BEND, Ore. - It's been named home to one of the top golf courses in the United States.
And now, Pronghorn Resort is getting bigger.
"We're making a $20 million investment," General Manager Spencer Schaub said Tuesday. "We're going to be building a 105-room hotel."
Groundbreaking is slated for April. The three-story hotel will go up right by the private golf resort's clubhouse and is expected to open in early 2015.
But it's not the only resort to announce lofty plans in recent years -- just two years ago, another golf-themed resort was planned in Bend -- but Thornbugh Resort went belly-up before shovels could hit the ground.
Schaub said for Pronghorn's owner, Auberge Resorts, it's a calculated move -- and the timing is right.
"We feel very positive about the real estate market," Schaub said. "We feel very positive about the tourism market, and I think we have very positive times for Bend and Central Oregon ahead of us."
Tourism experts agree.
"With new rooms coming in the market, it gives us confidence to know this region has recovered to a point where we can sustain that growth and support that with increased visitor volumes," said Central Oregon Visitors Association President and CEO Alana Hughson.
Hughson said it's the first lodging boom since before the recession.
She said in addition to Pronghorn, new rooms are coming to the Hampton Inn in Bend's Old Mill, and resort communities Tetherow and Brusada Ranch are also adding lodging (something state land-use laws regarding destination resorts require as more homes are developed).
"It really lends to the strength of Central Oregon as a visitor destination and bodes well for economic stability year-round," Hughson said.
Back at Pronghorn, Schaub has other surprises: the resort is tripling the size of its spa and opening it to the community -- and farther down the road, it expects to open a special island for weddings.
Here's the text of the resort announcement:
Pronghorn, An Auberge Resort, a part of Auberge Resorts' collection of award-winning luxury hotels and world-class spas – announced a $20 million investment Tuesday for a new guest lodge, spa and enhancements to existing facilities to be completed in early 2015.
The new hotel will be named The Huntington Lodge at Pronghorn, An Auberge Resort after the Huntington Trail – a historic wagon route constructed in 1867 that ran through Deschutes County.
Here's the rest of the news release about the improvements coming to the resort north of Bend. NewsChannel 21's Kandra Kent has been working on this story today and will have a full report tonight:
The lodge will complement an existing full-service spa, two world-class golf courses designed by Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio, multiple restaurants and unparalleled access to countless outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, fly-fishing on the nearby Deschutes River and skiing at Mt. Bachelor, North America's 5th largest ski resort.
"Pronghorn encompasses all the attributes we take pride in throughout our collection of exceptional hotels and resorts–individuality, understated elegance and a spectacular natural setting," said Mark Harmon, CEO of Auberge Resorts. "Our development plans will reinforce Pronghorn's reputation as one of the best luxury resorts in the West and represent the exceptional cuisine and spa experiences for which Auberge is renowned."
The Huntington Lodge at Pronghorn, An Auberge Resort will be designed by San Francisco-based SB Architects, which specializes in the design of high-end hospitality destinations, including Auberge Resorts' Calistoga Ranch and many more.
Pronghorn has also hired celebrated local builder, SunWest Builders, who will start construction on the lodge in April 2014.
Surrounded by a 55,000-square-foot clubhouse, The Trailhead recreation center and the 18th hole of the Tom Fazio-designed golf course, the new 105-room lodge will sit at the very heart of the Pronghorn community and will provide stunning views of the golf course and nine peaks along the Cascade Mountain Range, including Mt. Bachelor, Broken Top, Three Sisters and Mt. Washington.
Taking its cue from The Clubhouse and the grand tradition of National Park lodges, the design of the hotel will emphasize the rustic elements that define mountain architecture.
"Our objective is to enrich the resort amenities and services that will be available to both our members and resort guests," said Spencer Schaub, General Manager, Pronghorn, An Auberge Resort. "We have an exceptional opportunity here and all parties are confident that we are on a clear path to establishing Pronghorn as the premiere residential community and resort in the Pacific Northwest."
Auberge Spa at Pronghorn:
The spa facilities will more than double in size to over 4,000 square feet and be rebranded to join the Auberge Resorts Spa Collection, featuring some of the most highly acclaimed spas in the world. The new facilities will include five treatment rooms, a couple's suite, indoor and outdoor relaxation rooms and spacious spa changing rooms.
Fitness Center at Pronghorn:
The Fitness Center has been updated to include a stand-alone movement studio, which provides the ideal location for spin, yoga and Pilates classes. Additionally, the exercise equipment has been upgraded with seven new LifeFitness treadmills, elliptical machines and stationary bicycles that complement the Center's existing free weights and LifeFitness equipment.
The Resort Group, a Honolulu-based company with extensive experience in creating world-class resorts, acquired Pronghorn in February 2012, and has ushered in a new era of growth and financial stability for the highly acclaimed development.
For more information visit AubergeResorts.com or call 866-372-1003.
About Pronghorn, An Auberge Resort
Pronghorn has received recognition as the premier resort community in the West and was first to offer a Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course and Tom Fazio Championship Golf Course side-by-side. In May 2012, Auberge Resorts assumed management of the highly acclaimed development's 48 rooms Residence Club & Residences and other resort facilities, including multiple restaurants, full-service spa and more. The property also features a Troon Golf academy, The Trailhead, a facility for family recreation and outdoor pursuits, world-class clubhouse, and immediate access to Central Oregon's numerous outdoor activities. For more information visit AubergeResorts.com or call 866-372-1003.
About Auberge Resorts
Auberge Resorts is a collection of exceptional hotels, resorts and private clubs, each with a unique personality that assures a memorable guest experience. While Auberge Resorts nurtures the individuality of each establishment, all are characterized by a set of communal elements: intimate, understated elegance; captivating locations that inspire exceptional cuisine and spa experiences; and gracious yet unobtrusive service. Among the Auberge collection of distinctive properties are: Auberge du Soleil, Napa Valley, Calif.; Calistoga Ranch, Napa Valley, Calif.; Solage Calistoga, Napa Valley, Calif.; Esperanza, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; The Inn at Palmetto Bluff, Bluffton, S.C.; Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colo.; the Malliouhana Hotel & Spa, Anguilla; The Auberge Residences at Element 52, Telluride, Colo., and Pronghorn Resort, Bend, Ore., with several others currently in development. For more information about Auberge Resorts, visit AubergeResorts.com.