Archive | December, 2009

New HR fitness center? It’s a … Snap

23 Dec

Are we looking at a fitness center explosion in the Hood? For years, it’s been the Sports Club, Big Gym and Curves, each with its own market niche. Coming soon to the west side, a Snap Fitness franchise store where Isthmus Sailboards used to be, at the north end of the Hood River Square mini-mall just west of Walmart (and there’s a Cross-Fit sign up near the Armory; no time yet to explore what’s going on there).

Portlanders Mike Kehoe and his wife Lorri, who bought the Hood River Square three years ago, were looking for tenants to fill out the space. Idea! Start another business and do it themselves. They bought the Hood River franchise, one of about 1,100 around the country.

The idea here is around-the-clock access, for you fitness buffs who want to get … buff … at three in the morning. Or whenever. 24/7 card lock access with daytime staffing offer convenience to fit busy lifestyles, Kehoe says.

He’s hired Mike Kern to manage the place. Rates are a work in progress. No contracts or membership fees, just monthly rates in the neighborhood of $39. Details soon. He’s hoping to have build-out finished, equipment installed and doors open by Jan. 8. Stay tuned.

No tenant yet for remodeled Paris Fair space

16 Dec

The rumor mill has been churning with regard to who might be setting up house in the Paris Fair building (the former Annz Panz) at 4th and Oak. We’ve been in regular contact with owner North Cheatham. Here’s the latest word from him about progress on finding a tenant:

“Much has been happening since we last talked. The onerous requirements
of Hood River’s building dept pushed project costs so high on the
remodel that the previous prospective tenant decided to bail instead
of incurring their portion of the costs to partition the floor. To
avoid these costs, the entire space will need to be leased to one
business. In addition to a great looking classic storefront, the 1st
floor and mezzanine are way more energy efficient, and fire sprinklers
have been added, reducing future utility and insurance costs.

“The wraps will be coming off the storefront by month’s end to dazzle
residents. Unfortunately, the routed woodwork may not last, since the
improvements exceed those approved by the historic building
authorities in Salem. Its removal may be required to preserve the
building’s favorable tax status.

“The Paris Fair space is once again being actively marketed, and
several parties have expressed interest. No commitments to date,

Snips, snacks and finger foods of biz news …

14 Dec

Here’s a clip and paste of the e-news sent Dec. 13 to the downtown Hood River business community. In case you don’t belong. In case you missed it. Just in case …

New board members elected to HRDBC; Colt resigns — Because of other board commitments and the time crunch, longtime Hood River Downtown Business Council board president Greg Colt has resigned effective Dec. 31.

That opened a fourth board position, in addition to the three announced openings for the recent online election process. The fourth-place finisher will be seated to replace Colt.

Please welcome new HRDBC board members: Michael Barthmus, Libby Taylor, Sue Collins (incumbent), and Vanessa Lalli Dittenhofer. They will take their positions at the Jan. 6 board meeting.

And please also thank outgoing board members (in addition to Colt), Jon Davies and Andrew McElderry (recently elected to the Chamber Board). Without their hours of time and labor, the HRDBC (and before its mid-year merger with the Chamber, what was known as the Hood River Downtown Business Association) would not have been able to accomplish all it has — Hops Fest, First Fridays, Hood River Holidays, Downtown Safe Halloween, Girls Night Out, shopping directories, Downtown Walking Maps and an organized working relationship with the City of Hood River.

Parking poll shows support for continued free customer parking — In recent online poll, 32 out of 186 members (17%) of the downtown business community responded to an invitation to share their views on whether the city should continue its offer of free customer parking through Dec. 26.

Of them, 24 said “yes” (75%), and 8 said “no” (25%). The results have been shared with the city and HRDBC.

Until further notice, downtown parking will remain unmetered. Please remind employees that the intent of the offer is to make parking easier for customers. Employees, of course, are welcome to use close-in parking spaces when shopping. Otherwise, they should park as they normally would, and keep spaces available for other shoppers.

Party hearty — if you’re an employee of downtown business — Michael Barthmus, proprietor of Doppio, is hosting a get-together for people who seldom have a chance to get together, largely because they’re all working at the same time. It’s an after-work social for downtown workers, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 17, at Doppio.

Doppio will offer drink specials all night long (yes, that includes wine and cerveza). If you’re coming, you’re encouraged to bring finger food. And cans of food, for the FISH Food Bank. Each can of food will exchange for a raffle ticket. During the evening, prizes donated by downtown businesses will be raffled off.

Downtown businesses, that would be YOU! You’ve got five days to cough up something for the raffle — as a catalyst for food donations and fun times. Call Michael at 386-3000 with any questions.

Doug’s offers special shopping opp for downtown businesses, too — Lori Duffy at Doug’s reminds us that Doug’s is again putting on a special sale for downtown business members only, from 6 to 8 p.m. the night of Wednesday, Dec. 16. In addition to deals on merchandise, wine and light snacks will be provided.

Link it up with new business promotion web site — Stan Aaberg at Salon Vision tells us that there’s a new web site promoting the businesses in the 310 Oak St. building. That would include the salon, home of “deals on Aveda, Bumble and bumble and customized gift card gift sets,” and neighbors Doppio, Silverado and Plenty.  The web address is It’s a portal page only at this point. Aaberg says the partners would like to include links to other businesses in town. Submit yours to Stan

The Pines 1852 hosts caroling event to benefit Oregon Food Bank — Sierra Wright tells us The Pines Tasting Room at State and 2nd would love to see your smiling face the night of Saturday, Dec. 19, to celebrate the holiday season with a night of Christmas caroling to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. Kerry Williams will lead the singing with special appearances by some other favorite local musicians.

The event starts at 5 p.m. and will run until about 9 p.m. All ages welcome. Admission is two cans of food or $5 to benefit the Oregon Food Bank

Mark your calendars for Girls Night Out in 2010 — The Holiday season isn’t over yet, but please take a second to look just beyond the horizon into early 2010. The HRDBC will sponsor three after-hours promotions in the first quarter — one a month, on the third Wednesday. It’s called Girls Night Out, and it’s a chance to offer a good time to your female  customers of all ages. Dates are …

  • Jan. 20
  • Feb. 17
  • March 17

Think about what sort of special activities, merchandise promotions, speakers, music, food and beverage you would like to host to make it a fun and attractive event. Someone from the HRDBC will be contacting you shortly with window posters, event guidelines, and passports to help shoppers sign up for prize drawings.

We’re looking for a few good Santa Clauses — Remember how your English teacher went on and on about dependent and independent clauses? Well, we won’t — because we want to focus on SANTA Clauses. We’ve got one more weekend for Santa Claus to welcome and listen to the gentle wishes of young people at Santaland — 416 Oak Ave. Santa presides from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 19-20, in a lovely setting prepared by Holiday committee volunteers, and donated generously by property owner Chuck Beardsley. If you’d like to play Santa, or know someone who would, call Greg Colt at 490-1175.

Annual fire truck parade is coming up — Get the full routes and schedule at the Hood River Holidays blog site — The site also includes a full calendar of other holiday related activities.

Reminder — first Hood River Holidays Downtown Throwdown is Dec. 19 — That’s right, a rail jam (snow boarders hopping their rides up onto a horizontal metal rail, skidding along it, doing tricks off it, etc.) will be conducted the evening of Dec. 19, along 4th Street between State and Oak. Organizers Pepi Gerald of 2nd Wind Sports and Wally Inouye of IPS Skate are hoping favorable weather and fresh snow in the high country (which they will bring down to cover the street) make this a killer event for shoppers to enjoy after a day in the stores.

Ever thought you could act? Here’s your opportunity — Two plays planned for 2010 at the Columbia Center for the Arts are conducting auditions. For its return appearance, “The Vagina Monologues” will hold auditions at 2 p.m. Jan. 16 and 5 p.m. Jan. 17 at the CAST Theater. Auditions for “The Laramie Project” will be held at 2 p.m. Feb. 21 and 6:30 p.m. Feb. 22. Call Columbia Arts at 387-8877 with questions. Or visit its web site at