News Stories Jul. 9, 2018

The Let’s Talk Diversity Coalition has had to move its monthly meeting from Warm Springs to Madras because of a scheduling oversight. It will not be held at the Museum but will be located at the Rodriguez Annex, next to the Jefferson County Library in Madras. The meeting is today from 4 to 6:00. Anyone interested is welcome to attend and learn about what partner organizations are doing to create more inclusive communities, about upcoming cultural awareness trainings, and coalition workgroups.

The deadly Klamathon Fire continued to devour acreage Sunday, crossing the Oregon-California border as it tore through 30,500 acres and threatened hundreds of homes, fire officials said. The fire was 25 percent contained but continued to spread into the Klamath National Forest, Horseshoe Ranch Wildlife Area and private timber lands. Erratic winds and dry vegetation are driving the fire’s growth, officials said. Fire crews completed containment lines on the southern portion of the fire. Steep, thickly wooded terrain proved a challenge for crews working around the clock on the western and southeastern portions of the blaze, officials said.

Kah-Nee-Ta Resort employees were given sixty days’ notice on Friday that the resort would close.  Since 1964 Kah-Nee-Ta Village (followed by the Kah-Nee-Ta Lodge in 1974) has provided visitors with sunshine, swimming and recreation opportunities on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation of Oregon. The Tribal Enterprise was popular but lacked profitability for many years with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs contributing funding to balance the budget.  In 1995 the Warm Springs Gaming Enterprise was created and located Casino Operations at Kah-Nee-Ta.  The new revenue stream led to the unification of the Kah-Nee-Ta and Gaming Enterprises in 2001. Gaming Operations moved from Kah-Nee-Ta to a new facility along Highway 26 in Warm Springs in 2012.  The move led to profitability struggles again for Kah-Nee-Ta Resort.  In 2016 Tribal Council of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs separated the joint enterprise operation, leaving Kah-Nee-Ta Resort without financial support from Warm Springs Gaming operations. A new board was appointed in the fall of 2016 to focus on the future of Kah-Nee-Ta.  In 2017 a group of businessmen formed a company to pursue a lease to operate the property and make improvements to the resort for a 25 year period.  The agreement would have included significant improvements to the resort.  Due to insurmountable challenges, requirements for the company to take possession of Kah-Nee-Ta could not be met. The closure notification letter to Kah-Nee-Ta Employees states “Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa will close all outlets on September 5, 2018.”  “…with no lease in place, the resort cannot continue operation below a self-sustaining level.” The proposed closure plan is being developed with the intension of limiting additional financial risks to the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.