Saturday, June 10, 2006
By SUE RYAN
News staff writer
May 24, 2006
The Port of Cascade Locks announced Tuesday that Escape Lodging Company, of Cannon Beach, Ore., is in the planning stages for a $12 million resort, spa, and restaurant on its property at the north end of town.
Port manager Chuck Daughtry said the planning has been going on for a year and an intent-to-lease agreement will be put before a vote of the port commission at its June 15 meeting.
“We’re definitely moving down the road toward it (signing the lease),” he said. “The intent to lease gives them (Escape Lodging) six to 12 months for due diligence on site.”
That period involves the company checking out engineering and other issues involved with developing the property.
The site of the proposed resort is at the very northern tip of the port’s property that extends out into the Columbia River and would be located on a 60-foot-high treed bluff covering eight acres of port land.
Escape Lodging CEO Tom Drumheller said they chose Cascade Locks because of its beauty and proximity to the Columbia River.
“I drive up and down the Gorge all the time because I have Cousins (restaurant) in The Dalles. I always drove by that section and thought wouldn’t it be wonderful to build a lodge out here someplace,” Drumheller said.
“It is such a special site; I thought something special should go there.”
The proposed project at Cascade Locks would include between 45 to 75 guest rooms and bungalows supported by a main lodge, spa, and restaurant. The project will create around 40 jobs and may begin as early as spring of 2007.
Drumheller said their project is not tied to the proposed casino for Cascade Locks.
“If it happens, a few more people may be looking there, if not we’ll still attract some,” he said.
Escape Lodging currently owns and operates the Ocean Lodge at Cannon Beach, the Inn at Cannon Beach, and Cousins Restaurant and Motel in The Dalles.