New BBR Lodge construction underway
Last updated 5/12/2022 at Noon
Talking to Shawn McCance, new general manager and longtime Black Butte Ranch (BBR) employee, it’s easy to get excited about the new Lodge construction. Even considering the many view options throughout the region, McCance confidently believes the venue will have the best views in Central Oregon. With amenities like floor-to-ceiling windows on two stories, there will always be something new to see in the changing moods of the Cascade Range, Phalarope Lake, and the flower-filled meadows.
“When it’s complete, the Black Butte Ranch Lodge is going to be spectacular and gorgeous inside and out,” said McCance at the BBR Lakeside Bistro nestled next to Phalarope Lake and the new Lodge site. “It’ll be the place for special occasions like weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, and Mother’s Day, as well as lodging guests who want to have a special experience,” said McCance.”
Dates for opening the new Lodge have been pushed back slightly due to supply chain issues. The certificate of occupancy for the Lodge has an opening date of February 15, 2023. The first wedding scheduled on the Ranch will take place in late March of 2023.
Along with supply chain challenges, delays were due in part to efforts to save some large trees near the site. The effort involved retaining arborists to come out and look at the root structures.
“Ultimately, we ended up being able to keep one but had to take the other one down. It took time to get through that cycle of trying to save trees. We also had a challenge with window systems due to the supply chain issues. We have a great team on the project with Kirby Nagelhout Construction Company (KNCC). They are one of the best contractors in Central Oregon. Our architectural firm, Hacker, out of Portland has done amazing work too. The two combined have done a great job. KNCC has been our builder of choice for many projects, including the Lakeside Bistro, the General Store, and now the new Lodge,” said McCance.
Part of the appeal of BBR is the history and memories held dearly by many long-time homeowners and families who have been vacationing on the Ranch for generations.
“We have staff who have been here for decades too. Their connection to the people and the place add an additional experience too,” McCance said.
According to McCance, the Lodge was never intended to make a commercial return on investment.
“From day one, it’s been envisioned as a great amenity for homeowners,” he said. “We’re staying true to that.”
Those amenities are threefold in the downstairs portion of the new Lodge.
“The restaurant is separated by a huge fireplace that transitions into a festive bar area. That’s for everyone’s use,” said McCance.
Also in the downstairs area, spacious decks complete a dining space that opens up for inside and outside dining on the lake side. Farther into the Lodge you enter an event space with room for weddings up to about two hundred people. There’s a separate greenroom for bridal parties to prepare for the big day. The main event space has an air wall, so it can be subdivided into two smaller event spaces. It will also have spectacular views and decks.
Upstairs is the modern equivalent of the old Aspen Lounge, a favorite place to socialize and catch up with friends.
“There will be a bar targeted toward an over-21 crowd, and a lounge area to just hang out. There’s a large outside deck there too,” said McCance. “It’s a more lower-key hangout space to chill out or warm up.”
As far as décor, planners are still consolidating suggestions and incorporating feedback.
“We’re still working on décor ideas. We will have a wide range of demographics and ages enjoying the new Lodge,” said McCance.
Planners will create a fresh look that appeals to homeowners and the next generation of young families. Many of the parents spent time at the Ranch when they were growing up.
McCance says some of the trees that had to be taken out have been measured and are heading to a woodworker in the Portland area. They will be used to construct custom tables for the private dining upstairs and some of the larger tables in the bar and restaurant.
For McCance and the architectural firm focusing on furniture, wall art and equipment, the key is finding a balance that appeals to all guests. Different color boards and schemes are being discussed, all in an effort to reflect the desires of BBR homeowners.
“It’s going to be fresh, with a sense of tradition and sense of today,” he said. “We see the new Lodge as a venue that will be around for the next 50 years, just like the last Lodge.”
McCance acknowledged that, during construction, summer parking will be challenging.
“We’re asking our guests enjoying the pool or Lodge to carpool or ride bikes until we can complete the new parking area,” he said. “Right now, the construction is staged in the parking area. We will be adding 20 new spaces once construction is over.”
With over a 50-year history, the Ranch has been through many changes and renovations. Each time, the end result makes the resort that much more enjoyable, packed with fond memories of a truly unique place.