Neuman Hotel Group, the corporation formed by Doug and Becky Neuman to manage their hospitality projects, traces its beginnings to Doug’s early days in real estate. He spent years as a developer in the Santa Barbara area, then relocated to Ashland following a serendipitous conversation in Eugene.
As Doug Neuman tells the story, he was in Eugene looking for a place to move his aging father. A competitive tennis player, Neuman finished a match with a local player and was chatting about his search. The other player suggested he check out Ashland.
Neuman dashed down to Ashland, liked what he saw and decided it would be perfect for his father. Soon he and Becky relocated there. He specialized initially in custom homes and subdivisions in the area — Ashland, Talent, Jacksonville. Then the Lake of the Woods beckoned.
An old hunting lodge near Klamath Falls, the Lake of the Woods had fallen on hard times. “But it had great bones. That’s what we look for—does a property have good bones?” Becky says.
Working together, they restored Lake of the Woods and eventually sold it. That launched the Neumans into the hospitality field. While Doug manages the overall restoration of their properties, Becky does most of the interior design, making endless trips to Los Angeles and elsewhere to scout for furnishings and ideas. The pair has assembled a complete development team based in Ashland.
Their signature turnaround: the conversion of the historic Mark Antony Motor Hotel in downtown Ashland into the Ashland Springs Hotel. The Neumans bought it out of bankruptcy for $1.6 million and spent two years and $10 million restoring it to its former grandeur.
The Neumans’ website discloses the one hint of controversy in the couple’s development career: Doug worked with a silent partner, Reed Slatkin, for many years; they teamed up to buy and develop Ashland Springs. In 2001 both the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation came after Slatkin for fraud, accusing him of running a major Ponzi scheme. Slatkin went to prison; the Neumans were among those left picking up the pieces. Eventually, they bought out his interests in all their holdings, they said.