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World's first Kickstarter hotel & artist residency. Restoring history & uplifting community with inspired accommodations in Joseph, OR.
World's first Kickstarter hotel & artist residency. Restoring history & uplifting community with inspired accommodations in Joseph, OR.
World's first Kickstarter hotel & artist residency. Restoring history & uplifting community with inspired accommodations in Joseph, OR.
870 backers pledged $107,070 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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THE JENNINGS HOTEL – The Hotel That Kickstarter Built

$107,070

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For the last year I've been assessing, designing, remodeling and maintaining the historic Jennings Hotel in Joseph, Oregon.

I've assembled an exceptional group of designers and craftspeople, each of whom will transform a room at the Jennings into thoughtfully designed accommodations for your visit to the best little mountain town in the west.

The Jennings building has been a landmark in Joseph, Oregon for over 100 years. Unfortunately, for the last 30 it has been underutilized and mostly collecting dust. In a town of a thousand people, a half empty building on Main Street has a real impact on the community and locals are excited to see The Jennings revitalized.

Some of the work I've completed thus far
Some of the work I've completed thus far

Wallowa County is one of the west's best kept secrets, a frontier larger than Delaware with fewer than 7000 people and more beauty than we know what to do with. We have the deepest canyon in North America in Hells Canyon, Oregon's largest wilderness area, the Eagle Cap and the largest bunchgrass prairie in the United States, the Zumwalt Prairie. The Jennings Hotel will be the first and only design-centric hotel in the region. The perfect home base to explore the stunning country that surrounds us, sample some of the renowned confections from our downstairs neighbor, Arrowhead Chocolates, or eat a divine meal prepared from local ingredients at the Lostine Tavern. The incomparable Wallowa Lake is less than two miles from our front door, along with hundreds of miles of hiking trails. There are many wonderful small businesses along Main Street, not to mention every year we host one of the best small town rodeos in the west, Chief Joseph Days, always the last full weekend in July!

I'm fortunate to have an amazing group of people willing to contribute their skills and help turn The Jennings Hotel into a piece of art. Working alongside of folks like Lisa Garcia, interior Designer and founder of Soñadora Handmade, Matt Pierce of Wood & Faulk and Brendon Farrell, architect and designer of Keeps Limited Edition, The Jennings will be reinvigorated into a consciously considered and beautifully appointed hotel.

A selection of the talented folks designing rooms at The Jennings
A selection of the talented folks designing rooms at The Jennings

In addition to offering nightly lodging, The Jennings will also serve as an artist residency, hosting artists from all disciplines to teach, inspire and collaborate with the community while making work and giving talks at the hotel.

The first artists in residence arrive this month. Christina Mrozik & Zoe Keller are two wildly talented women. Having recently published a book of their collaboratively drawn illustrations, funded through Kickstarter, I couldn't think of two better artists to open the Jennings residency program.

Having designed and built my own cabin, remodeled a house and built a photography studio, I know what it takes to concept and execute building spaces.

My little cabin in the woods
My little cabin in the woods
My business in Portland, Clutch Camera
My business in Portland, Clutch Camera

I spent two years creating the conditions in my life to make The Jennings Hotel possible, moving away from my home of 16 years and stepping back from the business I co-founded 10 years ago. Remodeling this hotel is no joke, it's my full time job. It's not cheap, either. All of the money I raise will go toward the hard costs of converting the Jennings from a rundown apartment building into a wonderful hotel in one of the most beautiful places in America. I'm working for free, but lumber, flooring, fixtures, electrical, paint, millwork, masonry, insulation, heaters, plumbing, tile, cabinets, windows, doors and skilled trades all cost very real money.

The brickwork alone is estimated at $26,000, painting after the masons are finished will be another $15,000. That's just exterior work and doesn't begin to touch inside the building. For each of the 9 rooms being remodeled there will be substantial expenses for material. As you can imagine, it all adds up quickly. Every dollar you contribute will go to the essentials of making this place whole again. $80,000 is the bare minimum to get this project off the ground. Anything in excess of my goal will be wisely spent hiring additional local help to speed up the timeline for making the Jennings fully operational.

 

Risks and challenges

I've been a small business owner for almost a decade, I understand the delays and pitfalls associated with making products and particularly with construction projects. The first room at the Jennings is already nearing completion, within a month of project funding backers will be able to come stay in room eight. Over the subsequent months I'll continue working diligently to keep the project moving forward and make the remaining rooms available for your stay.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Be immortalized and give your grandkids something to look forward to, with your name indelibly etched on a copper plate and sealed for 30 years in a time capsule at the Jennings Hotel. Send me a memento small enough to fit in a 35mm film canister and I'll include that, too.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Unwind with a relaxing visit to the famous Jennings Hotel sauna & cold plunge, where you'll be cradled by the hot heat, then brought back to earth with a dousing of Wallowa mountain water.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Relive your wild & youthful days with the nostalgic scent of Campfire Cologne in a take home version of the turndown gift that greets guests at the Jennings Hotel

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Your very own Jennings Hotel Key fob. Keep your keys together and carry a reminder of the hotel you made possible with this quality, American made piece from Wood&Faulk.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A box of 8 delectable truffles from the Jennings Hotel collection. Indulge in 8 complex and gratifying flavors, made in house with love by our downstairs neighbor, Arrowhead Chocolates.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A super limited edition, minimalist wallet from our friends at Proof Eyewear. Carry your organized essentials and a reminder of the hotel you helped make possible with this elegant solution to decluttering your pocket.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Literally support the Jennings by adopting the only brick you'll ever love. 35 characters of your choice hand painted on your very own brick at the Jennings Hotel. Keep it simple with your name, or make a dedication to someone special. Your message will live on an exterior wall for all to behold and I'll send you a photograph of your favorite brick to show everyone in the whole wide world.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A famously thick lined, ultra Limited Edition, 18x24 poster of Wallowa County livestock brands designed for us by Aaron Draplin of the Draplin design company and Field Notes Brand. We have a lot of ranches and host one of the best small town rodeos in the west. This poster celebrates the history and art of the brand by representing a selection of those from Wallowa county.

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    One night in a room you made possible at the Jennings Hotel for a special rate available only to Kickstarter backers. Enjoy a relaxing getaway while you rekindle with a paddle on Wallowa Lake and walk in the mountains.

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    113 backers
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    Pledge $95 or more About $95

    One night in the hotel you helped build at a Kickstarter only rate, plus a box of delicious chocolate produced downstairs by our friends, Arrowhead Chocolates.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A night in the hotel you helped build at the Kickstarter only rate, plus dinner for two at everyone's favorite local farm to table restaurant, the Lostine Tavern. Be one of the first to experience The Jennings Hotel and eat a delectable meal from producers in the county.

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    57 backers
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    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Your own limited edition Jennings Hotel canvas and leather tote from Wood & Faulk. Represent the hotel you made possible with this quality bag, made with pride in America.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Two nights in a room you made possible at the Jennings Hotel for a special rate available only to Kickstarter backers. Enjoy a relaxing getaway while you rekindle with a paddle on Wallowa Lake and walk in the mountains.

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    202 backers
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    Pledge $160 or more About $160

    A bag specially made for the Jennings Hotel from our friends Shelter Collective. Crafted of US woven natural denim with a bright teal base, brass hardware and vegetable tanned leather closure, you'll be headed on your adventures in style. Featuring three great patches that celebrate the Wallowas, Shelter & The Jennings Hotel

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Two nights in the hotel you made possible at a rate available only to Kickstarter backers, plus a petite version of the folk fiber installation piece that will be featured in our library. From Lisa Garcia of Soñadora, designer of The Jennings Hotel lobby-library.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Two nights in the hotel you made possible at a rate available only to Kickstarter backers, plus a petite version of the folk fiber installation piece that will be featured in our library. From Lisa Garcia of Soñadora, designer of The Jennings Hotel lobby-library.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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    Pledge $300 or more About $300

    Two nights in the room you made possible at a Kickstarter only rate, plus a limited edition Jennings Hotel leather and canvas tote from Matt Pierce of Wood & Faulk, co-designer of room three.

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    Pledge $425 or more About $425

    Two nights in the hotel you helped build at the Kickstarter only rate, plus a limited edition walnut coat rack from Brendon Farrel of Keeps, designer of room four at The Jennings Hotel

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    Reward no longer available 3 backers
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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Two nights in the hotel you helped build at a special Kickstarter only rate and a raft trip down the Grande Ronde river with me, guided by our friends at Winding Waters Rafting in Joseph, Ore.

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    Limited 11 backers
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    Pledge $650 or more About $650

    A one month winter residency at the hotel you helped build. Escape the hustle of your everyday for a month long artist residency at the Jennings Hotel. Spend time finishing your novel, working on an ongoing project or meditating about existential matters. Be inspired by the superlative beauty and quietude of the Wallowa country while breathing in the crisp mountain air in between unlimited trips to the sauna.
    (Travel & food not included)

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    Pledge $700 or more About $700

    A gorgeous 28" hang mirror from Brendon Farrell of Keeps Limited Edition, designer of room four at The Jennings Hotel. Brighten up any space with this impeccably crafted piece, finished in natural leather with an oak hanging puck. We've only got 1 available and these beauties normally retail for $1200, so get this one while it lasts.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    SLUMBER PARTY!
    Take over The Jennings Hotel for a weekend slumber party with all your besties. You'll get the run of the place, including 5 rooms and permission to party without consequence of neighborly complaints. Bring your robe & slippers, no one will catch you in the hall but your friends.

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Funding period

- (30 days)