Go Tell It on the Mountain

Oregon inn receives face-lift; targets families from Ore., Wash., Calif.

By: Marty Wentzel

A faded Oregon icon is undergoing a complete makeover that officials say will reestablish it as a top year-round Pacific Northwest destination.

Dating back to 1971, Inn of the Seventh Mountain is being redeveloped and repositioned as a 300-unit, full-service property with guest rooms, suites and condominiums. Utah-based Fandango Resorts is overseeing the project and will manage the renovated property.

“Our main objective is to lure back the leisure guest who came here for 20-plus years, but was turned away by the lack of service and updates to the product over the last decade,” said Davis Smith, sales and marketing director for Inn of the Seventh Mountain. “At the same time we want to attract the 30-somethings who came here with their parents during the ’70s and ’80s, and who want to come back now with their own kids.”

The inn boasts a prime location in Central Oregon’s Deschutes National Forest, 14 miles from Mount Bachelor and five miles from Bend.

When it opened, the inn was an instant hit with skiers. In the early 1980s, it expanded into a four-season resort by adding river rafting on the Deschutes River, horseback riding, tennis courts, hiking, fishing, children’s programs, volleyball, basketball and two outdoor pools.

The inn reaped many years of success until it developed the Seventh Mountain Golf Village, now Widgi Creek. According to Smith, funds were distributed incorrectly and the resort filed for bankruptcy in the early 1990s. A series of subsequent managers alienated longtime repeat guests by running the inn without improvements. The resort filed for bankruptcy again in October 2001, and Fandango Resorts was contracted to oversee the renovations in December 2001.

Smith said 85% of the inn’s market comes from the Pacific Northwest, with 15% from other states, primarily Northern California. With that in mind, the inn will focus most of its promotional efforts on Oregon and Washington communities during the first year.

“Families are a big market for us because we offer activities for all age groups,” Smith said.”

The renovated property will feature an elaborate new interior design, upscale cuisine, an arts program, recreational amenities and concierge services.

Inn of the Seventh Mountain remains open during renovations. Renovated rooms are scheduled to be ready by March 2003.

A two-night package for $222 includes a pair of all-day lift tickets for Mount Bachelor and two breakfast vouchers. The package is valid for stays through April 30, 2003 (Closed Dec. 20 to Jan. 4, 2003).

Call 800-452-6810.