Winds of change ahead for local inn

The Windmill Inn and Suites of Ashland is planning for major changes at the end of this year, the company announced earlier this week.

After Nov. 18, the inn will no longer offer lodging or conference facilities except for 72 existing two-room suites. The remaining 158 guest rooms and more than 12,000 square feet of convention and banquet space will no longer be used.

JELD-WEN, the parent company of Windmill, also owns six destination resort locations, including the Running Y Ranch near Klamath Falls and Brasada Ranch and Eagle Crest Resort in Central Oregon fueling speculation that the Windmill Inn will become another of its destination resort holdings, though this hasn't been confirmed.

City of Ashland employees said they had not heard of any plans for change.

Further details are being withheld because they are still in the planning stages of redirecting their business plan, said Elizabeth Souders, a spokeswoman for JELD-WEN.

"We're excited about it, we're happy about it, and we're sort of itching to say what's been going on," she said.

The changes will not affect the other five Windmill locations in Southern Oregon and Arizona, she said.

"We are always looking to find better ways to meet the market and have continual improvement," Souders said.

So far, the only visible sign of change at the Ashland location is the tennis courts, which have been closed down temporarily to fix a crack in the court surface.

"That is part of the larger plan of what may come," she said.

President and CEO John Cauvin said the Ashland property would remain "a strong member of the community."

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