ORIG 07/17/2014 Ryan Brennecke / The Bulletin

Work continues Thursday afternoon on the Hampton Inn & Suites in the Old Mill District.

Hotel business heats up in Bend

Two new hotels may join the soon-to-open Hampton Inn & Suites

By Rachael Rees / The Bulletin

Published Jul 18, 2014 at 12:01AM

Developers have proposed two new hotels within a mile of the nearly finished Hampton Inn & Suites in the Old Mill District.

The Hampton, which is expected to open around Labor Day, will have 114 rooms, and if the two proposed hotels get built, all three combined would add 270 rooms to Bend’s 2,088-room inventory.

A South Dakota company filed a preliminary application with the city of Bend on July 8 to build a four-story My Place Economy Extended Stay on SW Bond Street, and city planners expect Braxton Development of Bozeman, Montana, to apply to build a 90-room SpringHill Suites at the former Brooks-Scanlon crane shed site on Southwest Industrial Way.

Another preliminary application was filed for a hotel off Parrell Road this year, but it has not moved forward. Since December, two new hotels have opened: Wall Street Suites and the Tetherow Lodges.

Walt Ramage, broker at Fratzke Commercial Real Estate, attributes the growing interest to the rise in tourism, as well as the improved economy.

“I’m actually in discussions with another hotel company right now that’s interested in Bend,” he said, although he couldn’t disclose details.

According to Visit Bend, the city’s tourism promotion agency, lodging occupancy is on the rise and exceeding prerecession levels.

“Bend’s tourism industry is experiencing unprecedented growth, and hotel developers are responding to that increased demand,” Doug La Placa, CEO and president of Visit Bend, wrote in an email.

Over the past 10 years, Bend’s lodging inventory has not kept up with the growth in activities and services within the tourism industry, he wrote.

New lodging inventory will make Bend more attractive as a destination for leisure travelers, business travelers and meeting and event planners.

Joe Dinger, vice president of development for Pacific Northwest My Place Hotels LLC, said he hopes to open a 30,000-square foot, 64-unit extended-stay hotel at 500 SW Bond Street.

The company plans to close on the purchase of the 2.5-acre parcel of land in the next 60 days, with a goal of breaking ground on the $2.5 million to $3 million hotel by late fall, he said.

After traveling throughout Oregon, Dinger said, Bend was selected as the first Oregon location for the franchise.

Wayne Purcell, owner of The Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center in Bend, said having so many new hotels in one area could hurt certain properties that compete in that market. Hotels are doing well in the summer months, but year-round occupancy is not high for all hotels, he said.

“It’s just a matter of not getting oversaturated in any one particular market and the challenge is going to continue to be that off season,” he said.

Matt Blackburn, general manager of Hampton Inn & Suites Bend, believes the market will handle the additional rooms, some of which might be built a few years from now.

Blackburn said it’s hard to find a room any night of the week at the Hilton Garden Inn in the Old Mill District. It’s owned by Idaho-based AmeriTel Inns, the company constructing the Hampton.

“We’re excited to be here in Bend and have an opportunity to serve Bend and to help invite people to Bend,” he said.

— Reporter: 541-617-7818,