Sponsored by Lane Powell

Building a legacy

| Print |  Email
Archives - May 2009
Friday, May 01, 2009

ATSJoanAustin

Joan Austin's Allison Inn & Spa opens in late September.

NEWBERG Joan Austin is sitting in an office a stone’s throw from her Allison Inn & Spa that’s under construction. And yes, it is her project. As president of the Springbrook development, which eventually will include a shopping village and 1,200 homes, this is her gift to the community and even Ken, her husband of 56 years, is on the sidelines for this one.

Which is why the very elegant Austin, dressed this morning in a bright red suit that stands out against the gray day like an early spring tulip, politely — but very graciously — will not say how much the inn costs, because it doesn’t really matter. It is her legacy and legacies are priceless.

“I hope it will bring prosperity to the town,” Austin says simply about what Springbrook could mean to rural Newberg.

Some might say she and Ken already have made good on that hope: In 1964, they founded dental equipment maker A-dec, which employs about 1,000. Austin, a sharp businesswoman, also has a deep commitment to the arts, children and education. The couple donated the land for the nearby Joan Austin Elementary School (where each year Austin has a tea party with the incoming freshmen class), and founded the Austin Family Business Program at Oregon State University. The Allison sits on a verdant 35 acres about two miles off Highway 99W in the same neighborhood as A-dec and the school.

Austin has lived here for more than six decades, spending several of them acquiring 450 acres within the urban growth boundary. “I’m a land lover,” explains the elegant but shrewd tulip. “I like the dirt.”

While the recession has put the shopping village and the residential plans on hold indefinitely, the Allison is on track to open the last weekend in September, just in time for the wine industry’s crush (and the bride who has that weekend booked). Construction is roaring to make up for lost time from the Christmas snows, which delayed an August

ATSAllisonInn

Artist's rendering of the Allison's completion. The inn sits on 35 acres and has 85 rooms, a spa and a restaurant.

debut. There are 250 workers now on site (with a weekly payroll of $400,000 until opening), and in June the Allison will begin hiring 165 full-time positions.
The inn, which broke ground in November 2007, is near 200 wineries in the Willamette Valley region, and the tourism industry that comes with it. As of early April, there were 25 events booked through December 2010, including six weddings, and several hundred room nights were committed for the 85 guestrooms and suites, which are priced from $295 to $1,100. The Allison also has a 15,000-square-foot spa, a 6,000-square-foot restaurant that seats 85, and 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

The inn is being built to LEED standards, but sustainability to Austin means more than energy efficiency or green building practices. It means leaving behind something that will last at least 100 years, providing jobs for her community and a place of pride for generations to come.

As the day brightens and a guest tour gets ready to leave, Austin is staying behind. She’s got a letter to the governor to finish and besides, she’s up there all the time, watching her legacy being built brick by brick.

ROBIN DOUSSARD
 

More Articles

Business partnerships: taming the three-headed monster

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 06, 2015
070615-businessmarriagefail-thumbBY KATHERINE HEEKIN | OB GUEST COLUMNIST

Picking a business partner is not much different than choosing a spouse or life partner, and the business break-up can be as heart-wrenching and costly as divorce.


Read more...

Up in the Air

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY ANNIE ELLISON

Portland tech veteran Ben Berry is leaving his post as Portland’s chief technology officer for a full-time role producing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) aimed at first responders and the military. Berry’s AirShip Technologies Group is poised to be on the ground floor of an industry that will supply drones to as many as 100,000 police, fire and emergency agencies nationwide. He reveals the plan for takeoff.


Read more...

Sun set

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY CHRIS NOBLE

The right sunglasses can protect your eyes and look cool at the same time. This being the 21st century, select shades are socially conscious, too. Portland brand Shwood uses wood and other natural materials and manufactures locally. Founded by Ann Sacks, the brand Fetch dedicates a portion of its profits to animal welfare. But whether you choose classic tortiseshell or aviator chic, please, shed the sunglasses when you walk in the door — and, of course, at night. 


Read more...

The 5 highest revenue-generating parks in Oregon

The Latest
Thursday, June 11, 2015
parksthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

In 2014, total revenue for camping and day use in Oregon State Parks was a little more than $17 million. That figure may even higher this year "because we've had exceptionally nice weather," Hughes says.


Read more...

5 things to know about veterans in the workforce

The Latest
Wednesday, July 01, 2015
070215-vetsthumbBY JACOB PALMER | DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

There are more than 10 million former military members working in the United States.


Read more...

Downtime with John Helmick

June 2015
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Live, Work, Play: CEO of Gorilla Capital.


Read more...

Undersea Power

June 2015
Friday, May 22, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Mike Morrow and Mike Delos-Reyes first came up with the idea of an ocean power device 23 years ago, when they were students at Oregon State University. They realized a long-held vision last summer, when their startup, M3 Wave, successfully launched the first ocean power device that works underwater.


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