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Revived Kah-Nee-Ta Resort in Warm Springs set to reopen by next spring, after storm delays planned summer return

WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In the town of Warm Springs, about 15 minutes away from the Kah-Nee-Ta Hot Springs Resort, residents and tourists alike are wondering when the resort might reopen.

The resort was first opened as a tribally owned development in 1962, but it closed down in 2018 due to not generating enough money.

Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation CEO Jim Souers told us on Thursday, "We're developing an existing property. It was well-received, well thought of. I can't express how many people and calls we get about wanting to know when it'll open, what can we do."

Five years later, the 600-acre resort was due to be reopened by this summer, with updated amenities and a re-visioning of old ones.

That is, until a May storm with 70 MPH winds and five inches of rain ruined thousands of dollars worth of supplies, leaving things in limbo once again. The resort backers announced earlier this week that this year's planned opening would be delayed.

"Six of these cabanas were completely destroyed, roofs were compromised. We're going to have a significant repair and recovery," Souers explained.

Kah-Nee-Ta is collaborating with Mt. Hood Skibowl on the re-imagining of the resort, to help bring-needed experience for tourist business.

Among the new amenities are three food carts, a new bar and grill, 20 teepees and 20 hot springs tubs to soak in while taking in views of the Warm Springs River.

But the main attraction is getting that hot springs experience that was part of how the Warm Springs tribes used this area, long before tourism became so vital.

Instead of a large Olympic-sized pool, they'll be made up of multiple pools, with some for kids, and even a lazy river floating area.

"A hot spring is this water that has these minerals in it that naturally exist, and there's wellness benefits," Souers told NewsChannel 21.

The resort got a $6 million donation from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs to help reopen the resort.

In addition to the mini-golf course getting a facelift, pickleball and tennis courts will also be added for outdoor activities, along with RV hook-ups for 50 spots.

"Now we're bringing that opportunity to a much larger audience," Souers added.

One of the things Kah-Nee-Ta is keeping that made it memorable from before is the iconic bears that sprayed water in the middle of the pool.

The resort is now hoping to open by next spring, with a soft opening planned for later this year.

Article Topic Follows: Warm Springs

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Blake Mayfield

Blake Mayfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Blake here.


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