Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Friday, July 27, 2007

"Proposed resort could bring big bucks to Whitman County"

More on the proposed Rock Lake development from today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News. I'm encouraged by Commissioner Partch's and Finch's attitudes. I agree with Jerry. It seems like a heck of a lot of money. But all the county needs to do is get out of the way and let it happen, especially since there appear to be very few infrastructure impacts.
Development at Rock Lake would cater to high-end clientele

A high-end resort planned for Rock Lake in the northwestern corner of Whitman County could bring economic improvement for the entire county if approved by state and county officials.

Representatives of the The Retreat and Residence Club, which is based in Kirkland, Wash., proposed the resort to the Whitman County commissioners and the Whitman County Planning Division during recent presentations.

Dan Peterson, managing member of The Retreat and Residence Club, said the resort - named The Pinnacles at Rock Lake - will consist of roughly 20 houses and a hotel with 20 to 30 units on 815 to 820 acres of land bordering the lake. The resort also may include a golf course and an airstrip for private planes.

Peterson said the resort will be operated like a timeshare, with the most expensive houses starting at $750,000 per week. He said the location will offer two sizes of houses, the larger nearly 10,200 square feet and the smaller 6,500 square feet. Each house also comes with a yacht, ranging in size from 62- to 130-feet long.

Commissioner Jerry Finch said he would welcome the resort and the economic developments it would bring, but he thought the project sounded rather ambitious.

"I thought it was an interesting presentation and obviously we are interested in pursuing developments in Whitman County," Finch said. "My only thought is it seems like a very ambitious project, but if they go through the process it can only be a positive thing for the county. Ambitious doesn't mean it can't or won't happen."

Finch said if the proposal became reality, the county would benefit from new jobs and property taxes.

"I think anything that you do that creates jobs or secures our tax base is a positive thing," Finch said. "One of the challenges we have here is trying to get enough people to look at the area to develop."

Commissioner Greg Partch said he also would welcome the development.

"It surely would help the county. These are really high-end houses - really high-end," Partch said. "It obviously would be a great shot in the arm to the county's property taxes and local communities."

In addition to high-end housing, the resort plans to construct its own waste and sewage treatment plant and form its own fire district, complete with two fire trucks, full-time trained firemen and a paramedics staff. The resort also plans to have a medevac helicopter. All of the resort's emergency crews and equipment will be available to the county.

"We are not looking to overburden any of the county's facilities," Peterson said. "All of the things we are doing are things that are available to the rest of the community if they are not being utilized by our community - those are the extra things we are going to bring to the neighborhood."

Peterson said the club will move forward with its application to the Planning Department as soon as a few water issues with the Washington State Department of Ecology are resolved.

"As soon as we are assured we have all those things taken care of we will go ahead and do the formal application to the county," Peterson said. "What we have heard so far is very encouraging. Once we are absolutely certain we will pull the trigger."
The $750,000 a week for the house rental must be a typo. Even Donald Trunp wouldn't fork out that kind of cash for one week. $7,500 seems more like it.


April E. Coggins said...

The 62' to 130' yacht must also be a typo.

Tom Forbes said...

Okay, the Gazette story makes more sense. The $750,000 is a one-time buy for stock in the company and a week every year at one of the larger houses.

A 130' yacht? That does seem a little hard to believe on a small inland lake, especially if each house came with one.