Walla Walla has the Marcus Whitman Hotel.
Spokane has the Davenport.
Portland boasts the Benson.
Seattle has the Fairmont.
The owner of The Lodge at Columbia Point in Richland hopes to add his boutique hotel to the list for the Tri-Cities.
“The Tri-Cities has needed an identity boutique hotel,” said owner Tom Drumheller.
The $8.5 million Lodge at Columbia Point has been nearly 10 years in the making and a labor of love for Drumheller. Construction began in September and the opening is expected in May.
Drumheller has driven from his home on the Oregon Coast to visit the hotel weekly for the past year, and while checking up on progress during a recent trip, he flipped through the photos of the hotel’s construction on his iPhone, a proud father familiar with each stage of the process.
The 82-room hotel on the waterfront of Columbia Point is next door to Anthony’s, LU LU’s Craft + Bar & Kitchen and Budd’s Broiler. North-facing windows showcase riverfront views while the south-facing ones showcase the sweeping lines of Badger Mountain.
“This location is special and you need a very special building here,” Drumheller said.
He’s CEO of Cannon Beach-based Escape Lodging, which also owns Cousin’s Restaurant, Tri-Cities, Cousin’s Country Inn and Restaurant, The Dalles, Oregon, The Ocean Lodge, Inn at Cannon Beach, Oregon and numerous other lodging properties and restaurants in Oregon and Washington.
The new 62,773-square-foot hotel will feature a riverfront patio with a fire pit, pool, spa services and a cozy library overlooking the lobby.
Room prices will range from $169 to $269 a night for deluxe rooms to $259 to $359 a night for the larger suites.
A gourmet breakfast buffet is included in the room cost. Pets also will be welcome.
The hotel will be unique enough to set it apart from other chain’s “cookie cutter hotels,” Drumheller said.
“My goal is once you stay here, you’ll come back,” he said. “No one else is like us, so we’ll be our own niche.”
The lodge will celebrate the region’s wines and winemakers, naming each of its rooms for an area winery, which will be promoted in a variety of ways, including winemaker dinners.
The general manager of the new hotel, Wendy Higgins, served as general manager for The Ocean Lodge in Cannon Beach, Oregon for the past eight years.
She was named Innkeeper of the Year by the Oregon Lodging Association in 2008.
Vancouver-based Integrity Structures is the general contractor. Abbott Architecture ,based in Woodinville, is the architect.
The hotel will employ 40 to 45 people.
“This is the right hotel, with a perfect location, at just the right time in the evolution of the Tri-Cities. We are thrilled to be able to offer this level of hospitality to the Tri-Cities community,” said Drumheller, who grew up in Walla Walla.
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