Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Fri, August 24 2012 at 4:13 PM, Updated: Fri, August 24 2012 at 4:23 PM
Three million dollars in upgrades have now been completed at the Running 'Y' in Klamath Falls.
General Manager David Ellis says the year-long renovation has been worth it...
"The initial numbers are about an 84% increase year over year - which I think is incredibly significant."
The Running 'Y' and two other Jeld-Wen resorts were purchased by the Northview Hotel Group in November of 2010. Improvements by the new owners included room renovations, and construction of a new restaurant in the lodge.
The Running 'Y' became a Holiday Inn Resort in January of this year. That partnership has resulted in a change in the way that the Running 'Y' is marketed.
The Intercontinental Hotel Group and Holiday Inn now promote the Running 'Y' for over 60 million frequent travelers.
"Probably the biggest change for us is the corporate traveler." Notes David Ellis. "One of the benefits of the partnership with Holiday Inn is our exposure to that corporate traveler, that may not have known we existed before."
It hasn't been easy to keep hotel rooms filled during a sluggish economy...but Ellis says people are still traveling, and taking vacations. "It's been probably one of the best summers on record for the Running 'Y'."
And Ellis hopes that trend will continue.
About 200 people are employed at the Running 'Y' Ranch and Resort during the peak of the season.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.