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Mountain resort's owner takes a new approach to Mt. Hood hospitality

Resort at the Mountain seeks new connections with workers, community

The Resort at the Mountain, which Samuel Welch opened in the 1800s as one of the first resorts on Mount Hood, has gone through many different owners and periods of change.

Now, it is going through one more, and employees are ready to take the change head on.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The Resort at the Mountain spans 209 acres of land in Welches.

On July 2, the Resort at the Mountain was purchased by Xiaoyan Yan, a University of Oregon graduate who entered the Oregon hospitality industry in 2000.

Willy So, the resort’s new assistant general manager, and other employees are hoping the change in ownership from Coastal Hotels to Yan will help make the Resort profitable again as well as help them connect with others in the Mount Hood communities.

So said the biggest transformation in the resort so far is the way team members interact with the business and its management.

“Mr. Yan believes in profit sharing and ownership,” So said. “If everyone has a share in the business they will be rewarded.”

Yan moved to Oregon in the 1980s to attend the University of Oregon to study computer engineering. In 2000, he decided to leave the engineering industry to go into hospitality and bought his first bed and breakfast in Newport on the Oregon coast. Since then, Yan’s company, Y Hospitality RATM LLC, has had a hand in managing several hotels in Oregon, Idaho and Texas throughout the last 15 years.

The leaders of the four different departments at the resort — lodging, golf, spa, and food and beverage — are managing their departments as if they were running their own businesses, and learning along the way.CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - The resorts two restaurants offer a choice of casual dining with a view or fine dining.

“We are having the owner’s mentality of running the resort together,” So said.

With about 180 local residents on the payroll, the resort is one of the largest employers on Mount Hood.

In applying Yan’s philosophy to the resort, every team member is a partial business owner and is actively learning to manage her or his own business and take pride in the resort’s operations.

“Which is really, really great,” noted Cathy Burgess, human resource manager and resort employee since 1992. “Obviously, it’s worked for him, so it can work for us.”

With profit sharing, any excess revenue made by a department goes back to its employees as a bonus.

“It teaches us all to be business owners,” Burgess said. “Which is pretty cool.”

Tucked back into the trees in Welches, the Resort at the Mountain offers entertainment, including some that doesn’t require snow, to visitors of Mount Hood. The 209-acre resort includes a 27-hole golf course, 157 lodging rooms, golf villas, and a spa, which is open daily and offers massages, facials, manicures, pedicures and more.

As part of an ownership sharing mentality, the Resort is offering special membership opportunities in September for neighboring residents and business owners. All Mount Hood and Sandy area residents are eligible to sign up for a Friends of the Resort Card, good for 20 percent discounts off regular room rates, golf and merchandise, spa services and products, restaurants and the gift shop. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Residents who sign up for a Friends of the Resort Card receive 20 percent off room rates and other services.

Card holders receive one card for themselves and five cards to hand out to their friends. When the friend cards are used, 5 percent of every dollar spent with them goes back to the original cardholder as a resort credit.

“Anyone that walks into our resort, we want them to have a good, home-away-from-home, experience,” added So.

In addition, the Resort offers specials to members of both the Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce and the Sandy Area Chamber of Commerce. When a business owner books a banquet for a large group, for which meeting room rental and setup fees are waived, from Sunday through Thursday, they also receive 50 percent off room rates, golf green fees and spa treatments.

“We do want to appreciate (and acknowledge) that we are all doing business in the same area,” So said.