Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce Applauds Reopening of Kah-Nee-Ta Village
Kah-Nee-Ta village is expected to reopen next year
Update: (Added video, comments by Joe Krenowicz, Executive Director of the Madras-JC Chamber of Commerce)
WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) — After being closed for nearly four years, the village of Kah-Nee-Ta will reopen next year on the hot springs reservation.
The executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce said he looks forward to the relaunch.
“It was a major place for people going to check out as well as the casino,” Krenowicz said.
Using a $4.58 million fund from the American Rescue Plan Act, the Confederate Tribes of Warm Springs is partnering with Mt. Hood Ski Bowl to restore and manage the village which closed in 2018, after the tribe said it wasn’t generating enough revenue to keep it running.
A million and a half dollars will also be spent to improve its sewage system.
“The reopening of the Kah-nee-ta community is going to be a big boom,” Krenowicz said. “We haven’t had it here in about four years and it’s a major conference center for Jefferson County. It’s the only one that can handle 200+ attendees plus conferences, resort amenities, as well as entertainment ranging from horseback riding to hot springs.
The relaunch will support 50 full-time employees and more than 80 part-time employees during its busiest seasons.
Known for its natural mineral hot springs dating back to 10,000 years ago, the family-style village plans to expand its soaking experiences with its motel, tipi and RV accommodation areas.
“A lot of our visitors are looking forward to this Native American culture and we haven’t had the opportunity for people to stay and take these two or three day trips,” Krenowicz said.
Soon people will have the chance to interact with the reserve community and Aboriginal culture on a larger scale.
“There will be lots of opportunities for all of us to re-engage as a community, not only from the Madras region, but also from the Warm Springs community,” Krenowicz said.
Here is the press release:
WARM SPRINGS, Ore. (KTVZ) – The Confederate Tribes of the Oregon Tribal Council’s Warm Springs Reservation has approved $4.58 million in funding to partner with Mt. Hood Ski Bowl and bring back the popular Kah -Nee-Ta Village “fun in the sun experience” for visitors, while greatly expanding authentic hot springs soaking experiences in recreational pool areas and lodging areas of motels, teepees and campsites -cars.
Infrastructure funding of $1.5 million was also approved to repair the sewerage system that serves Kah-Nee-Ta and the local community. The tribes are funding the project with funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), according to a press release issued by the organization.
The Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa, Lodge Village and golf course closed in late summer 2018 due to financial issues after the Indian Head Casino moved to new facilities along the US Highway 26.
NewsChannel 21’s Bola Gbadebo reaches out to tribal leaders and Mt. Hood Skibowl about their partnership. His report comes at 5 a.m. on KTVZ.
Here is the rest of the tribes press release:
Tribal elder, former tribal executive and former Kah-Nee-Ta employee Charles Jackson will be delighted to see the village reopen, saying, “In the early 1960s, our visionary tribal leaders saw the opportunity to develop a unique tourist attraction in the Kah-Nee-Ta Village and put the Warm Springs Reserve on the map as a major destination My first real paying jobs in my youth were Maintenance Keeper and Lifeguard at Kah-nee- I remember visitors looking forward to being served at the weekly traditional salmon bake and raving about the River Room restaurant’s famous blueberry cheesecake Credit goes to the current Tribal Council and other members from the local community for their support and decision to restore this Oregon landmark, create local jobs for our tribal youth, and begin rebuilding the economy of the pandemic-devastated reservation. ie of Covid.
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort Enterprise partners with Mt. Hood Skibowl to develop and manage Kah-Nee-Ta Village, scheduled to open in 2023. Anticipated job opportunities are estimated at over 50 positions full-time and more than 80 part-time positions. during the six-month high season. The rest of the year, it is expected to support more than 15 full-time employees and more than 20 part-time employees.
Mt. Hood Skibowl, in conjunction with the Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation, created a phased plan for the Kah-Nee-Ta property.
“The Tribal Council asked us to focus on the first phase of the plan – opening up and breathing new life into the village of Kah-Nee-Ta. This phase breathes new life into the family-style village while restoring it to what it has always been, a place that contributes to the well-being of those who enjoy its natural mineral hot spring water,” said Jim Souers, General Manager of Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation. “Added to this are the excellent recreational activities that the property supports. ”
The natural mineral hot springs along the Warm Springs River have drawn visitors to Kah-Nee-Ta Village for decades. In the early 1960s, the CTWS transformed the village into a day-use area with an Olympic-size swimming pool and a limited number of hot springs.
The village will once again offer visitors the opportunity to interact with the culture and people of the reserve community, experience hot springs, enjoy sunny days, and enjoy a variety of recreational activities.
“We are thrilled to be part of the relaunch of Kah-Nee-Ta Village to promote cultural heritage and bring visitors back to experience the natural healing powers of hot springs, which date back 10,000 years ago. Additionally, the village will provide employment opportunities to the community, thereby contributing to the economy of Warm Springs,” said Kirk Hanna, owner and president of Mt. Hood Skibowl.
About the Confederated Hot Springs Tribes
The Confederated Tribes of Oregon’s Warm Springs Reservation is based in central Oregon and has over 5,000 tribal members from the Warm Springs, Wasco, and Paiute tribes. The reservation was created by the 1855 treaty between the Middle Oregon Indians and the United States government. Learn more at https://warmsprings-nsn.gov/
About Mt Hood Skibowl
The origin of Mt. Hood Skibowl dates back to 1928, making it one of the oldest ski resorts in the country. Kirk Hanna purchased the area from bankruptcy in 1987 and became the oldest and most successful resort operator in its history, developing Skibowl into a year-round winter and summer resort, with a summer adventure park with more than 20 attractions and developing a 28-acre parcel within the Collins Lake Resort accommodation property, which includes 200 two- and three-bedroom luxury vacation property rentals. Other businesses in the government camp, under their operational umbrella, include Mt. Hood Outfitters, the leading recreation outfitter guide service in the Mt. Hood National Forest, Ratskeller Bar & Pizzeria, and the High Mountain Café. The company also operates Pelton Dam Marina and Lake Simtustus RV Park & Marina, a 55-acre lakefront resort, located just one hour east of Government Camp in central Oregon, offering rentals from Tiny Home and RV, full hookup RV sites, lake sports activities and rentals and marina with 47 boat slips. Learn more at: https://www.skibowl.com/
About the Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation
WSEDC is a 100% owned business of the CTWS with the goal of creating long-term sources of income and employment opportunities for tribal members through business development of the business.
For more information contact:
Jim Souers CEO, Warm Springs Economic Development [email protected]