COUNTY: Renovations are expected to begin in six weeks, company want 'four-diamond' status
The Coastal Hotel Group (CHG), a privately held, Seattle-based hotel management company, purchased The Resort at the Mountain and took control of the property Thursday, Dec. 20. The resort was put up for sale in October 2005 with an asking price of $24 million. The final sale price has not yet been disclosed.
'It's our goal to raise the property from a three-diamond level to a four-diamond level,' said Yogi Hutsen, president and CEO of CHG. 'We just felt that it was a unique opportunity. It's truly a diamond in a rough; there's a lot of upside potential.'
Employees of the resort were reportedly aware of the pending transaction since the property went on the market, and they have met the new owners with enthusiasm.
'All associates and employees are extremely happy for the future and what it's holding for us,' said resort General Manager Curt Ott. 'From the management down to the associates to the corporate office, we're all about fun and taking care of the customer.'
The sale marks the end of 18 years of ownership by Janice and Ed Hopper, who purchased the property in 1989 for $3.37 million. Ed noted that the greatest accomplishments during that time include upgrading the resort's experience for visitors, improving the shape of the land and surrounding streams, and improving the golf course.
'It is with reluctance that we leave,' said Hopper, 71, who said he and his wife sold the resort to retire. 'It's been a lot more fun than pain, believe it or not.
'I would put our staff against any other in the country; our staff has been wonderful.'
Hutsen noted that CHG made decisions Thursday and Friday, Dec. 20-21, on which staff would remain employed at the resort and that 'most everyone was retained.' Hutsen also indicated that future growth at the resort could lead to a larger and more stable work force and that he looks forward to being involved with the surrounding community.
'We believe strongly (in being) part of the communities in which we live and work,' said Hutsen. 'We look forward to being a great neighbor and a great community participant in the Sandy/Welches area.'
CHG also plans extensive renovations for the property, with some beginning as soon as six weeks. Plans include more improvements to the golf course, new spa facilities, plasma screens in the guest rooms, fireplaces for all rooms and upgrades to the lobby and meeting rooms.
'We'll touch every portion of the resort in some fashion,' said Hutsen, who said the cost for the upgrades will be 'multi-millions.'
Renovations are expected to be done by the fall of 2008, with guest rooms to be ready by May.
The Dundon Company handled the sale, advertising the resort as offering 160 guestrooms, 18,000 square feet of banquet space, two restaurants, 27 holes of golf, a heated outdoor swimming pool, four tennis courts and a professional croquet court on 248 acres of land.
The company's Web site, www.dundoncompany.com, also noted that the resort offers 'the opportunity to develop 70 acres of undeveloped parcels zoned for a variety of uses.'
Approximately 20 percent of the resort's current business comes from leisure, while the remainder is group and corporate business. Ott reported that the new ownership intended to increase the leisure business to 40 percent or more.
Ott also noted that plans are in place to increase the current sales of approximately $7 million per year to $25 million. Ott believes the new focus and more revenue will contribute more to the local economy, as more guests will utilize area restaurants and shopping and fewer visitors will only attend meetings and leave the area.
'The leisure business will definitely help the local community,' said Ott. 'We are going to be much more involved in the local community, both Sandy and the Hoodland areas.'
Rates are also likely to increase at the resort, but Ott believes that with all the improvements, 'it will be definitely well worth it.'
The Hoppers are open to finding out first-hand how things will change; as Ed Hopper noted, they would be open to returning to the resort as guests. For now, they plan to spend time in their RV and follow other pursuits.
'I have a number of things I'm interested in,' said Hopper. 'For the moment I'll do a little relaxing.'
CHG also has equity interest in two other Oregon properties: the Hotel Fifty in downtown Portland and The Inn at Otter Crest in Otter Rock.
'This will be our trifecta; we have downtown Portland, we have the mountain and we have the coast,' said Hutsen. 'We're betting on Portland and the metro area in a big way.'