Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
KATHLEEN NICHOLS of the namesake Nichols family and Julie Reynolds, chat with Bob Naito, head of Naito Development, in the lobby of the new hotel overlooking Nichols boat basin.
As of Tuesday, October 20, 2015
The skeleton of a new Hampton Inn at the center of the Hood River waterfront has come into focus, with Naito Development’s project set for completion in April.
The former Nichols Boat Basin site will host an 88-room four story hotel as well as a 20,000 square-foot commercial building.
Naito Development LLC held an open house Thursday, Oct. 15 on the state of construction. About 50 local officials, business leaders and guests got a sneak peek around the lobby and the fourth-floor views.
“We’re halfway … we should open in April — but we should open really fast,” said Bob Naito, head of Naito Development.
Visitors at the open house last week glimpsed what hotel guests will see from the east-facing rooms on the fourth floor. Clearly visible from that vantage point were the river basin, the History Museum of Hood River County, and the east downtown area. Naito indicated another perk of the upper floor views will be the Sternwheeler’s summer voyages.
A $13 million project, the hotel construction has required dozens of workers on site per day. Naito said, “We hit our max” with 72 workers last Wednesday. So far, work has focused on the structure of the hotel and rooms, as well as early utility installation.
Handling general contractor work is Integrity Structures LLC of Vancouver, with development by Portland-based Naito. Architects from Portland and Coeur d’Alene, Idaho have worked on the process as well.
When complete, the riverfront Hampton will include a 1,000-square-foot conference room, an indoor/outdoor pool and hot tub (which will have to be craned in), a gift shop and a small “business center” with computers for guests.
The last touch will be furniture and decorations — beds for each room, chairs and artwork.
The hotel and adjacent office building will have about 160 parking spaces, Naito said. He said walking will be encouraged by signage, as well shared parking, to combat congestion at the waterfront.
For a main lobby entrance, guests will come from the west side of the basin, via the current access road off North 2nd street, which will become a parking lot.