(Sunriver Resort invited community members to celebrate its grand reopening of The Cove | Photos by Kristine Thomas)
Portland resident Tatiana Buys smiled as she watched her six-year-old son Clayton climb the two-story staircase to the Cinder Cone at The Cove Aquatic Center in Sunriver Resort. He waved to her and then launched himself into the spiral water slide, stopping at the bottom before he jumped in. He eagerly told his mom the water was warmer than that of the outside slide, known at the Plunge.
Clayton’s quick analysis perfectly summarizes the reason Sunriver Resort transformed The Cove into a year-round facility. Before The Cove’s opening, resort guests were limited to using the outdoor pool only during the summer months.
The 10,000-square-foot indoor aquatic addition has a heated pool, jetted spa, two-story enclosed water slide, meandering eddy and a poolside bar. The full-service poolside wait staff can deliver food and beverages from The Spotted Frog.
Three sides of the new building have roll-up doors, perfect for opening on summer days and closing during the colder months. The Cove’s design honors the history of Sunriver Resort, and its architecture with wood columns, vaulted wood beam ceilings and lava rock. The new outdoor space can be used for weddings, family and corporate gatherings or a game of touch football. Sunriver Resort guests and members have complimentary access to The Cove Aquatic Center.
Guests attended a ribbon cutting and the official grand opening of The Cove on June 9 while families enjoyed playing in both the outdoor and indoor pools.
Sunriver Managing Director Tom O’Shea said every year he and his team look at what they have and what changes they can make to continue to make Sunriver Resort a destination for guests. “I want to thank everyone who was involved in making this project be completed on budget and on time,” O’Shea told the guests, adding he believes the new aquatic center honors the integrity of the Sunriver community and the vision of its founder.
The aquatic center is part of the $40 million in renovations at Sunriver Resort that include The Backyard, the space behind the lodge where outdoor events and concerts are held and there is a new 18-hole putting course.
O’Shea said the additions to The Cove will double the summer pool capacity, allowing more people to relax and recreate. Sunriver has been a popular tourist destination during the pandemic due to the plentiful outdoor activities from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to biking and kayaking in the summer.
R&H Construction Co., Springtime Landscape and Irrigation, DKA Architecture and Design, Anderson Poolworks and ALSC Architects along with numerous subcontractors were instrumental in constructing the project during a challenging year due to the pandemic.
Lindsay Borkowski, director of sales and marketing for Sunriver Resort, and Leiana Smith, director of Cove Operations and Wellness at Sunriver Resort, shared that The Cove was first designed to be a place for Sunriver Resort’s guests to gather and enjoy time together. “The completion of the aquatic center means they can now do that year-round,” Smith said. “We now have two family-friendly pools, two slides, two spas and one covered area that can be opened during the summer months and closed in the winter months. Our goal has been to continue to elevate the experiences our guests have when they visit Sunriver.”
Buys took pictures of her son and his aunts as they ventured from the Cinder Cone to the meandering river. She said her family visited Sunriver for the first time last year during Father’s Day weekend. “We had such an amazing time that we made reservations right away last year to visit again this year,” Buys said. “We plan to make a visit to Sunriver an annual trip.”