Tag Archives: Columbia Gorge Hotel

Palmieri hits a homer with sale of Gorge Hotel

22 Oct

Kathy Palmieri, owner of Premiere Properties at 602 Oak St. (next to Brian’s Pourhouse), had been involved in representing the Columbia Gorge Hotel since January. Patience pays. Focused on selling hotel, commercial, equestrian and high-end residential properties, she hit a homer when she linked Vijay Patel up with the Columbia Gorge Hotel.

After it failed to find a buyer and Shore Bank Pacific took it over, Palmieri — and a lot of other people — continued trying to find a buyer. She represented Tri-Cities resident Vijay Patel of A-1 Hospitality LLC in his offer to purchase the hotel.

She says Shore Bank Pacific turned down several higher offers to go with Patel because of his history of community involvement. He’s a past president of the Oregon Lodging Association, and very involved in community organizations where A-1 owns hotels.

“Shore Bank wanted to make sure the buyer wouldn’t flip the property and try to make a quick profit,” she says. “They wanted someone who was committed to the local community.”

Palmieri, whose family has deep local roots, this summer spun her real estate business out of John L. Scott. For many years, she operated out in the building where Centerpointe Bank is now located.

She says Patel has met with all the staff brought in by North Pacific Management when it was hired to reopen the hotel in September. “He has elected to retain all the staff,” Palmieri says.

Sixty-eight people now work there. The hotel will add more staff as business grows. And it appears headed that way. Since August, when North Pacific got involved, more than 700 brides have talked with hotel management about possibly using its grounds for future weddings.

Palmieri says Patel is working on five new hotel projects along the Columbia River, including a Holiday Inn Express in The Dalles.

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Pendleton hotelier to buy Columbia Gorge Hotel

20 Oct

Thanks for the news tip to Heidi Seymour of The Next Door Inc., who sent me this link. No time here to explore it further, so read on. And if you want to know more about the company behind the intended purchase, read all about A-1 Hospitality Group.

Cross-promotion happens in the hotel biz

27 Aug

Maybe you weren’t at the presentation by Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., Wednesday morning, Aug. 26, at the Best Western Hood River Inn. But if you were, you might have wondered, why were there all these people there from the other waterfront hotel at the west end of town, the one that will be reopening shortly after a period of financial distress?

Why were Midge Dobbs, regional sales manager for North Pacific Management, and Kim Bosch, director of sales for the Columbia Gorge Hotel, schmoozing attendees with info about the Gorge Hotel reopening? I mean, weren’t they in a meeting hall of a competing property?

Well, not exactly. As reported here earlier, North Pacific — out of Portland — is owned by one wing of the powerful Stevenson family. Another wing of the family owns the Hood River Inn. So it would make sense for them to pimp each other’s businesses. If you knew the connection, that is. If you didn’t, you might have wondered, Hey, why weren’t the Comfort Suites and Hood River Hotel invited to shill their product? See the earlier post to learn more.

Yes, Virginia, there IS a free breakfast

27 Aug

Get in line now, because the new operators of the Columbia Gorge Hotel are throwing a free community breakfast. Well, I think the way Midge Dobbs of North Pacific Management phrased it was, “a heavy continental breakfast.”

Who’s community? That’s you. If you need breakfast (you do; nutritionists say it’s the most important meal of the day), you can pop on over from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16, and chow down — for free.

Why? “The biggest message we want to get across is our recognition of the importance of the hotel to the local community.”

No argument there. It’s nice, in fact, to have a management group that seems to recognize that there is a local community. The previous tenants just didn’t seem to give a rip about whether locals came there or not.

As a restaurant owner myself, in my humble opinion, that sort of attitude is pure boneheadedness. At our place, we’re all about locals first, second, and third. We love it when out-of-town visitors drop in and share the vibe, but we like to think of our restaurant as an extension of your home — a place to get good food, meet friends, see people across the room you haven’t seen in awhile and catch up.

Sort of like the grocery store. Did I mention how much I love going to the grocery store? Yes, I digress, but this is about community. And when I go to the store, that’s what happens. I need milk and burger. It takes me 90 minutes to get it. “Where WERE you?” the wife asks. “Well, I ran into So-and-so, and we got talking about such-and-such, and then I turned the aisle and there’s Who-and-what, and did you know that she’s almost due, and over by meat, I got talking with Whoozit and commiserating about the yada yada, and ….”

Ever been there? It’s GREAT. Go to the store. Often. And call me when you get home, to share the news.

Meanwhile, free breakfast. Dobbs says the Gorge Hotel would appreciate knowing about how many thousand to expect, so please RSVP if you plan to attend. I think RSVP is shorthand for the French phrase, “Répondez s’il vous plaît” (respond, if you please, or, more bluntly, Hey, Bozo, let me know if you’re coming so I can open another can of dogfood), but don’t quote me on it. Call 541-386-5566 to RSVP.

One name links multiple riverfront hotel projects: Stevenson

12 Aug

North Pacific Management Inc. is apparently in line to run the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel. Interesting. That would put two riverfront hotel properties in Hood River under managment by the same family.

Who? Well, the Stevensons, from across the river. North Pacific is just one arm of the family reach. The same Stevensons own SDS Lumber. The same SDS that owns 70,000 acres of timberland on both sides of the river. The same Stevensons who are exploring the placement of wind turbines along the ridge west of the White Salmon River.

Hmm, wonder if guests could see the towers from the rooms of the Gorge Hotel?

From the web site of the Oregon Lodging Association, we learn that its current president, Chuck Hinman, is ” General Manager of Columbia Room, Inc. and DM Stevenson Ranch who are the owners and operators of the Best Western Hood River Inn, the Marketplace Building, Marina Chevron, Hood River Shell and Marina Mart.Columbia Room Inc.”

Tom Stevenson is currently Development Manager at DM Stevenson Ranch and formerly Production Manager at SDS Lumber Co. You go to his LinkedIn page, and click on “my company,” and you learn that he is owner of the Best Western Hood River Inn.

Do a little more Googling and you learn that he has also been actively leading efforts to develop condos on the site of the former Meredith Motel in Hood River, astride the easement for the historic Columbia River Highway trail. Whenever he flies to Bend, he can land at his own private airport.

Here’s some more interesting reading. Campaign contributions by people named Stevenson (and others, to be fair) in White Salmon, Wash.

Now, I’m not saying there’s a single thing wrong with any of this. It’s just fascinating, the way the web weaves around and around. Lodging. Columbia River. Money.

Oh, I did mention that Broughtan Landing thing, didn’t I? If you got it, spend it. Why didn’t the local paper report any of this? Must be too boring.

Columbia Gorge Hotel finds a buyer

2 Jun

Good news — the historic Columbia Gorge Hotel will not go to foreclosure auction, because someone has offered to buy it — and re-open it soon. Joe Kennedy, owner and president with Crystal Investment Properties, confirmed this morning that the hotel is under contract. Out of respect for all involved parties and the fact that the deal has not yet closed, Kennedy chose not to say who the buyer is. It’s definitely no hobby hotelier, though.

“They have extensive experience in the hospitality industry,” he said.

“I also can say that they intend to re-open for the summer travel season. It’s a community landmark, and it means a lot to the buyer that this asset be open during the peak travel season.”

The hotel had been scheduled for a public foreclosure auction at 10 a.m. June 30 on the steps of the Hood River County Courthouse. That has been canceled. Kennedy could not say when close of sale would occur.

No buyer yet for Columbia Gorge Hotel

14 May

So, what’s up with the Columbia Gorge Hotel? Well you might ask — it’s the topic on everyone’s tongues.

I heard a report this morning on its status at the Visitors Council meeting. And it wasn’t reassuring, since the old dame kicks out a nice chunk of transient room tax for tourism promotion.

So, to get the straight skinny, I called the folks who are handling things in the interim. They didn’t want to be quoted, by name, but did tell me that it’s being shown regularly to potential buyers, that some of those poking around have fat wallets and familiar names, that there is no offer pending, and that there is a listing in today’s paper. Which paper? The one that includes three legal listings on Page B7 of the paper dated May 13.

Here’s the deal. The property is still listed for sale with Crystal Investment Property of Portland. The trustee, ShoreBank Pacific, plans to sell the property at auction on 10 a.m. June 30, 2009, at the Hood River County Courthouse. The property isn’t named in the legal listings. It’s identified simply as “The Real Property … commonly known as 4000 Westcliff Dr., Hood River, OR 97031.”

The Columbia Gorge Hotel is located at 4000 Westcliff Drive.

The bank wants to cover debt of $4,252,492 plus $74,557.57 in interest through Jan. 16, plus an additional $1,571.05 in interest per day since then, plus late charges of $5,480.50, and late charges since February at 5% of each payment due from February onward, plus $131,535.72 in overdraft advances, plus a bunch of other moolah.

In other words, if you’ve got a spare $4,604,714.10 lying around, you can buy yourself a classic old hotel overlooking the Columbia River and the Hatchery. And then figure out what to do with it.

I’ve got the dime, if anyone wants to partner up. You’ll find me at the hatchery.