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An outdoor music venue for Dee?

Local developer planning concert amphitheater at old lumber mill site

 A preliminary de-sign drawing submitted to the county gives an overview of the DeeTour facility.


A preliminary de-sign drawing submitted to the county gives an overview of the DeeTour facility.

Will Dee become the premier outdoor concert venue in the state of Oregon?

Local developer Jason Taylor hopes so.

Taylor, a Hood River native who co-owns Lost Lake Resort, is currently seeking county approval of a commercial land use permit to construct an outdoor concert venue on the site of the former lumber mill in Dee. Preliminary planning documents pitch the project as having the potential to be “the go-to venue in Oregon” for events, with the intent of attracting “national music talent.”

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THE DEETOUR amphitheater planned for the site of the old Dee lumber mill will feature an 8,500-square-foot stage and pavilion (depicted in the bottom drawing submitted to the county), lawn seat-ing, a food cart commons area, and parking for approximately 3,100 vehicles.

Documents show the facility, which is referred to as the “DeeTour” amphitheater, would include “an 8,589-square-foot concert pavilion building, three parking lots totaling 3,095 parking spaces, a pedestrian bridge crossing the East Fork of the Hood River, mobile food cart commons area, and a large lawn area for patron seating.” The documents also list the expected attendance for some of the concerts to be between 3,000 and 5,000.

The DeeTour site, located about 12 miles south of Hood River near the intersection of Highway 281 and Lost Lake Road, currently contains the remnants of a lumber mill that closed after burning in 1996. Taylor says the area needs to be revitalized and needs to put people to work as it once did.

“The site needs a second phase of its life,” Taylor said, “and I’ve been thinking of what that might be for years.”

Taylor is developing the land through his real estate company, Appollo Holdings LLC, on two parcels of land that are split by the East Fork of the Hood River. Pasquale Baron owns the east parcel by way of River’s Edge Holdings LLC, and Andy von Flotow owns the other through Dee Lands LLC. According to preliminary concept drawings, the majority of the parking spaces would be sited on the west parcel and patrons would cross footbridges over the East Fork to reach the stage area and venue facilities. Most of the mill buildings that currently stand would remain, but would be fenced off.

Taylor envisions DeeTour providing a relaxing place for guests to take in the dulcet strains of musical acts in the vein of James Taylor and Mumford and Sons — “No Megadeth or Metallica,” Taylor said — while looking at the glaciers of Mount Hood or listening to the East Fork babble, all while sitting on a grassy lawn surrounded by the walls of what Taylor described as a “natural amphitheater.”

“It sells itself,” he said of the site.

The DeeTour amphitheater is anticipated to be in operation year-round, with a majority of events occurring mid-May to early September with the intent to hold 14 weekly summer music concert events. Plans also include making DeeTour available for weddings and commercial events.

Taylor said he plans on taking “baby steps” with the development and will likely focus on smaller, more local musical acts at first. He also mentioned he wants “to do business with locals” and would like to hear from area food cart vendors who might be interested in participating.

Groundbreaking, which will consist of removing large amounts of concrete slab left over from the mill, is expected to begin late this spring. Taylor said he would like to start holding concerts this summer, but that will depend on the pace of development.

The comment period on the project ends Monday, Feb. 3, and the county expects to make a decision on the application “on or around” Friday, Feb. 21. For more information, contact Hood River County Community Development at 541-387-6840.

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

He better not. I live right down the street from there and would very much NOT like the traffic and noise. Plus other neighbors of mine would protest this

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Jason Taylor- PLEASE DONT DO THIS!! Me and my husband just bought a house there. would be very horrible for traffic and noise pollution

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gildevo 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Here come the NIMBY's before the ink is even dry on another chance at some economic development. Great idea Mr. Taylor, you have my support! Does everyone in this area think they can shut the door behind them once they buy a house here? The needs of the many out weigh the "desires" of the few. We need jobs here! Sadly the only job creation we attract here is for the lawyers the NIMBY's employ to obstruct every opportunity that comes our way. As with any proposed venue the issues of traffic and noise will be addressed. Please go forward with this plan and know that some us can still see the bigger picture of opportunity for all. Thank you, sir, I wish you and all of us success!

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

gildevo- where does it say it will bring jobs? and excuse me if you lived near there you would be saying the same thing. You don't live near there and I'm sure Im not the only one who feels this way. think of the traffic and the noise it will bring. I live in the area because of the natural peace and tranquility and I don't want that ruined for a modern day woodstock.

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gildevo 6 months, 3 weeks ago

kadunn- I might suggest you read the article again and review the drawings for the venues facilities. The jobs will come from the local food trucks to feed the people, the people to assist parking the cars, and the stage techs that set up and load out the stage acts. Not to mention the summer visitors that come to stay and spend in local establishments.If you read the article again you might notice the part about not allowing a "Woodstock" scenario.Who knows you may find something you would care to listen to. I do live in this valley and I moved here knowing that I share this valley with orchards and vineyards. I do hear the music on summer evenings coming from the wineries near me. The difference is I don't want to shut them down or deny them the same experience of living here that I enjoy. The county has asked for development of the old mill site, that use to provide jobs to our community. If they started the mill back up, I'm quite sure you would oppose that to, for fear that you may hear or smell that too. This is a fine alternative. I do live here and have my "natural peace" and "tranquility" disturbed by the orchardist who go about their business of agriculture throughout the year, but I don't want to shut them down ether. We live here together and do what we must together to have a life here. Together! I do think of the noise and traffic people like yourself have brought here once they thought they could close the door to others once they made their "purchase" here. And quite frankly I not very happy about that ether. I hate to break it to you, but welcome to the real world, were expectations of utopia are being sold daily down at your local realtors office.

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joed 6 months, 3 weeks ago

what would be wrong with all types of music?

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

if you want to have a voice and be heard you have til feb 3rd to protest. the email address to protest is hrvrc1@gmail.com or peterc@gorge.net the planning dept email address that eric walker was returned so the actual planning dept email address is plan.dept@co.hood-river.or.us the commissioners admin address is administration@co.hood-river.or.us please help me in voicing your opinion we have rights

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whatsshaking5 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I grew up on Dee Hwy and currently still live on Dee Hwy. In the 30+ years I have seen a huge growth of traffic on the highway, in the summer and in the winter. Dee Hwy is a very dangerous highway, and is not designed to accommodate an even a heavier traffic flow. Not to mention the bicyclist who are risking their lives riding the highway, with the current traffic flow. I do agree that something should be done with the old mill sight but this is not a good solution.

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gildevo 6 months, 3 weeks ago

kadunn- If you read the article again and review the drawings for the venue many of your concerns are taken into consideration. The jobs will come from the construction of the venue, the local food trucks to feed the visitors ,the groundskeepers to care for the site, the people to help park and direct the cars, and stage techs to set up and take down the acts. Not to mention the people that will come stay and spend in local business. Surely you have noticed that we are quite popular with visitors in the summer months. Who knows ,you yourself may even enjoy some music there. The county has asked for something to be done with the site. Seeing how it is an old mill site, it is probably zoned for some commercial or industrial activity. Something you should have considered before purchasing near the site. I think they call that due diligence prior to purchase. I do live in this area and near there. I live in close proximity to orchards and wineries that create a little noise and traffic in pursuit of their agricultural business . On summer evenings I hear music on the air from the wineries, but i do not wish to shut them down . I realize that other people enjoy the very things about our community that I do. It is also their right to do so. And as for your concern about a "Woodstock" scenario, again reread the article.Who knows we might even get the Oregon Symphony to come play! The opportunies are exciting. We all benefit from the orchardists, wineries, and visitors that come here and many depend on them. Please stop trying to shut the door behind you and learn to live together. Or might I suggest you move further back into the woods where you may find your "tranquility" and "natural peace"and not next door to an industrial site that was there long before you were. I hope you have a pleasant protest and find that Mr. Taylor is doing us all a great service. Have a nice day!

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I do not live in Dee. I live off Dee hwy which is why I just don't want the traffic. As far as "thinking about my home purchase". that is none of your business but since you insinuated i didnt think about my selection I will tell you that we live in USDA land and my husband is a life long resident who was born and raised in hood river. we have plenty of land and quiet pine trees. Not some loud , traffic causing amphitheater arena.

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

what about something quiet like a winery or something. not that I'm opposing growth I just don't want the traffic jams in the summer along where I drive home.

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Taylor envisions DeeTour providing a relaxing place for guests to take in the dulcet strains of musical acts in the vein of James Taylor and Mumford and Sons — “No Megadeth or Metallica,” Taylor said — while looking at the glaciers of Mount Hood or listening to the East Fork babble, all while sitting on a grassy lawn surrounded by the walls of what Taylor described as a “natural amphitheater.” = Woodstock

sorry this description just screams woodstock and we all know what happened there.

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nickeby 6 months, 3 weeks ago

If the average vehicle is 14' long (maybe conservative given our societal penchant for SUVs) then 3,000 vehicles lined up bumper-to-bumper is 8 miles long. Coincidentally, 8 miles is not a bad approximation for the distance from Lost Lake Rd. to Windmaster Corner.

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nickeby 6 months, 3 weeks ago

@gildevo, and anyone else who thinks local residents should just quiet down and enjoy the great music...

I know this is internet commenting and all, so a certain amount of hyperbole has to be involved. But to suggest that the noise nuisance from a 5,000 seat concert venue can be equated to the noise nuisance from our local orchardists is a pretty far stretch.

Look, I don't think anyone is arguing that the site should not be rehabilitated and its potential benefit put back into the economy. I'm sure any number of great light industrial or light commercial uses can be found for this land. Put a sawmill there, no problem. But we're not talking about a normal commercial enterprise here. A normal business does not require the relatively simultaneous arrival and departure of 5,000 people, and I don't think it's anything but common sense to see the ramifications of that sort of use.

The existence of this venue is something most people in the county can enjoy, and then ignore, but for those of us living in Dee flat, it would be in our faces every day, affecting our ability to do a basic thing that everyone takes for granted: coming and going as we please to and from our homes. We won't be able to just enjoy the benefits, we'll have to live with the drawbacks in a way that nobody else in the county will, because there is one and only one way in and out of this neighborhood: straight through the middle of this horror of an idea.

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hrcitizen 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh my gosh, do you all realize that to get to this venue you would have 3000-5000 people driving through Hood River to get there? That is insane, the roads can barely handle the traffic now.

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kadunn 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Gildevo- Furthermore to suggest that someone "just move deeper in the woods" is not only inconsiderate but immature. how would you like it if something was being done that you didn't agree with and someone told you just to move?. Also, what is a Nimby anyway? you use words that nobody understands but you. how is putting others down going to make your point?

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whatsshaking5 6 months, 3 weeks ago

I want to know why the Hood River County Planning is not having some sort of town meeting for the local community to voice there opinions on the subject. I have never seen an type of decision that is such a big one get even the opportunity to even be viewed with out holding a public speaking. Everyone in the community that wants to voice there opinion on this needs to be able too. This is a terriable idea, and needs to be stopped, so as a community we need to pull together and make sure this does not happen. So someone tell me and the rest of all of my nieghbors, when do we get to publicly speak and tell you all the reason on how this will affect our commmunity???????

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gildevo 6 months, 3 weeks ago

Nimby stands for Not In My Back Yard and is used frequently in these issues. The numbers I read are 3000 not 5000 and limited to 12 to 14 shows a summer. Not everyday. You are correct, putting you down was both unnecessary and inappropriate. And for that I will say I am sorry. And publicly apologize here to you and to Mr.Taylor, whose job I just made a whole lot tougher. After all he is just trying to do something good for us all here. Kadunn, you did state in your first post you had just bought a home here. And the 8 mile traffic jam is quite a stretch of hyperbole as well everyones use of the "facts"here. In closing you can all thank me for I certainly got you all stirred up and now you can get rolling with your resistance to any and all change that may come in the future. Be it a Walmart, cell tower,golf course, High school ,casino ,cable park,bicycle path, or amphitheater this community has shown time and again it doesn't like change. And forgive me but some of us are just tired of hearing it. The people they just keep a coming and will continue to do so. Good luck and god bless. Oh and did I mention, I think its a great idea! Lets vote on it and see who wins.

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Edward 5 months, 4 weeks ago

I'm excited for this. Can't wait for some great music in the Gorge. Oh, and I'm a local for all you locals that love to hate transplants and blame every thing on them. Why do you all insist on trying to keep things the way they were 30 years ago? Every thing changes everywhere. Get used to it and maybe enjoy some of the amenities.

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