Cultus Lake Resort changes hands


  • Visitors swim and boat around the sandy beach of Cultus Lake Resort over the summer. Cultus is a popular recreational spot in the Central Oregon high country.
    (Ryan Brennecke/Bulletin file photo)































The new owners of Cultus Lake Resort are Kate and Devan Dunn, who have been operating Twin Lakes Resort since 2015.

The Dunns bought the Cultus Lake business March 9 from Sandie and Dan Campbell, who’d operated the 8-acre resort, which is 45 miles southwest of Bend off Cascade Lakes Highway, for two decades.

“It came down to the fact that Cultus was available, and we were very familiar with the resort,” Kate Dunn said. “We love it, just on a personal level. Cultus is one of our inspirations, actually, in buying Twin Lakes.”

Dunn said the only change they’re planning is to introduce online reservations. Otherwise, traditions like rib dinners on Friday and Saturday nights and a Saturday morning breakfast buffet will continue, she said.

Cultus Lake had been listed for sale since August 2016, most recently for $2.2 million, said Graham Dent, a broker with Compass Commercial Real Estate Services who represented the Campbells. The transaction included all assets of the resort, including the main lodge with general store and country restaurant, 23 cabins and private marina, merchandise, equipment and boats.

The resort operates under a U.S. Forest Service special-use permit, so no real estate was involved in the sale. The sale price was not disclosed, but Dent said it was below the list price.

Cultus Lake Resort attracted a lot of interest from people in the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle and Portland who were looking for a lifestyle change, Dent said. “They liked the idea, but the reality of grinding it out, daily operations of the resort, was something they weren’t prepared for.”

The Dunns will spend the summer living at Cultus Lake and split their time between the two resorts, Kate Dunn said. They’ll have to hire a few more staff members for Cultus Lake, which typically employed eight to 10 people under the Campbells, she said.

Twin Lakes Resort employs 15 people in the summer, Dunn said.

The unexpected temporary closure of the campground at Cultus Lake for logging by the Forest Service to remove diseased trees affected business at the resort store and restaurant, Dent said. The resort also saw some cancellations because of wildfire smoke but quickly filled those slots from a waiting list, he said.

There’s always something that could upset a seasonal business, Dunn said. “You just gotta have good insurance and hope for the best, to a certain extent,” she said.

The Campbells sold the resort so they could retire. “Our family wishes Kate, Devan and their family all the best,” Sandie Campbell stated in a press release. “We hope they enjoy everything that makes Cultus such a special place. Cultus will always hold a special place in our hearts. We will miss it and all the extended family we have had the pleasure in meeting and serving.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7860, kmclaughlin@bendbulletin.com

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