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STEVENSON, WA-Lowe Enterprises has acquired the 254-room Skamania Lodge here on behalf of unnamed investors. The Los Angeles-based real estate company did not reveal the purchase price, but industry sources tell GlobeSt.com the resort was acquired for about $59 million. Situated above the Columbia River Gorge about 40 miles from Portland, OR the 175-acre resort includes an 18-hole golf course, full-service spa and 22,000 sf of meeting space. Built in 1993, the lodge itself has 254 guest rooms, two restaurants, a lounge and seasonal outdoor dining at the golf course. The resort also features a full-service spa, fitness center, indoor pool and hot tubs, tennis and volleyball courts. Lowe lists the seller of the property as Beta West and CS First Boston. It was not made clear Thursday how the property got into the seller’s hands. The last time a sale was announced, in February 2001, Dolce International of Monvale, NJ and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners LP of New York paid Lend Lease Investments $42 million for the property. The investment group then invested at least another $15 million to expand the number of guest rooms from 195 to 254 and expand the meeting space from 12,000 sf to 22,000 sf.For the past four years, Skamania has been operated by Dolce International. From here on out, Skamania will be managed by Lowe’s affiliate company, Destination Hotels & Resorts, which also manages Lowe’s other Northwest resorts, which include the 1,000-acre Sunriver Resort near Bend, OR and the 6,300-acre Suncadia Resort near Roslyn, WA that is now under development. Lowe’s says it plans to invest in improvements to Skamania Lodge’s conference and meeting facilities, some guest rooms and amenities, as well as upgrades to the popular Waterfall Club and Spa. A Lowe’s official could not be reached Thursday afternoon for comment. “It appeals to a market we know well and is complementary to our other resort investments in the Pacific Northwest,” says Lowe’s managing director Bleecker Seaman in a prepared statement. Destination Hotels & Resorts chief executive Charlie Peck adds that he plans to build on the property’s strong conference business while also increasing demand among leisure travelers.Ed Dundon of the Dundon Co., a hotel brokerage firm, declined to speculate on Lowe’s acquisition price but did tell GlobeSt.com the resort market is healthy, with many resorts having recently invested in their properties. “I think resorts are riding a wave of the general market resurgence that the Northwest is experiencing,” he says.Backing that up, HVS International recently ranked the Portland region No. 7 in terms of the projected percentage increase in value in hotel assets in the region. The projected percentage increase was 111%. In terms of markets that with low volatility and large increases in value, HVS ranked Portland No. 1. Rounding out the top five were Orlando, Miami, Tampa and Washington, DC.In addition, the latest report from Wolfgang Rood Hospitality Consulting of Bellevue, WA finds that statewide occupancy in Oregon hotels is up 6.8% through May when compared to the same 2004 period. The average daily room rate in the state is up 4.4% according to the report. In Washington, which performed better in 2004 than did Oregon, statewide occupancy is up 3.4% through the first five months of the year and rates are up 2.5%.

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