Picture yourself standing on a deck with a cold drink of your choice, looking out over the Cascades. While there are a number of places to do that around here, that image will soon also be a reality at one of Central Oregon’s largest resorts.
Black Butte Ranch, located 10 miles east of Sisters, is in the process of building a brand new, state-of-the-art lodge, which sits on the site of the former 50-year-old lodge.
“I think it’s probably been contemplated for at least five years,” said Shawn McCance, the resort’s CEO.
After the old lodge was torn down, crews broke ground on the new structure on November 8 of last year.
“The old lodge was a beautiful lodge, it was loved by a lot of people, but it was operationally really cumbersome,” McCance said. “It had multiple levels in it and it wasn’t ADA compliant and the kitchen was small. It didn’t capitalize on the views, so we had an upstairs lounge area that you really couldn’t see the beautiful mountain views that we have here.”
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In the updated structure, designed by architecture company Hacker, that all changes.
Kenny Tyler, a manager on the project from Kirby Nagelhout Construction, said the building’s main framing is 65% complete at this point.
“We have a full wrap-around, full height window view of multiple mountains,” he said. “We’ve got a very large fireplace in the main restaurant area that also spans to the second-level bar. It has a massive event space on the back deck.”
A 219-year-old ponderosa tree had to be removed to make way for the new structure and the wood is being reclaimed to make furniture for the future lodge.
The $19.5 million project is funded mainly by Black Butte Ranch homeowners who largely approved the change in two rounds of votes last fall.
Staff believes the nostalgia of the former lodge was the drawback for the roughly 30% of voters against the update.
“Really just that coming to the ranch for 50 years and celebrating milestones with their family, and having a really big connection to the space,” said Director of Sales and Marketing, Kim Schramer. “But I think we’ve really really tried to incorporate some of the elements that were important to the homeowners back into the new building.”
Those elements include the old beams and floorboards, all of the art, and the doorway and bar made from timber on-site.
“The fireplace was a really big milestone for us, we completed that pour around two weeks ago,” Tyler added. “It’s also a really big structural component of the building so now the framing can tie into it.”
It’s the largest individual structure yet to be built on the ranch.
“It’s very exciting to physically walk the space,” Schramer said. “You can see pictures, you can see animations, but to actually walk the space and visualize what it’s going to look like.”
“I think it’s going to be a destination for people to have special occasions,” McCance added. “I think weddings, anniversaries, reunions, I think it’s going to drive a lot of that activity. I think people are going to want to come here from all over Central Oregon to partake. It’s also going to be a spectacular dining experience, we’ve put a lot of effort into bringing on board an executive chef and really making the experience special.”
“I get more and more excited every day as I see the building come up out of the ground,” he added. “As I see the views in the space…it’s coming together in a beautiful way and it’s very exciting.”
The new lodge is on track to be finished in February 2023. Staff plans to hold an opening day celebration at that time.
For updates on the project, check the ‘Lodge Project’ page on blackbutteranch.com.