Remaking history at the Columbia Gorge Hotel

| Print |  Email
Articles - December 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011

 

1211_Tactics_03
1211_Tactics_04
1211_Tactics_05
Photos by Teresa Meier

So he’s unabashedly looking to grow and change the century-old landmark. He’d like to put 80 to 85 more rooms on the west end of the hotel site,  an area currently used as an extended parking lot. And he says he doesn’t anticipate problems in the land use approval process, even though the site sits within the Columbia Gorge National Scenic Area. “I would never have gotten into something where I couldn’t expand here,” Patel says.

By increasing capacity twofold, Patel will look to capture the wedding guests he currently sends to other establishments in Hood River because of his current room count. And the hotel restaurant, spa and lounge finally will be serving at full tilt. He’ll also be able to chase the corporate meeting market that has so far eluded the hotel.

“We’ve lost quite a few big events because there aren’t enough rooms here,” he says.

Patel’s immediate challenge is to lift the PR pall cast by the hotel’s abrupt closure in February 2009. While the occupancy rate has ticked up 2% in 2011 over 2010, the management is still overcoming the prevailing buzz that the hotel is closed for good. Robinson has booked just about every special interest group one could think of — from the Washington Wine Growers Association to QVC to the International Paranormal Reporting Group (there have been ghost sightings at the hotel) — to get the word out about the building’s revival.

Asked if he might use some high-powered vacationing starlet to help put the hotel back on the map, Patel demurred. “We’re here for our guests, we’re not looking to take advantage of them,” he says.

A moment later, Robinson produced a list of celebrity guests past, which included Burt Reynolds, Presidents Hoover and Taft, and Tom Cruise. It was proof of the new owners’ steadfast belief that, with the right appointments, the Columbia Gorge Hotel’s history is bankable enough.



 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 OwnerGuest 2013-12-04 23:06:07
I have lived for several years across the freeway from the Columbia Gorge Hotel and read in the newspaper that they will be piping in music to enhance their outdoor lighting display. I gave the manager a courtesy call to inquire about the potential noise level, because we prefer not to hear "elevator" music for the next month or so wafting across the highway. I was very polite and simply wanted to know their plans. The manager responded in a very rude tone with," I'm sorry you don't like holiday music" and slammed the phone down on me. This is a first. I have traveled extensively and have never had a hotel manager be anything but helpful and courteous. If this is how he treats members of the community, I wonder how they treat out-of-towners.
Quote | Report to administrator
 

More Articles

Photo log: Murray's Pharmacy

The Latest
Friday, July 17, 2015
OBM-Heppner-Kaplan thumbBY JASON KAPLAN

Photographer Jason Kaplan takes a look at Murray's Pharmacy in Heppner.  The family owned business is run by John and Ann Murray, who were featured in our July/August cover story: 10 Innovators in Rural Health Care.


Read more...

Back to School

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

Oregon is home to an abundance of gritty warehouses reborn as trendy office spaces, as well as crafty hipsters turned entrepreneurs. Does the combination yield an equally bounteous office products sector? Not so much. Occupying the limited desk jockey space are Field Notes, a spinoff of Portland’s Draplin Design Company, and Schuttenworks, known for whittling Apple device stands. For a full complement of keyboard trays, docking stations and mouse pads, check out the GroveMade line, guaranteed to boost the cachet of even the lowliest cubicle drone. 


Read more...

Fueling Up for the Climb

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY GREGG MORRIS

Rita Hansen aims to scale natural gas vehicle innovation.


Read more...

Quake as metaphor

Linda Baker
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
071515-earthquakia-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

The Big One serves as an allegory for Portland, a city that earns plaudits for lifestyle and amenities but whose infrastructure is, literally, crumbling.


Read more...

Car be gone

Linda Baker
Thursday, August 06, 2015
070615car2goblogthumbBY LINDA BAKER

Car and ride sharing services have taken urban areas by storm. Low-income and suburban communities are left at the curb.


Read more...

Unshakable

September 2015
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
BY BRIAN LIBBY

Ben Kaiser holds his ground.


Read more...

Greenpeace (temporarily) prevents Shell oil ship from leaving Portland

The Latest
Thursday, July 30, 2015
hangersBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Greenpeace activists suspended themselves from the St. John's Bridge in an attempt to prevent a ship from heading to the Arctic.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS