Hunter’s Hot Springs has new owners

Mike Watson (left) and Sam Watson are the new faces of Hunter’s Hot Springs taking over the historic motel in late January.

Hunter’s Hot Springs has new owners. Sam Watson, his father Mike and partners Frank Gonzalez and Emily Noack have purchased the historical building that has been around since 1920’s. While the Hot Springs is open for travelers to come stay the night, Sam Watson hopes to have the Lodge, bar and banquet room up and running by Thursday, June 21, after making improvements. 

“We are still open for business, we encourage people to come stay the night and check out our pool,” Sam Watson said. “We’re going to begin work on the bar, lodge and banquet room and we hope to have all that done by June 21, but some of that depends on when we get our licensing from the OLCC.”

Sam and Mike had been looking at purchasing the building since February 2015, when he came across the building “For Sale” while shopping online for shipping containers. After a few bumps in the road they were able to make the purchase and officially take over at the end of January.

“We were on a trip here to southern Oregon and I told my dad that there was a hot springs for sale, so we drove down, talked to the previous owners, told him we were interested in buying and within a couple days, it was off the market,” Sam Watson said. “We weren’t able to buy it at the time, but I immediately fell in love with the place.”

Watson said that they aren’t going to make too many changes; it’s more going to make improvements and preserve the history of the building. 

“The scenery, the geyser, the pool, I just love all of it,” Sam Watson said. “I’ve always wanted to own a hotel. This place isn’t perfect, which is what I love about it. I love these historical buildings.”

Sam Watson added that he has really fallen in love with Lakeview, he loves how friendly and welcoming everyone has been thus far. He wants to keep the historical aspect of the building, while just making some minor improvements. 

“The bar, restaurant and lounge are our main focuses leading up to June 21,” Watson said. “We have an entire five year plan of what we want to have happen, but our main focus right now is those three areas.”

“So far around town my vibe is there is a lot of memories here in this hotel,” added Mike Watson “The history here is amazing and we’re just happy to have the opportunity to bring some of that back.” 

Despite owning a dispensary up in Portland, Sam has no plans to grow cannabis here in Lakeview. He wants to put all of his time and money into Hunter’s Hot Springs, to make it the best it can possibly be. 

“My main goal is to do events and concerts and stuff out here,” Sam Watson said. “We will allow marijuana consumption in the rooms, but my focus isn’t growing cannabis in Lakeview, my focus is on the hotel and drawing tourists and promoting tourism in Lakeview.”  

Watson hopes to have some masseuse’s and some small events leading up to the summer. 

Hunter’s Hot Springs is currently open for business and residents can come and stay and enjoy the pool.

Hunter’s Hot Springs is located at 18088 Hwy 395 in Lakeview.

For more information contact Watson at 541-947-4242.

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