Cascades Raptor Park welcomes visitors to tour its nature center and learn about the hundreds of raptor birds that are treated at the facility each year. Visitors can travel to Florence's Sea Lion Cave to observe wild sea lions and a variety of sea birds. As the world's largest sea cave, the Sea Lion Cave's height is equivalent to a 12-story building, while its length spans that of a football field.
Beyond its outdoorsy and athletic culture, Eugene is a diverse, eclectic city dedicated to sustainability and its thriving arts scene. Eugene's Hult Center for the Performing Arts is home to six resident companies, which include the Eugene Ballet Company, Eugene Concert Choir, Eugene Opera, Eugene Symphony, Oregon Bach Festival and Oregon Festival of American Music. The beautiful Cuthbert Amphitheater welcomes up to 5,000 guests for summer concerts at this outdoor venue nestled at the base of Alton Baker Park. The city's Science Factory features an interactive exhibit hall and Exploration Dome to inspire children to learn about science, technology and humanity.
A culinary destination dedicated to serving locally grown, locally sourced products, Eugene is home to a number of fine restaurants with private dining space. Located in the city's 5th Street Market, Marche serves a menu based on foods found at a farmers market, created with French-based technique. Serving regional cuisines and fine local wines and microbrews, Our Daily Bread is housed in a renovated country church, while Oregon Electric Station is located in a historic 1912 train depot. Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria serves handmade authentic Italian fare, while Florence's Waterfront Depot Restaurant in the old Mapleton Train Station utilizes local ingredients in its regularly changing menu.
All average costs based on U.S. Government Per Diem rates as published by the U.S. General Services Administration.
Eugene features a moderate year-round climate, marked with warm summers, cool autumns, rainy winters and pleasant spring times. The city experiences sporadic snowfall, with an average of five inches per year. July is the warmest month, with an average high of 82°F and average low of 52°F, while December is the coldest month, with an average high of 46°F and average low of 34°F.
Lane Events Center
Offering 75,000 square feet of exposition space, the Lane Events Center sits just blocks from downtown Eugene and minutes from the University of Oregon. Perfect for intimate parties to large trade shows, the center features a total of 18 rentable spaces, including two large halls, the glass-enclosed 5,100-square-foot Gleason Atrium, a 810-seat auditorium and four divisible meeting rooms. The center's largest rentable space is the 37,000-square-foot Exhibit Hall, while the 22,000-square-foot Performance Hall also includes a performance stage. Meeting rooms range from 1,087 to 3,685 square feet. Additional event spaces on the Lane Events Center campus include the round Wheeler Pavilion, 36,000-square-foot Livestock Arena, ice center and six expo halls. Meeting amenities include full catering services, Wi-Fi access and 2,500 parking spaces.
Hilton Eugene & Conference Center
Total Meeting Space: 30,000 Sq. Ft.
Eugene Airport (EUG)
Approximate taxi fare: $30 USD
Located 15 minutes outside of the Eugene city center, Eugene Airport is the state’s second busiest airport. The airport serves direct flights from Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix-Mesa, Portland, Salt Lake City, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle. Passengers can tour the airport’s art gallery or visit its two eateries and news shop. Short- and long-term parking is available.
Airline carriers serving Eugene Airport:
Lane Transit District's EmX rapid bus transit system serves the Eugene-Springfield metropolitan area. The 45-route system connects the area's hotels with sports and conference venues, including the Lane Events Center, which is accessed on Route 33 Jefferson. Most buses run Monday through Friday from 5 AM to 11 PM, Saturday from 7 AM to 11 PM and Sunday from 8 AM to 8 PM. Bus fare is $1.75 for adults and $0.85 for children ages 6 to 18. Children 5 and under and seniors over 65 ride free. A day pass is $3.50 for adults and $1.75 for children ages 6 to 18.
Eugene's Amtrak station is located at 433 Willamette Street. An additional Amtrak bus stop is located on the University of Oregon campus. The station serves both the Coast Starlight and Amtrak Cascades routes. The Coast Starlight route provides daily service between Los Angeles and Seattle, while Amtrak Cascades takes passengers from Vancouver to Eugene. Station hours are 4:30 AM to 9 PM and 11 PM to 12:45 AM daily.
Eugene's Greyhound station is located at 987 Pearl Street. Station hours are 7:15 AM to 6:30 PM daily. Greyhound service is also available at the Eugene Amtrak station.
Rental car companies represented at Eugene Airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz and National. Rental car counters are located in the airport lobby near baggage claim.
Eugene Airport passengers can expect to pay about $19 in taxi fare to downtown Eugene.
Photo by Flickr user: Don Hankins
Send Your Next RFP to Eugene!
Meetings and conventions in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region are easy to plan, convenient for travel, and give delegates a wide range of activities within close proximity. The natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest--with its old growth forests, pristine rivers, verdant wine country and rugged coastline--provides an enriching backdrop for meetings and conventions.
Offering all the amenities and experienced service of big city convention centers, but with the added charm of small town authenticity; the Eugene-Springfield metro area has meeting space and accommodations for groups from ten to 10,000. As an area recognized for sustainability and accessibility, choosing meeting space here is always a responsible choice--we even have "green your event" options available!
Stand-out local dining, renowned wineries, tax-free shopping and an intriguing event calendar ensures a robust conference agenda. Add in Oregon's affordable goods and services, and the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region is a compelling meeting destination for groups with budgets of all sizes. It is possible to please everyone!
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