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Mt. Hood OR Resort Celebrates 95th Anniversary posted on 07/27/2023
By Daniel Crawford
The Mountain Times

Oregon’s first and oldest golf resort is turning 95 years-young. To celebrate, the grounds, clubhouse and Mallard’s Restaurant have all been reinvigorated with an aggressive upgrade project that is complete. At least for now.
Today the property is known as Mt. Hood Oregon Resort. Founded in 1928 as the state’s first golf course and resort, new ownership and name changes have come and gone over the decades. In recent years there have been ownership tenures with highly successful runs, such as in 1979 as Rippling River Resort. The Resort At The Mountain took over in 1989, and Bowman’s Golf Club had the longest run of the golf course from 1948-1979.
Purchased in 2015 by current President Liz Kwon, she ventured west to personally inspect the campus and its potential for profitability. The decision to buy the resort was made easy by her newly found love of the mountain topography and breathtaking timberland backdrop that is simply known as everyday life in the Welches area.
To understand what Kwon’s leadership style has done to the overall morale of the staff can be summed up by the way her team will run through a brick wall for her rather than hide behind that same wall. Her efforts have had a galvanizing effect on every staff associate.
Executive Assistant Sabrina Gallon echoes those same sentiments and hands-on strategies of her
immediate supervisor.
Gallon said, “We will go and help out wherever we are needed. I have been a housekeeper and a groundskeeper all in the same day. And I don’t mind it one bit!”
Now the biggest challenge remaining is to recruit and train enough staff to fill open job positions. Fortunately, there are several staff hold-overs, in key management positions, that can lend a wealth of knowledge and history for the new team.
Christopher Skipper is now the Director of Operations. He began his career as an 18 year-old groundskeeper who worked tirelessly to take advantage and learn the nuances of each task he was assigned.
Grounds Superintendent Chad Pearson compares today’s 9-person ground crew to the pre-pandemic crews he led of 22 people that included an on-site equipment mechanic. The post-pandemic crew does not have a fully trained mechanic.
“For better or for worse, I am the mechanic now! We are getting ready for a new Wi-Fi upgrade and I am involved with that too! Some days I am out there picking up sticks and then suddenly I am needed to repair a necessary piece of equipment. It’s just the way it is for now. I am here seven days per week,” said Pearson.
Resiliency, pride, commitment are all words Pearson used to describe his roster of employees that include a 30-year semi-retired grounds person named Tim Cornish, who has definitely mirrored those choice words and more. Cornish is best known as the guy who rides his bike to work regardless of weather and wild animals. That is NOT a typo! He once rode into work while being chased by a cougar!
Despite the shortage of help on the grounds crew, the course has been receiving five star reviews for grounds upkeep by shutting down a different 9-hole course for a day at a time.
Coming this September, the LPGA announced it will be playing its annual Oregon event at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort! The exact dates are not clear yet, but tickets will be available very soon.
All of the hard work is starting to pay dividends.



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