Longtime Sisters residents Steve and Robin Rodgers are taking their knowledge of business into the world of hotel ownership after purchasing a franchise for the midwestern GrandStay Hotels chain.
The Rodgers own and operate the Chevron gas station and plan to build a 39-room hotel on a parcel of land next to the station on Railway. The hotel will fit in with the Sisters western theme with a mountain feel, but won’t have a western facade, said Chris Mayes, principal of Mayes Architecture & Planning Inc. in Sisters. The hotel’s design will look more like a two-story mountain lodge with a porte-cochere.
GrandStay’s arrival in Sisters — the chain’s first in the Pacific Northwest — will add to the 277 hotel rooms available in the Sisters city limits, according to the Sisters Chamber of Commerce.
Most of GrandStay’s 32 hotels are in the Midwest — North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota. All the hotels are franchised, said Jon Kennedy, GrandStay Hospitality LLC president.
“We’re a unique chain,” Kennedy said. “Our chain tries to fit the product to the environment and to the community. When it comes to design, the product must fit the community.”
Typically, GrandStay looks for three-story properties that offer a minimum of 53 rooms, interior corridors and curb appeal with large exterior front columns giving a residential feel, according to the company’s website. The hotels generally have a lobby, indoor pool, fitness center and outdoor sport court/grilling area.
In Sisters, the Rodgers’ GrandStay will be on the northwest side of town off W Railway, said Patrick Davenport, Sisters Community Development director.
“We’re a popular tourist destination, and that obviously had something to do with it,” Davenport said. “We did offer the developer an expedited review process. The zoning was in place, and they needed the site-plan documentation.”
Mayes said the project’s building plans are before Deschutes County officials for review. Once approved, the project will be cleared for construction. Rodgers is hopeful to be ready for his first guest by the end of the year.
The hotel will have four extended-stay units with kitchenettes, two with whirlpool tubs, and the rest will be typical hotel rooms, Rodgers said. The hotel will have an indoor pool and on-site guest laundry machines.
“When we were looking at franchises, we wanted the flexibility to fit in with the community,” Rodgers said. “GrandStay fit in with the community. They were the right size, and they allowed me to make changes to the exterior to fit in our area.”
The property where the hotel will be has been in Rodgers’ wife’s family since the late 1970s, he said. The hotel will be run by Rodgers’ son. When the hotel is up and running, it will employ about 20 people.
Ashley Reed Okura, owner of the 76-room Best Western Ponderosa Lodge, said Sisters could benefit from a new hotel. In fact, the Best Western Ponderosa is in the process of a major renovation in the bulk of the regular rooms.
“We wish him nothing but the best of luck,” Reed Okura said. “In Central Oregon, we are still growing. There doesn’t seem to be any slowdown. As long as we can keep up the tourism, we’ll all benefit.”
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