(Aspen Hall | Photo courtesy of Wedding Spot/Aspen Hall)
One of Bend Park and Recreation District’s (BPRD) most popular venues, Aspen Hall, has received a major facelift, improving both accessibility and aesthetics.
A beloved gem of the community — located in an idyllic setting and spacious grounds within the natural haven of Shevlin Park, four miles west of town — the facility has benefited from wholesale improvements, including parking lot upgrades and driveway and entrance widening meaning it is now fully ADA-compliant.
New concrete flooring has replaced the former 80’s vintage tile, while bathrooms throughout have also benefitted from remodeling.
BPRD Communications Manager Julie Brown said, “We are always looking to refresh our policies and programs to better serve the community, and this project was on a list of desired updates, especially in light of the high demand and limited supply for rentable space in the area.
“It is a wonderful venue for events from meetings to weddings, typically hosting three ceremonies a weekend during the summer, and we want to make sure it is as accessible as possible across the spectrum of our local population, as well as continuing to be an attractive destination.”
The hall is noted for its lodge-like feel, with exposed beams, a large wood-burning fireplace and wood-framed windows, and sits next to a quiet pond with a bridge, providing for picturesque wedding photo opportunities. The paver patio with picnic tables and grass area add to the creation of a serene setting ideal for an event or reunion.
The main hall can comfortably accommodate up to 150 guests, while the large, spacious kitchen, flanked by an outdoor barbecue, makes it easy to handle food preparation and limited cooking of large meals.
Brown said though the venue sees relatively high usage during the peak summer period, there was plenty of availability during winter months and weekdays, with hourly rates for Monday-Thursday, seasonal pricing and booking discounts from November through March.
Brown added that a new dedicated Rentals Customer Service Team has also been set up by the District to provide an established point of contact and higher level of service for anyone looking to book facilities. A variety of amenities are available, including Hollinshead Barn on the east side of town, and the Riverbend meeting room, incorporating the latest Audio-Visual technology, at BPRD’s headquarters off Columbia Street.
Aspen Hall’s home setting of Shevlin Park — featuring thick-trunked ponderosa pine, western larch, juniper and quaking aspen — is a prized jewel of Bend’s city park system, and was donated to the City by the Shevlin-Hixon timber company in 1921 in honor of the company’s late president, Thomas L. Shevlin.
Sometime in the mid-1970s, the then recently-formed Bend Metro Park and Recreation District took over the park from the City and grew it into its present size of over 600 acres that sees, on a typical day, runners, walkers, hikers, birders, photographers, mountain bikers and gaggles of moms with strollers enjoying its confines.
A 2.3-mile road parallels Tumalo Creek, but most of the park is undeveloped except for hiking and mountain bike trails.