Review staff writer
Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum aims to build a new lodge and waterpark to attract more visitors and create a complete vacation destination in McMinnville.
If the two building expansions are approved by the City, construction will begin May 2009.
The lodge will be aviation and space themed and will feature both hotel and dormitory-style rooms. The dorm rooms will be used for the museum’s summer educational programs. Last year, its students stayed at Linfield and commuted to the museum.
Some groups expected to use the lodge in addition to tourists include wine festival visitors, wedding party guests and groups who use the museum for conferences and retreats.
“Our real goal is to facilitate people visiting the museum,” President of Evergreen International Airlines Brian Bauer said.
He also emphasized that the project will encourage tourism to other Oregon attractions.
The lodge will feature a restaurant and bar and will face the vineyard.
“[It will be] oriented toward the agricultural legacy of Oregon, as well,” Bauer said.
The water park will be indoors and available for community use. It is included as part of a project to appeal specifically to younger visitors.
“We wanted it to be clean and wholesome fun,” Bauer said. “There’s a fair amount of physical activity as well, which we see as beneficial.”
It will take approximately two years to complete each building, and the entire project is expected to take about three and a half years to finish.
The project already passed the Urban Growth Boundary approval process and is now waiting for appeals. After the waiting period, the project will go through a zoning process and annexation, where the city of McMinnville will choe to accept the property where the lodge and waterpark will be built into city boundaries.
The cost of this project will be covered entirely by the Evergreen Aviation Museum, not by the city or county. The exact price has not been determined yet.