Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
WESTCLIFF and its new sign, viewed from the west Hood River road that shares its name.
As of Tuesday, August 2, 2016
The old “Vagabond Lodge” has moved on.
The Hood River landmark motel is now the Westcliff Lodge.
“For over 62 years we have welcomed guests to visit Hood River and enjoy this great place we all share and love,” said owner Grant Polson. “We have grown from the little six-room motel to our 57-room hotel with glamping tents and cliff-side event space. We decided that renaming our hotel to Westcliff Lodge would be the best way to connect with our past, reflect our community, and represent our future.”
According to Polson, the saga of the lodge began with the cover of a Saturday Evening Post Magazine with a picture of children playing baseball in a field. They were surrounded by orchards in bloom at the foot of a luminous snow-capped mountain and the caption below said, “Mount Hood and the Hood River Valley, Oregon.”
“Our founder (and grandmother) Lucy Miles saw this image while working in Colorado and was awestruck. She said to herself, ‘If this place exists, that is where I want to live,’” Polson said in a press release. “After World War II, Lucy came out to Oregon to pick strawberries. She made the trip in an old beat-up car and had to travel by day since the headlights didn’t work. That summer, during one of her adventurous trips, she traveled a winding road around Mount Hood and down into the Hood River valley. Upon arrival, she realized that the magazine picture she had seen years before truly did exist.”
A few years after starting the hotel, Lucy decided that the part of town could use a name, according to Polson. “She renamed the road, and in effect our neighborhood, from its old designation of ‘frontage road’ to Westcliff.
“We decided on a few critical components for our new identity and logo: Tie in with our location, named by Lucy, reflecting our gorgeous natural surroundings.
“We incorporated a fern in to the W on the sign, to communicate the feel of our hotel in a simple way,” Polson said.
“We continue to be owned by the same family, with our same wonderful staff/family ready to provide guests with an exceptional place to rest and enjoy time with friends and family in Hood River,” Polson said. “We will continue to partner with the great people in our community to provide unique services and experiences that we all enjoy.”