How many of you know of Pine Ridge Inn Hotel and Suites? If you are like me, you had no idea there is a lovely boutique Inn with stunning river views located on the Westside of Bend. I lived within a mile of it for three years and didn’t realize it was there until I started running by it. Catching my breath one day, I slowed down enough to take a good look behind the grove of pine trees at this quaint establishment on the corner of Mt. Bachelor and Colorado.
The building is set well off the street on the cliffs above the Deschutes River with signage at the BMC exit, off of Century Drive. Once you find the Inn, you realize you have come upon an old world gem. Upon entering, the feel and energy is that of a quaint small European hotel, the type run by the owners with all the personal touches.
This isn’t your chain Inn and never has been. Proprietor owned and managed for all fourteen years of its existence, it was sold to Matt and Jessica Williams in the summer of 2010. There are 20 rooms, 14 having a view of the Deschutes River. All the rooms have private baths and king size pillow top mattresses with updated linens. There are Jacuzzi tubs and some double tubs for added fun. All rooms have private patios and fireplaces. If you want a private home feel there is the Deschutes suite which has 800 square feet of luxury and amenities.
To learn more about the Inn, I sat down with Staci Carsten the recently hired director of sales and marketing.
CBN: So why is the Inn such a secret?
Carsten: (laughing) Yes, well it’s not supposed to be which is why they hired me to raise our profile in the market and in our community. Many of the locals don’t even know we are here. Secluded behind the pines we are hidden, which is part of our beauty. We want that privacy for our guests.
CBN: How are you raising the Inn’s profile in the market?
Carsten: Community is what makes Bend so special and we need to be a bigger part of that. You will see us sponsoring more community events and using the assets of our staff and our rooms to support them. If there is an auction for a charity we would like to participate with room gifts. If a charity needs labor to help execute the event we would like to volunteer our staff. I want our entire staff involved in the community. In the past most of our guests were from out of town. We are trying to be the Inn of choice for all of Central Oregonians as well as the tourist destination of choice.
CBN: I noticed you served me Metolious tea, a local vendor, is this part of your efforts to support the Bend community?
Carsten: Yes, our intention is to promote all things Bend. Not only do we have Metolious Tea but we serve Volcano’s Vineyards wine, 11 R Coffee and local brewery beers every evening at our nightly receptions. We are bringing on Angelina Skin Care products, Taz Lab pet products and Silly Pint products in the very near future. If it’s local we want to use it and make it available to our guests. We use Duck Delivery for our food and produce, as well as Cascade Office Supplies and Juniper Paper. In the summer we use local foods from the local farmer’s market as much as possible.
CBN: What makes you standout in the hospitality industry?
Carsten: We have the ultimate guest experience. Our rooms are top of the line in terms of quality and luxury. We offer a daily morning breakfast that is made to order from multiple choices. Not the typical buffet style that dominates the market. We have a nightly evening reception that includes appetizers and local libations. Our location alone is fantastic being on the bike trail and close to the river trail. We are a preferred lodging partner with Mt. Bachelor. As a partner, not only do we advertise on their website but we both offer discounted rates for our services, lodging and ski passes. This gives our guests an added value to their Bend experience with us. Another thing people enjoy is our pet amenities. We have a pet room and are very dog friendly. Being on the river trail, it’s great for dog walking and we have a dog yard area that is safe for them to run around in. Not a lot of luxury Inns take pets.
CBN: What are the goals for the future? Do you want 100 percent of the rooms filled nightly?
Carsten: No, if that was the case our rates would be too low. (laughing) No, 70-80 percent nightly fill ratio is what an Inn of this nature works towards and that is our goal. The new owners bought the property in June 2010. They tried different marketing strategies and different ideas and have come to the realization that many don’t even know the Inn is here due to the seclusion and the entrance location. Now the focus is marketing the property for its unique values and raising the profile in our home community. The greatest marketing tool we have is in our back yard, the Bend community.
This Inn presents in a very refined classic manner while staying with its mountain décor theme. They should be first on your call list for volunteers, lodging for guests and auction donations. “Community” was a theme that kept coming back in our conversation time and time again.
Pine Ridge Inn is located at 1200 SW Century Drive, Bend, 541-389-6137 www.pineridgeinn.com.
Elizabeth Ueland, International Sourcing Agent.