Douglas County is considering a proposal for a resort and 60-room hotel near Orondo from the owners of the Rocky Pond Estate Winery.

The application for a permit to build the project will go before the Douglas County Hearing Examiner this month.

Chief Douglas County Planner Tanner Ackley says the project is one of the largest to be proposed in the county.

"It's a pretty substantial project that we have out in the county," said Ackley. "I don't think currently we have anything like it, except maybe Spanish Castle."

Plans for the resort include a main lodge, a restaurant with a bar and lounge, meeting center, fitness area, pool, spa, river club, and barn.

The barn would house banquets, weddings, conference sessions, and other indoor activities near the event lawn.

Concept Plan for Inn and Spa at Rocky Pond
Concept Plan for Inn and Spa at Rocky Pond

A conditional use permit application was submitted to Douglas County on June 20 by Rocky Pond Hospitality Ventures LLC.

The owner of the land is David Dufenhorst, who owns Rocky Pond Hospitality Ventures LLC and is co-owner of Double D Vineyards LLC, with his wife Michelle Dufenhorst. They also co-own the Rocky Pond Estate Winery.

A narrative of the project submitted by the applicant says it would include up to 80,000 square feet of construction on approximately 30 acres.

The resort would be known as the "Inn and Spa at Rocky Pond."

An economic study commissioned by the resort prepared by Leland Consulting Group indicated the resort will contribute approximately $7 million in annual payroll, approximately 116 permanent full- and part-time jobs, and approximately $400,000 in additional property tax revenue if it was built out as proposed in the application.

A traffic study completed by TenW analyzed anticipated traffic generated by the resort and found the existing transportation infrastructure (including Sun Cove Road, Edgewater Drive, and US Highway 97) are adequate to accommodate the resort’s traffic.

Ackley said the project has the features needed to be a successful destination resort.

“It’s a very substantial project,” Ackley said. “It has a lot of different elements to it that all compile to create and substantiate this resort and this facility.”

The application for the resort project will go before the Douglas County Hearing Examiner on Nov. 17.

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