Salishan Resort—an historical Oregon coast gem, secluded between Siletz Bay and the Pacific Ocean views. Originally known as Salishan Lodge, it’s located south of Lincoln City, in Gleneden Beach. For over 50 years, the resort has captured “the pioneering spirit and rugged style of the Pacific Northwest” as it mixes nature with hospitality, outdoor adventures, holistic wellness, and tops it off with exquisite coast-to-table dining.
It was opened in 1965 by real estate developer John D. Gray and his wife Elizabeth “Betty” Neuner. John Gray was an Oregon native and a business graduate of Oregon State University and Harvard. As said by his daughter Janet Webster, “he was an active business person, but also very intrigued with land development“. Gray built several high-end resorts and rustic lodges in the Pacific Northwest such as Sunriver Resort near Bend, Skamania Lodge in the Columbia Gorge in Washington, and John’s Landing in Portland.
Gray believed the Pacific Northwest to be the “ultimate natural haven” and in 1961, inspired by the regions lush greenery, he purchased land to build the Salishan Resort. Over the course of the next few years, he led the construction of the first Salishan Spit homes, the first nine holes of the golf course and the resort itself. Gray was deeply committed to making a special place that took the environment and the natural resources of the area into consideration.
In order to make his vision into reality, Gray had help from some of the biggest names in mid-century architecture. Their contribution made Salishan stand out for its distinct Pacific Northwest architecture. Salishan Resort is rich with Douglas fir, hemlock, and cedar trees which are in harmony with the surrounding nature. It appears to grow organically out of the coastal forest—this bit of genius credited to the formidable landscape architect Barbara Fealy—known as the “matriarch of landscape architecture in the Pacific Northwest”. Having mostly worked on private residences, Fealy was not as publicly known as other architects in the area but was deeply regarded by the very best. Some of her famous public projects include the Timberline Lodge near Oregon’s Mount Hood, Catlin-Gabel School and Leach Botanical Garden in Portland, Oregon.
The natural local woods were carried into the residential design in the work of architect John Storrs, who was known for designs in the Northwest Regional style, emphasizing the use of locally sourced woods such as cedar and Douglas fir—which he called “understandable, romantic material“. Besides the Salishan Lodge, Storrs is also known for the World Forestry Center in Washington Park, and the original Oregon College of Art and Craft.
Salishan Resort also boasts the work of the great Saul Zaik. He designed the resort’s first condominiums in 1964. His style emphasized the resort’s connection with nature. The condominium has a pyramidal design, which Zaik constructed after studying local sun and wind patterns. The design organically flows with the rugged profile of the surrounding beach. Zaik is mainly known for his residential work, such as the Feldman House.
In 1996, the Grays sold the resort, and it declined in popularity for some time. Thankfully, it is once again thriving after being purchased by Alpha Wave Investors in 2017. Ken Cruse, CEO, wanted to “return one of the state’s most treasured lodges to its old glory”. In October 2019, Conde Nast, a global mass media company, named the resort one of the top five resorts in the Pacific Northwest. Today, it has been remodeled and updated to make it an expansive, all-inclusive luxury and leisure resort destination.
If you would like to learn more about Salishan Resort, click here. If you are interested in booking a getaway, doors have re-opened to guests as of June 5th.