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Seaside Hotel Mural Gets Large Selfie Fanbase - An Oregon Coast Sensation

Published 04/21/22 at 5:12 AM PST
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Seaside Hotel Mural Gets Large Selfie Fanbase - An Oregon Coast Sensation

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(Seaside, Oregon) – As you're wandering the north Oregon coast town of Seaside, and you turn into Holladay Drive from the southern entrance off Highway 101, you'll notice a lot of charming buildings along this historic street. Many have some truly unique colors as well. One will stand out, however, popping with bright colors that verge on neon shades. It's a serious explosion of colors at Coast River Inn at Seaside, where a mural depicting Lewis & Clark standing or on a bicycle (no one is sure which one is which) in a time-bending scene where they're on the Seaside Promenade.

History is a big deal here, and it goes deep. Members of the Corps of Discovery hung out in Seaside in the early days of 1806, and beyond that it was the home to countless tribal members going back generations. The town itself has always been careful to preserve its past, and as of late it's become known for its murals. One of them has caught on a little more than the others, with its whimsical approach that verges on psychedelia, combining present with the past and getting itself a bit of a buzz online. People love their selfies these days, and few things make for a more powerful draw for the Instagram goof take than standing in front of the Coast River Inn's mural.

Barbara Keckler is Director of Sales and Marketing for Fusion Lodging LLC, which owns this hotel and eight others along the Oregon coast. She says they've found it trending on various social media platforms, with not just selfies but friends snapping each other doing all kinds of wacky stunts in front of the punchy painting.

“The mural does get a lot of attention in Seaside,” Keckler said. “We have so many people who stop to take selfies in front of the mural and it often goes viral. Periodically we run online contests for visitors to post their photos in front of the mural on our social channels. It’s always so fun to see all the fun creative photos submitted.”

Local painter Joseph Soller and his wife Sarahlouise from 503Paint were the artists several years ago. There's a hint of The Beatles' cartoon Yellow Submarine in its wonky playfulness. Lewis and Clark are in the midst of a giant, bursting sunset. One is riding along the Prom; the other is peering through a telescope. And no, it’s not historically accurate that one of the explorers is puttering around on a bike. But tell that to the kids having fun in front of the thing and then seeing themselves pop up on the internet in various places.

“When we renovated Coast River Inn, we wanted the hotel to stand out, and what better way to do so than by painting a beautiful mural that will attract visitors to Seaside to stop by the hotel and take a photo,” Keckler said. “We wanted to attract visitors and contribute to the art-focused Seaside culture. We believe that we have done so in an entertaining and innovative way and it worked out – we have seen the mural go viral over and over again”

Sazzadur Rahman, CEO of Fusion Lodging, said the design came from some input from staff as well. Ideas flowed back and forth and this more-than-a-splash of color was born. The bicycle is a bit of a nod to the Inn's own amenities.

“Lewis and Clark made a big impact in Seaside when they visited the area and we wanted to celebrate their adventurousness and their success in exploring the Pacific Northwest,” Rahman said. “We hoped if we created a beautiful mural, it would attract people to take selfies, and we were spot on! Plus, we want our guests to explore Seaside and use Coast River Inn as their base camp. We make sure we have knowledgeable staff who are happy to point out all the fun and interesting things they can do while in the area. We also have bikes for them to borrow so they can get out and see the town in a unique way.”

The jump shot is a true favorite among the digital fans, especially families catching the kids in mid-air. People have been captured pretending to crawl the scene, creating other silly moments or interacting with the telescope guy in wacky ways. That included one woman's apparent impending “collision” with the 2D character: kooky and inventive. Pics have often included a host of adorable pets.

They were taken by surprise a bit by the digital reaction. When the company discovered this was a “thing” they put that to use. Even the Seaside Visitors Center has gotten into it, re-posting some of the hotel's humorous captures.

The hashtag #coastriverinn on Instagram is still growing in numbers, too.

“We’ve been pleased that so many visitors stop to take pictures of their families, their kids, their pets, and themselves in front of the mural,” Keckler said. “We are thrilled to be a part of the community and to give back to our community in this way.”

It's been said that Andy Warhol would've loved this age, with all its selfies, 2-second videos and other means of sometimes-accidental fame. He probably would've loved this mural's opportunity – as well as its colors. Website here. 800 South Holladay Drive. Seaside, Oregon. (503) 738-8474.

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