Face of Hyatt Lake changes after 50-year lease expires

A restaurant, bait shop, boat ramp and other outbuildings at Hyatt Lake Resort have been torn down after the federal Bureau of Reclamation decided not to renew a 50-year lease with a concessionaire.

"There were a couple of cabins that encroached (on federal land), and they have been moved as well," said Scott Boelman, a Bend field office manager for the bureau.

Nearby Camper's Cove and other cabins on adjoining private land will not be affected. Boelman said a parking area on the 3 acres of federal land next to the lake will be retained.

The decision to tear out the Hyatt Lake Resort boat ramp was made after the bureau concluded that three other ramps on the lake served the public adequately, Boelman said.

Hyatt Lake was created in 1923 with the construction of a dam by the Talent Irrigation District for water storage.

The 50-year contract with the bureau, which expires Sept. 1, was originally made with TID, which transferred it to other parties. The most recent operator of the concession was Campers Cove LLC.

Camper's Cove LLC owns property at both Hyatt Lake Resort and at Camper's Cove, which features 25 cabins and a restaurant to the north. Owner Leonard Faas said cabins are still available for rental at both sites.

"We're full just about every night," he said.

Faas confirmed that the Hyatt Lake Resort restaurant and other buildings on the federal land had been removed.

"All the things that made it nice to go up there during the day are gone," he said.

Previously, Camper's Cove graded the access road to Hyatt Lake during the winter to make the resort available year-round. He said the equipment has been sold, so if the county doesn't maintain the road, access will be limited during the winter.

The concession area on Bureau of Reclamation land will remain open for day-use activities, such as parking, snowmobiling and shoreline fishing, according to reclamation officials.

Owners of Hyatt Lake Resort have been embroiled in struggles with both the county and the federal government over the years.

A Greensprings group known as Southern Oregon Citizens fought the resort's expansion plans.

Bob McNeely, who formerly ran Campers Cove, filed for bankruptcy on Sept. 30, 2009, for Nor'wester Industries Inc. of Washington, the company that built the cabins, which McNeely described as recreational vehicles.

The county found the resort couldn't install 13 additional cabins on federal land near the lake.

Faas said his plans are to sell both properties. "I will leave Oregon as soon as I can," he said.

Reach Mail Tribune reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476, or email dmann@mailtribune.com.

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