The resort has 29 rooms and a central building, which have been renovated. "This is equal parts physical renovation and rebranding," says Doug Neuman.
The Lithia Springs Resort lies on an alluvial plain between Bear Creek and a steep mountainside, from which flow at least seven mineral springs. The property features tidy cottages clustered around gardens and springs. Each room has an in-room hot mineral spring water tub, and the tap water is filtered but originally from the springs. A tasteful landscape design of water features, herbs and native plants is a hallmark of Lithia Springs. It abuts a huge organic garden under cultivation by tenants and employees of Jackson Wellsprings, another mineral springs-anchored resort that surrounds Lithia Springs on three sides.
The Neumans saw the potential to brand the resort around the land’s natural beauty and the proclaimed health properties of the waters. They plan to grow organic food to eventually serve in a restaurant on the site. Upscale is clearly the objective; room rates range from $199 a night to $349 for the pricier cottages and $418 for a family cabin.
The previous owners, of course, saw the spring water as a draw to a certain customer. But, Becky Neuman says, it was primarily marketed as a more upscale place to stay than, say, a motel or B&B, when in town for some Shakespeare action.
Problem was, that signature mineral springs odor (similar to rotten eggs) often bothered guests.
“So our idea is to turn that sulfur smell into a draw for guests seeking a healthy place to stay,” she says. “After all, people originally came to Ashland for the waters and the healthy air. The time has come again when people are seeking exactly those things.”