Mayor Jenny Dowell will fly out to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on Tuesday for the opening of the hotel named after Lismore.
Mayor Jenny Dowell will fly out to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on Tuesday for the opening of the hotel named after Lismore. Facebook

Mayor to take some Lismore love to American hotel opening

AFTER two years of renovations, the American hotel named after Lismore will open next week, with an excited Jenny Dowell on site as a guest.

Lismore mayor Cr Dowell today confirmed her flights to Eau Claire in Wisconsin for next Tuesday.

She said she would take some Lismore love with her to share with local people.

“I’m taking a lot of little Lismore hearts with me, and other bits about our city to give out,” she said. “The people of Eau Claire will get a taste of Lismore over the week.”

The two cities have been in partnership since 2001, but it wasn’t until four young IT professionals bought a run-down motel in Eau Claire about two years ago that the partnership began to really flourish.

“They wondered what to call it and one day, one of the four was laying back on his couch when he Googled Eau Claire, opened Wikipedia and saw that Lismore was its sister city, so they thought they’d call it The Lismore,” Cr Dowell said.

Mayor Jenny Dowell will fly out to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on Tuesday for the opening of the hotel named after Lismore.
Mayor Jenny Dowell will fly out to Eau Claire, Wisconsin, on Tuesday for the opening of the hotel named after Lismore. Facebook

“So about 18 months ago he contacted me ... the four flew here and spent a day with me.

“They wanted to get a feel for Lismore, the architecture and the history, we did tours, I took them up to the Lismore Regional Library headquarters and they saw The Northern Star online.

“Then they connected via Trove and they decided to put a feature wall in all their guest rooms of old Northern Stars.”

The guest rooms’ accent wallpaper uses newspapers from the 1920s.

In the hotel’s foyer there is also an Aboriginal-style artwork, designed by school students in our region.

More of Cr Dowell’s itinerary

While in Eau Claire Cr Dowell will meet with their mayor and the other female elected councillors.

“We’re also meeting the city’s economic development team, tourism team, we’re doing a walking tour, visiting a cheese-making farm ... and fishing on the lake,” she said.

“We’re also meeting with the international student liaison officer from Eau Claire university because Uni students from Eau Claire come to Lismore and some Lismore students go back to Eau Claire for semester exchanges.”

Eau Claire and Lismore became sister cities because of their strong connection in education, as well as similar histories and demographics.

VolumeOne, which reports on culture and entertainment in the region where The Lismore hotel is located, published a list of five facts about Lismore and its similarities to Eau Claire.

Challenge: Will a Lismore business return the gesture?

Cr Dowell put the challenge out there for a business in Lismore to call themselves Eau Claire, which means “clear water”.

“This was a private business that took on this wonderful initiative ... I’m sure it will lead to more people in Lismore visiting and it might encourage more people to visit here.

“Come on, Lismore, can we return the favour?”