HOTEL, EVENTS CENTER PLAN PRAISED
October 22, 2000 11:00 pm

A proposal to build a 130-unit resort hotel and a 400-seat all events center in the Port of Brookings Harbor was met with enthusiasm Thursday night by port officials.

Ive heard a lot of comments about the presentation youre going to hear, said Commissioner John Zia. And about 100 percent of it has been positive.

Zia introduced Everett Foster, president of Trans Pacific Construction in Portland.

Although there are still details to work out, we have plans to add to your landscape down here a $16 million project, Foster told the commission.

I think we will merge with plans you already have for an all events center and a performing arts facility, he said.

Foster said the plans are for a 130-room luxury hotel with a 6,000-square-foot. restaurant. The hotel would be built on a 3.5 acre site along the Chetco River on the ocean side of Chetco River Coast Guard Station.

The all events center would be a 14,000-square-foot building on a 1.66-acre site at the corner of Boat Basin Road and Lower Harbor Road. The lot is adjacent to the Smugglers Cove Restaurant and across the street from the Best Western Motel.

Foster introduced Joe Van Lom, president of the Portland-based Architects Van Lom amd Co. Van Lom who has ties to the Brookings Harbor area. He is married to Cynthia, the oldest daughter of Harbor residents Ed and Mickey Freeman.

Van Lom showed drawings of the hotel and events center.

As you know, there is a flood plain situation at the port, so we felt we would raise the building up with the parking garage, rather than hauling in a lot of fill, Van Lom said.

Van Lom said the three-level 130-unit resort hotel would include 30 timeshare condominium suites on the top floor.

Weve angled the hotel slightly to provide the U.S. Coast Guard a view of the mouth of the Chetco, Van Lom said.

Coast Guard Lt. Bob Evans told the commission he had been in discussion with the developers and he felt they could work something out so watchstanders could see all of the area they need to cover.

We felt the previous plans obstructed our view of the bar, Lt. Evans said.

We ask that the designs put forth take our needs into consideration. It may be necessary to move our tower or increase the height of the tower.

Foster suggested the hotel could put in a secure elevator to a tower at the corner of the hotel for the Coast Guard watchstander. Master Chief Boatswains Mate Fred Bowman, commanding officer of Chetco River station, said there were details to be worked out, but Im sure well be able to do so.

Commission Chair Lloyd Whaley said the all events center would eliminate most of the boat storage bone yard.

What about Phase 3, Whaley asked

That would take out several small buildings, Port Executive Director Russ Crabtree said.

Van Lom said a boardwalk would be built along the river for fishermen and strollers and parking would also be extended for port visitors.

He said the public restroom facilities would be maintained by the hotel staff.

What would be the time frame, Commissioner Ken Byrtus asked.

We feel we can be ready for opening in the spring of 2002, Foster replied.

Brookings Mayor Bob Hagbom rose from the audience to say he had learned of plans for the hotel in September and had to hold myself back from cheering.

I think this is one of the greatest things we could have for our community, Hagbom said. We have a destination golf course and this will be a destination hotel.

I think the commission is eager for you to get going on this, Commissioner Whaley said.

I think this is a great idea, Commissioner Zia said.

Commissioner Norma Fitzgerald added, I cant believe this has come along. And we dont even have to hold bake sales to pay for it!

The commission voted unanimously to approve the presentation in concept and authorized Russ Crabtree to negotiate terms of the agreement.