Randy Papike, of Randy Papike Construction, and his team started demolition and clean-up of the Oakhurst Lodge on Friday, Nov. 1 after receiving the contract from First Citizens Bank.
The Lodge was acquired by First Citizens Bank in early September as it was in the stage of foreclosure, but since being purchased has started the beginning stages of evaluation and clean-up.
First Citizens Bank has hired a hands-on, marketing focused hotel operator and managing firm, Providence Hospitality Partners (PHP) of Denver, Colo., to oversee daily operations of the motel as of Sept. 5. Providence Hospitality Partners has worked on REO projects all over the nation including projects as far east as New York and feels confident in restoring the hotel to operating form.
Providence Hospitality Partners has recently announced it has hired Mountain Area resident Lanie Suderman to oversee as motel manager.
Suderman has several years of experience in management as has spent more than six years managing The Pines Resort as well as another few years as their sales manager and marketing director.
The motel was previously owned by Steve and Gloria Marshall who bought the property from Don and Marilyn Olson five years ago.
The Lodge suffered major damages during the fire that started just after midnight on May 23 and destroyed one building (25 rooms) of the hotel. The loss was estimated at $1 million. Twenty-four of the 25 rooms were occupied at the time of the fire and everyone evacuated the building with no injuries.
The remaining 36 rooms have been refurbished and Suderman said the clean-up will take about a week before the hotel will re-open for business.
David Storm, of PHP, said the company is excited about the opportunity to bring back to life a hotel that is such a integral part of the community.
"We want to be as transparent as possible and want to use as many local contractors as we can," Storm said. "We are going to embrace the community and our goal is to be a respected citizen in the business community."
Storm said the bank intends to sell the hotel after renovation is complete and they can find a buyer.
"We are doing an assessment of the hotel for the bank we are here to enhance to value of the assets," Storm said. "We are going to have the damaged structure removed and fill in the site with indigenous material, at that time we will make a recommendation to the bank to either rebuild or dispose of the asset but its ultimately their call."
Storm said PHP likes to take the approach of "secure, stabilize and promote," when taking over a hotel, and said although the hotel will not be completely finished, he hopes to have enough completed to re-open soon.
Suderman is excited about the opportunity to take over and restore the Oakhurst Lodge to it's original prominence and successful state of business.
"I'm beyond excited, it's an opportunity of a lifetime and I know I can do this, it's in my blood and I've been doing it for years....there will be a lot of hard work until we get things running, then it's just a matter of switching gears and going back into what I know and what I do best," Suderman said.
Suderman said she expects to have the lodge up and running again on Nov. 11 providing they pass their inspections this coming Friday. The Fire Marshal is requiring the motel make some minor changes due to the fact that certain code regulations have changed since the last assessment. Details: (559) 683-4417