Klamath County, Ore. – One of Klamath County’s top tourist destinations will soon have a motel on site.
The White Sage drummers helped to open Tuesday morning’s ceremony, followed by a groundbreaking for a new hotel by Klamoya Casino.
“After 20 years with our casino, we now have a hotel to compliment it, our Travel Center, all in one area,” said Klamath Tribal Council member Kathleen Hatcher-Mitchell. “I think it will be great for the Tribe, and for the county.”
Klamoya Casino is currently Klamath County’s second-biggest tourist attraction, eclipsed only by Crater Lake National Park.
Hatcher-Mitchell points out that inclusion of a motel could expand that tourist base. “It brings more of a destination resort type feel, rather than a ‘We’re going to go there for the day.’ So this will help get people to come and stay, and tour the area.”
The 76 room ‘Choice Hotels Sleep Inn’ is a six and a half million dollar project.
Klamath Tribes Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jared Hall notes that the Tribes worked closely with Choice Hotels on the planning. “They came with a pre-packaged design plan that really cut a lot of the up front design work – which is very beneficial, or else this project would probably be delayed another six months.”
Hall adds that construction is expected to take about 12 months, weather permitting. “We’re hoping at this time next year we’ll be announcing the grand opening.”
Once the hotel is built, the next long-term plan for the complex will be expansion of the casino.
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.