Friday, March 25, 2011
The Best Western Hood River Inn is expanding and adding new amenities as it begins construction of an exercise room, new swimming pool and outdoor living space and prepares for an east wing addition.
The first phase of the project begins in March, with the groundbreaking for a new swimming pool. The new pool location will be on the east lawn next to the Columbia River, west of the Hood River Inn's private beach. The new 20-by-50-foot pool and 12-by-12 outdoor hot tub will be surrounded by 5,000 square feet of hardscape patios. The pool and spa will be enclosed by wood and glass fencing, with glass utilized to promote views.
The new exercise room will be constructed 45 feet to the east of the existing east wing of the Hood River Inn. The 1,600-square-foot fitness building will overlook the new pool and patio area, and will include fitness equipment, massage room, sauna, indoor spa, restrooms and changing rooms.
A 500-square-foot pool pavilion will be constructed between the freeway and the new swimming pool to provide a visual and sound barrier, as well as a place for guests to relax overlooking the pool. Part of the pavilion will be dug below grade.
"We've been upgrading the hotel for years, and felt the pool and exercise room should be raised to the quality of the rest of property," explains General Manager Chuck Hinman. "Relocating the pool and spa allows us to free up property for more parking area to serve the planned increase in guest rooms, as well."
Construction of a third floor on the Inn's east wing will begin in late October. "We expanded the Gorge Room five years ago to accommodate larger conference groups," Hinman states. "We've been successful at attracting larger groups ever since; and the next phase of our plan is to add guest rooms to enable us to accommodate guests displaced by convention rooms."
Hinman said hotel guests should see no disruption of service, though things might be crowded on the grounds those times when the hotel is hosting a large conference.
The east wing addition will add 36 guest rooms, and when complete will raise the number of hotel rooms to 194. In addition to new space, the renovations will add energy-efficient windows, an elevator, upgrades to the heating system and fire sprinklers in the entire building.
The east wing expansion, exercise room, swimming pool, spa and landscaping were designed by Mike Gorman of BLRB/GGL Architects of Bend. The contractor on the project is Design Structures LLC of The Dalles.
The new swimming pool is scheduled to open late June; demolition of the existing pool will start then. The east wing expansion will be completed in the spring of 2012.
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Lawnmower torches Arbor Vitae on Portland Drive
The riding lawn mower driven by Norma Cannon overheated and made contact with dry arbor vitae owned by Lee and Norma Curtis, sending more than a dozen of the tightly-packed trees up in flames. The mower, visible at far right, was totaled. No one was injured; neighbors first kept the fire at bay with garden hoses and Westside and Hood River Fire Departments responded and doused the fire before it reached any structures. Westside Fire chief Jim Trammell, in blue shirt, directs firefighters. The video was taken by Capt. Dave Smith of Hood River Fire Department. Enlarge