Staying alive

Staying alive

Article Index

Resorts, hospitality

1112 StayingAlive 06
R&H Construction also recently built the Lake House at Caldera Springs, a resort development slowly in the works on 400 acres near Sunriver outside of Bend.

After the housing bust and recession, when the dust finally settled over the destination resort scene in Central Oregon, there were unfinished golf courses baking in the desert sun, thousands of approved home lots sitting vacant and a handful of planned resorts that went bankrupt.

“The resort community had a huge shakeup,” says Galash, of R&H, which has done its fair share of resort work at places such as Black Butte Ranch and Caldera Springs.

The sector has long since hit bottom, and it’s been slow to crawl back up. Remington Ranch and Thornburgh Resort filed for bankruptcy in the past two years; others, like Tetherow golf resort, remain in limbo, although there are signs of a gradual turn.

“Lots in these places have been recapitalized or are no longer in the hands of the folks who started them,” says Saito of Gerding Edlen. “That’s the first step.”

Portland developer Joe Weston, who’s owned land at Tetherow since 2007, plans to develop overnight facilities there, which Galash says bodes well, if not for the larger resort scene, then at least for Tetherow.

Elsewhere, other builders have seen some healthy returns in other areas of hospitality.

“We’re doing a number of new hotels and renovations for different developers,” says SERA’s Schultz. “Slowly and quietly, we’ve seen a comeback in hospitality” in Portland and elsewhere around the state.

Ausland Group is currently renovating two Holiday Inns in Grants Pass and Roseburg, and similar to R&H, which completed an expansion for Deschutes Brewery in Bend, the firm just finished up a 28,000-square-foot brewery for Ashland’s Caldera Brewing.

“For a brewery to be expanding like that,” says Ausland, “we think that’s a good sign of what’s to come in the economy.”

Jon Bell is a Portland-based journalist who writes frequently for OB. He can be reached at editor(at)oregonbusiness.com.">editor(at)oregonbusiness.com.