Always dream of owning a resort in the Cascades?

Three of Central Oregon’s lakeside resorts, staples of family vacations and fishing trips for decades, are for sale.

The most recently listed, Cultus Lake Resort, came available Monday at an asking price of $2.5 million. Crane Prairie Resort & RV Park and Paulina Lake Lodge have been for sale for about a year, Crane Prairie for $999,000 and Paulina Lake for $2 million.

“There’s been a cluster (of resort properties for sale) in the last year because of the improved market,” said Graham Dent, listing broker for Cultus Lake Resort. “Usually people buy these properties and businesses and operate them for long periods of time and establish long relationships with their customers.”

Two other resorts sold during the past year: Twin Lakes Resort, west of La Pine on the shore of South Twin Lake, in May and The Lodge at Suttle Lake, about 13 miles west of Sisters, in September.

At Cultus Lake Resort, Dan and Sandie Campbell, have run the 8-acre, 23-cabin operation for 19 seasons. They’re ready to retire. “We’re getting a little older, and it’s time to enjoy our summers,” Sandie Campbell said Tuesday. “We’re just gonna ride our Harleys and have some fun.”

The resorts encompass only the businesses, which may include cabins, marinas, docks, lodges, restaurants and other structures, even sometimes the driveway gravel. The U.S. Forest Service is the landlord; new owners must apply for their own long-term special-use permits.

“They can continue to operate until the permit is issued,” said Rick Wesseler, special-uses program manager for the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District of the Deschutes National Forest. “We do a financial review of the new, prospective owner. It generally takes at least three months to complete once we get the information.”

All three resorts lie within the Deschutes National Forest. Paulina Lake Lodge is also within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument and the only one of the three that operates year-round. Snowmobilers and backcountry skiers enjoy the winters there; hikers, bikers, anglers and campers rule in summer. A 28½-pound brown trout caught at Paulina Lake in 2002 still stands as the state record, according to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. “It was a small whale,” said Jake Polvi, the listing broker. “It was incredible.”

Paulina Lake Lodge, 16 acres and 14 guest cabins, also comes with a Forest Service special-use permit to operate snowmobile tours in the surrounding forest, Polvi said. Owners Karen and Todd Brown have been there 16 years. Karen Brown, like the other resort owners, said some guests return every summer.

“Our longest guest has been coming for 70 years,” she said. “They came as babies, and now they’re coming with their kids and grandkids.”

Cultus Lake Resort, like Crane Prairie Resort, is situated along the Cascade Lakes Highway, 47 miles from Bend. It covers about 8 acres and comes with 23 cabins, an employee dormitory, marina, lodge with restaurant and ancillary buildings. The resort attracted “a ton of interest” from interested buyers, who must prequalify, Dent said.

“We can’t conduct tours for each buyer that expresses interest,” he said.

At Crane Prairie Resort, 52 miles from Bend, owners Patrick and Jody Schatz are also ready for a change. Patrick Schatz started working at the 19-acre resort in 1964, at age 16. Living and working there in summer is its own reward, he said.

Rustic charm and lakeside settings aside, running a resort can be an unending task. The owner-operators, families in these three cases, carry the financial and maintenance burdens through good years and bad.

“Every day is different for a working owner,” said Sandie Campbell. “For about 90 days, it’s seven days a week, 12 hours, 14 hours a day. But that’s offset by having five months off.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7815, jditzler@bendbulletin.com


Source: BB Real Estate – topStory

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