Who will buy the Steamboat Inn, the legendary fly fishing resort on the Umpqua River in southern Oregon, which has only had three owners in six decades?
Broker Michelle Kennedy of Crystal Investment Property considers the ideal buyer to be someone who wants to capitalize on the prestige of the historic resort in the middle of the Umpqua National Forest while relying on experienced staff and loyal clients to maintain the profitability of the business.
The resort, on 23 acres of land leased to the US Forest Service along Steamboat Creek and the North Umpqua River, is listed for sale for $ 3.75 million.
Owners Melinda and Travis Woodward say they are in no rush to sell their ‘bucket list’ destination, renowned for world-class fly fishing, whitewater challenges for rafters and kayakers and hunting. to the waterfalls.
âThis is not a distress sale,â said Kennedy, whose commercial real estate company specializes in hospitality properties in the Pacific Northwest. She said the Steamboat Inn has a 10.2% cap rate of return based on expected income.
âWhoever runs it in the future will have to be passionate, visionary and unique in themselves to build on success,â Kennedy said.
The hospitality market was crushed by door-to-door orders in 2020 to reduce the risk of the coronavirus pandemic spreading. But the resort properties that have survived are recovering as people seek places to get away from it all and âdisconnect to reconnectâ with friends, family and the outdoors, Kennedy said.
The chalets, cottages and homes of the Steamboat Inn allow guests to be socially remote in the Calapooia Mountains west of the Cascade Range. The resort has 18 rooms and can accommodate up to 58 overnight guests. The Steamboat Inn restaurant can serve up to 200 diners per day.
The sale also includes a gift shop, owner’s or manager’s quarters, and wedding and event spaces.
Business at the Steamboat Inn was also temporarily affected by a huge snowstorm in 2019 and a series of wildfires. The Woodwards repaired $ 200,000 in fire damage last year and have made other improvements since purchasing the complex and adjacent properties in 2017 for $ 1.75 million.
âThe Pacific Northwest is attractive because it has a diverse and stable economy,â Kennedy said. “The steamboat attracts people who have money to spend on recreation and relaxation while sipping wine and enjoying delicious farm-to-table cuisine.”
The Steamboat hostel in 42705 North Umpqua Highway to Idleyld Park is 38 miles east of Roseburg and about a two hour drive from Eugene, Bend and Medford. Crater Lake National Park is a 50-minute drive on the Rogue-Umpqua Scenic Byway.
Adventure writer Zane Gray and other astute anglers traveled to Steamboat Creek and set up camps in the 1930s, preferring the setting of North Umpqua to the popular Rogue River.
Since the main lodge opened in 1957, President Jimmy Carter and famous chefs and winemakers have stayed there. It is also a picturesque setting for weddings, reunions, retreats and reunions.
Decades after the famous Fisherman’s Dinners began at the Inn, Oregon winemakers began to quietly judge each other’s vintages before they were released and Steamboat is credited with improving the reputation of Pinot Noir from the state.
A new owner could expand the inn’s respected culinary offerings by releasing a new cookbook and selling the inn’s signature spices, rubs and jams, Kennedy said. “The local Costco would like to sell gift cards” to dine and stay at the hostel, she added.
Kennedy thinks the new owner could be:
- Someone with a hospitality background ready for a personal project.
- A media-savvy ‘corporate COVID refugee’ who does not want to be part of an exploitation chain and can develop the impressive brand identity of the Steamboat Inn.
- Investors with similar charming properties who can easily incorporate another into their portfolio.
Gold miners in the late 1900s named the creek “Steamboat,” which was slang for unsuccessful prospecting, forcing gold diggers with empty pockets to jump on a boat and to leave the region.
The name is misleading because no wood-bottomed steamboat could navigate the rocky, white-water upper stretches of the North Umpqua River. Instead, fishermen followed trails to catch rainbow trout and salmon in the summer, and sport fishing camps sprang up in the 1920s, according to the owners of the Steamboat Inn.
Clarence Gordon got approval from the US Forest Service to create a rustic resort, the North Umpqua Lodge, near the water’s edge in the 1930s. The rate per night to stay in a cabin was $ 3.50 or more. $ 5 if a guest wanted a bath and meals.
Gordon then moved to the present site of the Steamboat Inn and in 1957 the main lodge was built.
New owners Frank and Jeanne Moore provided meals and shelter for the North Umpqua Road construction crews. They also built cabins, and travelers stayed for the scenery as well as for hiking and other outdoor activities.
The Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Management Area, a 100,000-acre sanctuary protecting Steamboat Creek watershed habitat and fish migration, was named after longtime conservationists; Frank, a WWII veteran and avid fly fishing enthusiast, and Jeanne, a wildflower expert who helped organize the annual Glide Wildflower Show.
In 1975, the Moors sold the complex to Jim and Sharon Van Loan, who were later joined by Patricia Lee. They expanded the inn to include the Hideaway Cottages, the library and the suites.
In 2017, the Woodwards purchased the resort on a bluff overlooking the North Umpqua River.
– Janet Eastman | 503-294-4072
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