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Long-delayed resort west of Redmond could begin ‘soon,’ despite another appeal

(Update: Adding video, comments from developer, conservation group)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon conservation groups are still pushing back against long-delayed plans for a 2,400-acre destination resort west of Redmond near Cline Falls.

The first phase of developing the Thornburgh Resort, which was first proposed about 15 years ago, would include 192 single-family homes, 37 overnight lodging units, private roads and other resort amenities. 

The resort also has plans for artificial lakes. 

Thornburgh Resort proposes to use on-site groundwater to satisfy its water needs. The proposal says the aquifers that will provide that groundwater are hydrologically connected to Alder Springs, which feeds into Whychus Creek.

Some area residents told NewsChannel 21 Thursday this could potentially raise water temperatures and lead to a loss of fish and wildlife.

“The middle Deschutes River, from spring to the summer, is reduced to 65 cubic feet per second,” said Yancy Lind, who runs the blog Central Oregon Informed Angler. “Thornburgh is asking just for phase one for 9 cfs of groundwater -- that’s 14 percent of the flow in the middle Deschutes for a golf course. And that’s just Phase 1.”

Kameron DeLashmutt, the proposed resort’s founder and developer, said the site plan's water usage would roughly be about 0.48 CFS, not 9 CFS.

DeLashmutt said he had consulted with a team of experts, including hydrologists, geologists, and botanists, back in 2004 as part of the initially permitting process. 

“We’ve gone over and above what is required or provided far greater mitigation than we needed to provide,” DeLashmutt said. “But it doesn’t matter what we do. It’s not enough. Our main opponent is an ideological battle.”

He said the land that will be used for the resort has belonged to his family since 1953, frequently used as cow pastures.

At a meeting last week of Deschutes County commissioners, administrative approval of a site plan review for the Phase A golf course at the Thornburgh Resort was appealed by Central Oregon LandWatch and county resident Nunzie Gould. 

When completed, Thornburgh is expected to have about 1,000 homes, 475 overnight lodging units and three golf courses.

“We’re very good stewards of the land and what we’re doing,” DeLashmutt said. “It’s deeply personal to us. ”

Ben Gordon, the executive director for the Central Oregon LandWatch, said his organization wants to see proof of that.

“It’s one thing to say he’s working with experts to come up with a good plan, but it is another to have it be iron-clad,” Gordon said. “It’s always important to ask ourselves what’s the intent here and what implications it has for the quality of life we as Central Oregonians have come to appreciate.”

DeLashmutt said the addition of another destination resort would bring an estimated 1,400 jobs to the region and boost the economy. 

He did not give a date as to when the first phase of construction on the resort would begin, but said it would be “soon.”

Central Oregon already has nine resorts -- Black Butte Ranch, Brasada Ranch, Eagle Crest, Mount Bachelor Village, Pronghorn, Riverhouse on the Deschutes, Seventh Mountain, Sunriver and Tetherow.

Author Profile Photo

Rhea Panela

Rhea Panela is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Rhea here.



  1. Im glad companies are always so eager to invest in central oregon, but im not sure more low-wage dead-end service jobs are really what we need! Its time to focus on attracting high value “stem” industries and other businesses with growth potential for the area

    Employees of these destination resorts cant usually afford to live in the houses and condos they service, not only is that a negative moral statement but it violates henry fords basic rule of capitalism- we can do better for our kids and rural lifestyles, than another round of non local property speculation

    1. Now don’t you remember from spotted owl days? One of the arguments for shutting down the industrial/manufacturing jobs was that they could be replaced by jobs in the tourism industry – like the ones you are referring to….

      1. Oh man youre so 90s, everyone knows now that was a successful attempt by big timber with their own property, to shut down the local competition that relied on usfs auctions

        More to the point, our destination resorts are notoriously not tourist or recreation based, but are instead housing developments that wouldnt otherwise be zoning eligible and depend on resort status for their permitting loopholes

        Deschutes county continues to rely on property speculation as its primary economic driver, just as it has ever since its birth in the canal craze before any of us were born

          1. Dont forget im greasy DJ from the walden rally, and im a mouse person who needs more cheeseburgers, if you have any more let me know, this is really helping my therapist make progress

        1. Ah man, where did you get the “big timber” conspiracy theory? Big companies were already shipping most of their logs overseas while spotted owl restrictions left certain timber sales only available to small companies.

      2. Yep, we were much better of with unsustainable, redundant, sometimes dangerous and low paying timber industry jobs were provided by multinational natural resourse extraction corporations. They cared tremendously for for their employees and Oregon unlike these silly businesses that are owned and run by Oregonians. This silly sustainable massive world renowned wine industry and nursery industry combined with tourism is sure to fail. Its places like Burns, Lakeview, Klamath Falls that have innovated and are really booming now!!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Golf and a whore anyone!!!! trump / putin 2020!!! MAKE WHORES MINIMUM WAGE AGAIN!!!!

        1. fester, while I enjoy our unhinged ranting you are more incorrect than usual.The timber harvest was not unsustainable nor were the timber jobs low paying. Your attitude is what deviated rural Oregon and you don’t care

          1. You are correct 2pei. Over 6 billion board feet of timber grows every year. Logging only harvest around 2 billion board feet each year. That amounts to 4 billion board feet of over growth annually. Resulting in mass forest fires, bug infested trees and diseased trees. Producing an unhealthy forest.

                1. Oh i get it that local logging types dont like to consider the needs of the bugs when they cut timber, doesnt make it right or smart- just keep hoping your apples pollinate by magic

            1. Yes, the forests over the millenia have been bug infested and diseased. It wasn’t uneil loggers came along and started to decimate them that they became “helathy” ROTFLMAO!!!!
              Its the same story with the virus we were doomed until big fayt lyin donnie bcame along to save the day!!! “its just one person coming in from China, we have it totally under control, everything is going to be just fine”
              golf and a whore anyone!!! trump / putin 2020!!! MAKE WHORES MINIMUM WAGE AGAIN!!!

      3. you’re not still carrying the torch for the timber companies who lobbied to have their taxes eliminated, robbed the communities of Oregon blind, then convinced the easily excitable types that government regulations made them poor? – getting tricked isn’t necessarily a crime, but remaining woefully ignorant and still flapping your pie hole is

      1. Well those dont generate many jobs either and dont hire locally for most positions, if you want to look at where the science jobs intersect with the ag jobs for a modern sector with living wages… obviously its cannabis but the ne county hobby ranchers dont like hearing that for some reason
        A golf course impacts water light noise smell traffic etc, just as much as a pot farm if not more in some cases, why is deschutes county holding up permits for hardworking farmers and investors across the county, in favor of more suburban sprawl, barf
        If we are going to have agricultural exclusive zoning we might as well make the land productive again instead of using loopholes to pave it over anyways

          1. In this case we are fighting with the state so we can keep denying permits for agriculture, and losing lawsuits with the farm bureau to boot, its pointless and hurts the county economy

    2. Hey look anonymousktvz, you actually agree with Trump on an issue. The best jobs to bring in are manufacturing jobs, which is what Trump has always advocated for and why he renegotiated trade deals and partly why he has been hard on China. I’m glad you can agree with some of Trump’s policies.

      However, you can have both service jobs being brought in and manufacturing jobs…it’s not like it is one or the other….however, the city needs to be better at bringing in manufacturers. (Not necessarily timber like everyone keeps mentioning here, but more tech like manufacturers.)

      1. Comrade president could be using stimulus to fund tech and science jobs and stop the bat flu before it kills another 100000, but hes pretending bat flu is fake instead… just like his supporters on county commission here, stopping permits for modern farms so we can build more golf course parking instead- i wish the magas supported education and research but they dont, want to blame china instead but dont know why or how

  2. Locals should say no and hell no. It is all designed for the rich and low paying jobs to service the so called elites. Central Oregon has more then enough of these people.

  3. Another resort??? Last time I spoke with people at Eagle Crest it sounded like Deschutes County was full, no more resorts were allowed. Not a fan of the idea…….wonder if they realize all the ATV’s that would be flying around off Barr Road.

  4. More construction jobs. And then when it’s done, what happens to the construction workers? Oh, I know, another development. And it can never end, one after another.

    Wait, didn’t the story say that this one would take 16% of the flow from the middle fork? So, 5 more like this leaves no flow and a bunch of unemployed construction workers? Maybe they can stay at the Redmond Hotel; by then it will be a weekly. And I’m sure we can find more water. They did in L.A. (remember Mono Lake). And we can conserve (get rid of those pesky lawns). It can never end.

    Sounds kind of like a pyramid scheme. Better figure it out before the soul of the community is sold.

  5. Where are the eco factions who worry about a couple of trees in Drake park when this resort will take out hundreds if not thousands of trees in excess of 300 years old, some may be over a thousand years old? Oh wait, they are just Junipers nothing to worry about. There are more acres of Old Growth Juniper then any other species in Oregon and as well most likely the oldest trees in Oregon. Selective indignation.

  6. Because more artificial lakes and golf courses are so desperately needed in the Tumalo area. Because just like forever in Oregon, water wasted in springs and rivers is wasted. Because county commissioners supporting this will be voted out.

  7. Their time to potentially develop that area is running out. State statue prohibits destination resorts “within 24 air miles of an urban growth boundary with an existing population of 100,000 or more unless residential uses are limited to those necessary for the staff and management of the resort.” The 2020 Census data will be released in 2022. Assuming Bend is over 100,000, their ability to develop goes away.

  8. Of all the destinations resorts already over done in this area, I wish someone could show just how many working there could even afford a house. Developers are very good at smearing the BS on the bread and end result is all smoke and mirrors. Any County Commissioner approving this crap should lose their job.

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