The Hood River News, Hood River, OR., April 27, 1923, page 1


     The famous Columbia Gorge hotel, built by S. Benson in 1920 at a cost of $425,000, west of this city on the Columbia River highway, it was announced on Saturday, had been purchased by Claude D. Starr, and others of Portland.
     The new owners announced that a sum of $100,000 will be expended immediately in improvements and the construction of 40 bungalow cottages on surrounding grounds. This was the plan announced by Amos Benson last fall. The company which has acquired the hotel also announces that it will inaugurate a nation-wide campaign of advertising this hotel, which, when it opens in six weeks, will be operated upon an all-year basis. The company which has taken over the hotel will be known as the Columbia Gorge Hotel company, and will be capitalized at $50,000.
     Work will begin immediately, according to Mr. Starr, on the 40 cottages which are to be built on the spacious grounds which surrounded the hotel. It is also planned to build a 9-hole golf course and to install a number of tennis courts. In addition to the big garage which is already available, the new company will maintain a gasoline station and repair shop for hotel patrons.
     Of the total acreage 23 acres have been improved since Amos Benson took over the hotel. Trails and look-outs have been built through the grounds, and the new company will carry this work to a completion this summer.
     It is stated that before Amos Benson agreed to the sale he assured himself that the new company wished to acquire the hotel to conduct it along the lines for which it was originally intended -- one of the best class tourist hotels on the Pacific slope. Mr. Starr is connected with the new Sovereign hotel and the Imperial Arms apartments in Portland.
     Commenting upon his plans, Mr. Starr said: "It is our intention to do everything we possibly can to help in the big work of making the Northwest the summer playground of America. Yes, and a winter playground, too, so far as concerns the Columbia Gorge hotel, which is in the center of Oregon's sunshine belt. We plan, through our literature and nation-wide advertising, to stress the beauties, not alone of the hotel, but of the entire state. We feel that the more attractions we can tell strangers about, the better it will be for the Northwest and for ourselves as well. Tourist travel this year will be very good. This we know because the hotel reservations from eastern points already are the heaviest in history, and we haven't even begun our eastern advertising.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer