Silver Falls Lodge is reopened under new management, taking reservations for the summer
More accommodations at Silver Falls State Park are reopening after a six-month closure, and its goal is to serve a larger group of visitors than ever before.
The former Silver Falls Lodge and Conference Center will now be known as Smith Creek Village, the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation announced Friday, and under new management, the cabin, cabin, lodge room group. and ranches is taking reservations for this summer and beyond. .
Silver Falls Hospitality will be the lodge’s new concessionaire, succeeding California-based Urban Park Concessionaires, which had managed the state park sites for six years before terminating its nearly four-year contract in early 2020, so that state parks and hotels were closing. across the state amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Brooke Gerken, co-owner of Silver Falls Hospitality, said her business aims to transform what was primarily a wedding venue and conference center into a hotel experience, providing accommodation for individual families and guests alongside larger groups. important.
“What we hope to do here while we are here is to treat it more like a boutique hotel space and offer outdoor experiences,” said Gerken, such as workshops and activities. outdoors. “Our goal is to introduce people to the outdoors in a way that makes them comfortable and to provide different levels of accommodation to enable that.”
Guests can book any number of accommodations at Smith Creek Village, from small cabins to family lodges and a pair of “ranches” that can accommodate up to 75 people overnight.
Silver Falls Hospitality inherits not only the old lodge management contract, but also the cabins and lodge rooms themselves. Gerken said those familiar with the old conference center won’t see drastic changes overnight – other than upgraded amenities in all rooms – but noted that his company plans to redesign and redecorate the spaces over time. time.
In addition to upgraded rooms, Smith Creek Village plans to offer “iconic experiences” like photography workshops and outdoor painting classes by 2022. Gerken said the ultimate goal is “to attract more the community here and treat it more like a community center ”.
His company also operates the Big Leaf Coffeehouse, a cafe that primarily serves guests but is open to the general public. The South Falls cafe, located in the park’s main day-use area, will now be managed by the Oregon Commission for the Blind’s Business Enterprise Program, the state’s Parks Department said.
Located on the south side of the state park near the campground, Smith Creek Village was originally built by the Works Progress Administration as a youth camp before being transformed into a conference center in the 1970s Management has changed hands several times over the years, operating under contract with the Oregon Department of Parks and Recreation.
Gerken said that because the former managers typically rented out the entire property for large events, occasional visitors had fewer opportunities to stay there. By operating the property more as a boutique hotel, she said she hopes more people will experience the magnificent lodge cabins and rooms inside what is considered the crown jewel of the park system. ‘State of Oregon.
“We are very happy that park visitors have these nighttime options and services again,” Park Superintendent Guy Rodrigue said in a press release on Friday. “Silver Falls Hospitality got off to a quick start and we look forward to helping them succeed in this new partnership. “
Reservations for Smith Creek Village can be made online at smithcreekvillage.com, or 503-894-7533.