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Snow Puts Little Dampener On Oregon Coast’s Busy Weekend


Covering 180 miles of Oregon coast travel: Astoria, Seaside, Cannon Beach, Manzanita, Nehalem, Wheeler, Rockaway, Garibaldi, Tillamook, Oceanside, Pacific City, Lincoln City, Depoe Bay, Newport, Wadport, Yachats & Florence.


Secrets of the Season

Snow Puts Little Dampener On Oregon Coast’s Busy Weekend

Newport's Nye Beach on Sunday

(Oregon Coast) – It depends whom you talk to: Oregon coast tourism on this normally busy three-day weekend suffered because of the snow, or it didn’t suffer.

Like the weather, it was a mixed bag of responses. This MLK Day three-day weekend usually brings people out in droves to the Oregon coast, unless the skiing is exceptionally good. In that case, many head for the mountains.

Consequently, many businesses weren’t expecting a tsunami of activity in the weeks leading up to the holiday. While the weather really put the skidmarks on expectations, many in the tourism trade had a decent weekend and were pleased.

At the Seaside Aquarium, manager Keith Chandler wasn’t at all surprised to find attendance down. “I keep notes on how things go on weekends like this, and usually if things are down on this holiday weekend, I have it written that there was snow in the mountains,” Chandler said. “This time, there was a lot of snow here.”

Cape Kiwanda still had snow on the beach on Sunday

Indeed, driving was precarious on much of the coast because of ice and snow. Everything from Newport to Astoria was in a dangerously frozen state Wednesday, causing accidents and drivers who were at a crawl. The roads on the central coast cleared up within a couple days, but the north coast – especially Manzanita, which received about a foot of snow – was like a slip ‘n’ slide most of the evening hours all the way through Sunday night.


THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years a favorite of Seaside visitors. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bed family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. Oceanview cottages sleep anywhere from two to eight, w/ two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens. Heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds w/ picnic tables - all at quiet southern end of Seaside. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.

On Friday and Saturday, the daylight hours were fairly easy to traverse between Tillamook and Astoria. But at night, things were quite icy, especially in the stretches between Wheeler and Cannon Beach, and parts of the highway south of Seaside. Saturday’s rain warmed the roads considerably during the day, but later at night the areas around Manzanita, Nehalem and just south of the Arch Cape Tunnel were nearly unpassable as that same rain froze over.

Wheeler in the snow (photo Winston Laszlo, Old Wheeler Hotel)

On Sunday, most stretches of 101 were clear, except for portions of the area just south of Tillamook, Neskowin and stretches of the Three Capes Loop around Pacific City. Lincoln County roads were all clear by this time.

Still, Kevin Winters, manager of D Sands Condominium Motel in Lincoln City, had a rough weekend. “Business was very slow this weekend,” he said. “Weather was the biggest reason.”
In the same city, A1 Beach Rentals owner Rose Knee said things evened out a bit. “We actually had a great weekend with three last minute bookings,” Knee said. “So the snow did not seem to affect us. But the holiday weekend did, in a very positive way.”

Snowy Seaside

In Manzanita, where the worst conditions existed, San Dune Inn owner Brian Hines was surprised it didn’t make a bigger dent. “It evened out, between cancellations and walk-ins,” he said. “Three room nights versus the five we wound up with, so we did benefit a bit.

Tradewinds Motel, Rockaway Beach. All rooms at the Tradewinds Motel are immaculate and have TV’s, VCR’s and in-room phones with data ports. The oceanfronts all have a queen bed, a double hide-a-bed, kitchen, cozy firelog fireplace and a private deck. Some oceanfront units come with all those amenities but the kitchens. Both types sleep up to four people. Others are appointed with a queen bed, small fridge, and coffee maker – sizable for a two-person romantic getaway, yet still perfect for those on a budget. There is an elaborate oceanfront Jacuzzi suite that has two bedrooms, coming with a kitchen, double hide-a-bed, fireplace and private deck, sleeping as many as six. For those wanting bigger accommodations for family reunions or large gatherings such as weddings, some rooms can connect to create two-room and three-room suites. Some rooms are pet friendly.523 N. Pacific St., Rockaway Beach. (503) 355-2112 - 1-800-824-0938. www.tradewinds-motel.com

“A couple of hunters, one couple not wanting to go back down the hill tonight: no one specifically mentioning coming to see the snow, although they took advantage of it when they were here.

“Actually, January is shaping up to be better than last year. So far its been our best winter so far, this being our sixth winter.”

Fogarty Creek State Park on Sunday

Nearby, in Wheeler, Winston Laszlo had plenty of nice surprises for the weekend at his stately Old Wheeler Hotel.

“We were surprised that we didn't get any cancellations,” Laszlo said. “I was bracing for some. And it's hard to say if some folks were frightened away from making a reservation by the weather reports and the thought of the roads. But everyone who had made a reservation kept it. Maybe the fact that the roads were promptly plowed and sanded by dear old ODOT had something to do with it, but we ended up with a very strong weekend.

“I have to also think that the incredible beauty of our little corner of the world all covered with snow was a factor that inspired guests to make the journey - and to hang in once they were here.”

A1 Beach Rentals, Lincoln City. Perfect for large family vacations all the way down to a getaway lodging for two - with over 25 vacation rental homes to choose from. A breathtaking collection of craftsman or traditional beachfront homes, or oceanview houses – from one to seven bedrooms. In various areas of Lincoln City and overlooking the beach, with some in Depoe Bay. All kinds of amenities are available, like hot tubs, decks, BBQ, rock fireplaces, beamed ceilings and more. Some are new, some are historic charmers. Lincoln City, Oregon. 1-(503)-232-5984. www.a1beachrentals.com.

Laszlo snapped a particularly lovely set of shots for BeachConnection.net that illustrated this point.

Cape Foulweather early in the week (photo Scott Gibson, Oregon Coast Show)

The same experience was had by Danielle Emerick at Starfish Point in Newport, though she didn’t think people were making a massive exodus to see the snow either.

“It really didn’t seem to affect us at all,” Emerick said. “We may have picked up a few walk-ins during the week days, but no one mentioned that they were coming over just to see the snow on the beach. It was more like normal and they weren’t letting the snow stop their plans to come to the beach.”

How your business did depended on your product, however. Ice cream vendors didn’t fare so hot, like Mike Exinger of Seaside’s Zinger’s Homemade Ice Cream.

Snowy Agate Beach (photo Danielle Emerick)

“It was slow,” Exinger said. “Folks don’t associate ‘colder than a well-digger’s digit finger’ with ‘let’s get ice cream.’ It’s kind’a ironic – since it’s warm as toast inside, and many folks we did have chose to sit and enjoy their ice cream, many with hot fudge.”

Exinger, like many coastal folk, is of hardy stock, and doesn’t like to go down without a fight – even if it’s a small verbal jab with a humorous side. “Alaskans eat more ice cream per person than any other state,” Exinger said. “So cold has nothing to do with it!

D Sands Condominium Motel, Lincoln City. Getting a free, fresh baked cookie upon check-in is just the beginning. Every room is beachfront, and it's all right up against Lincoln City's most famous stretch of beach, next to the D River. Each room, comes as a suite or mini-suite, and has a kitchen and balcony or patio. Some have gas fireplaces, while all have a DVD Players with movies available for renting (and movie rentals come with free popcorn). There's a heated indoor pool, a spa, and this fabulous beach is lit at night. Rooms sleep anywhere from two, four to six - including a deluxe fireplace suite. Gift certificates are available, and they offer special occasion packages as well. To make a reservation and see a virtual tour of the rooms, visit our website at www.dsandsmotel.com. 171 S.W. Highway 101. 800-527-3925.


Lincoln City Vacation Homes There’s something for everyone among this selection of wondrous homes: smaller homes with a view to a large house that sleeps 15. All the homes are either oceanfront or just a few steps away from the sand – all with a low bank access and fantastic views. Most are in the Nelscott area; one is close to the casino. You’ll find a variety of goodies, depending on the home: fireplaces, multiple bedrooms, dishwashers, Jacuzzis, washer/dryers, hot tubs, cable TV, VCR, barbecues; there’s a loft in one, and another sprawling home has two apartments. Pets are allowed in some homes – ask ahead. Each comes with complete kitchens so you’ll have a home away from home. Most have the seventh night free. Prices range from winter $85 to summer $230 per night. www.getaway2thecoast.com. 541-994-8778.


Inn At Spanish Head, Lincoln City. It's Lincoln City’s only resort hotel built right on the beach with all oceanfront rooms - nestled against a rugged cliffside overlooking a soft, sandy beach. Enjoy dining in the penthouse restaurant and bar - whether you’re in the mood for a casual meal or a candlelight dinner. They offer an array of seafood specialties, juicy steaks and other Northwest favorites, including a decadent Sunday buffet. Rooms range from bedrooms to studios to one-bedroom suites with microwaves and refrigerators to full kitchens. Hotel amenities include wi-fi, spa, saunas, exercise room and a year-round heated swimming pool. Kids will love the game room and easy beach access. Full-service conference and meeting rooms for that inspirational retreat; extensive, gorgeous wedding possibilities. Near the south end of Lincoln City at 4009 SW Highway 101. 1-800-452-8127 or 541-996-2161. www.spanishhead.com



THE TIDES BY THE SEA, Seaside. For over 80 years, The Tides has been a favorite of Seaside visitors. History meets modern luxury here. 51 oceanfront condos, individually owned and decorated. Find suites for couples, small apartments with fireplaces and kitchenettes, one or two bedroom family units with fireplaces, kitchens and dining rooms. There are wonderful oceanview cottages that sleep anywhere from two to eight people, with two bedrooms, some with lofts, fireplaces and kitchens.
Meanwhile, the heated outdoor pool, enormous grounds with picnic tables and location at the quiet southern end of Seaside make for some memorable means of play and repose. 2316 Beach Drive. 800-548-2846. www.thetidesbythesea.com.


Weiss' Paradise Suites & Vacation Rentals - Seaside

Unique Luxury Accommodations in Seaside. 1BR Suites, 1BR & 2BR Duplex Units and 3BR Houses, units for 2-8 people. Rent our entire property for 20-26. All units close to beach, river and Broadway St.
Suites are designed for two adults; vacation rental units for families. All units have kitchen and many have fireplace, deck and jetted tub. Enjoy comfy robes & slippers, luxury bath amenities, quality linens and more. See us on The Travel Channel's "Great Escapes" show in August 2006. 741 S. Downing St., Seaside. 800-738-6691. www.SeasideSuites.com



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STARFISH POINT Newport - Offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. Every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks. Friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795. www.starfishpoint.com


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