News 4 of 16

New Inn, Other Amenities Planned for Zillah Lakes

(News Item #0318, Published: 09/18/15, ZillahLakes.com)

Zillah Lakes (705 Kachess Lane, Zillah) held a fishing derby and open house on Sept. 5, offering visitors a chance to see new growth at the development.

It has been an eventful summer, according to Doug Lakman and Pat Strosahl at the Zillah development--including site dedication for a new seven-room "boutique inn" to be named the Wine Country Inn at Zillah Lakes.

The inn and other projects continue a revitalization trend for the wine country golf resort project. Zillah Prairie LLC, owner of the project, will soon announce new initiatives for this fall and beyond, introducing key players and providing an update on existing projects.

The list of new or continuing projects is impressive, according to Lakman and Strosahl.

The Wine Country Inn, which will overlook the main lake, is being developed by Lakman and his wife, Pam Lakman.

It will feature large rooms with kitchenettes, patios with outdoor fireplaces and innovative up-to-the minute touches that will set the Wine Country Inn apart from any other lodging facilities, Lakman said. It will provide "an opportunity for travelers and tourists to escape from day-to-day life to the peace and harmony at Zillah Lakes."

Also, the Community SEEDS project has announced a nonprofit/private partnership with Zillah Lakes as a midvalley base for a new innovative community-based training model for special populations designed to create jobs as well as build skills in horticulture and other social enterprise, they said.

Zillah Prairie LLC is donating over three acres on a long-term lease to the nonprofit to develop as a community park. The project will begin phasing in services at the Zillah Lakes site starting in 2016.

Linda Fox, executive director of Community SEEDS, will be on hand to answer questions about the project. Fox is enthusiastic about the unique partnership.

"There are very successful projects for people with disabilities around the country with components of our program, but non in Washington state that brings all of the pieces together like we have here in Zillah: integrated job training, employment, education, therapy, recreation, entertainment, and community living opportunities all at one location," she said.

There are additional opportunities that can be developed through partnerships with the hotel, bistro, the Zillah Lakes golf club and ongoing construction.

The first stage of a new Park in the Zillah Lakes Town Center has been started, including a beach area with picnic tables, plantings, wading area and a bubbling creek from the upper lake into the main lake. The park will be private for Zillah Lakes residents and hotel/café/garden guests, but could be opened for public events on occasion.

Envisioned as expanding in 2016 to incorporate a swimming/diving area, dining and viewing terraces beside the creek, the Community SEEDS 2.5-acre garden, an amphitheater and lakeside sport court, it will be the nucleus of the town center's recreation/relaxation amenities and draw users from throughout the project, say the developers.

Meanwhile, the events center at Zillah Lakes nears completion. The 4500-square-foot Wine Country Barrel center is in the finishing stages now and will open later this fall. A "pre-grand opening" event is anticipated Oct. 17th, when Zillah Lakes and proprietor Jose Aguilar plan to stage a "Wine Crush" event featuring a winemaker dinner at the center's lakeside patio venue, weather permitting.

Aguilar plans to begin hosting events at the Wine Country Barrel in November of this year.

Developers also are touting an improved Zillah Lakes Golf Course, managed by Lakman.

"The addition of our new #4 green makes the Zillah Lakes course into a legitimate and challenging six-hole golf course with tee boxes to accommodate rewarding nine and 18-hole play," he said. Lakman sees the course, along with the lakes and trails of the Zillah Lakes community, as a big draw for his new inn.

Reviewing the changes, Wes Hemphil, Zillah Lakes managing partner said, "It's very rewarding to see. We've turned a big corner at Zillah Lakes. We expect our corner of Yakima County to be hopping the rest of the fall and into 2016."

Hemphill also noted that several new homes are being built in the project now, an apparent result of the adding a "home center" at Zillah Lakes to ease construction and purchase of new homes. With only two lots left in Phase I, Zillah prairie LLC has also opened up a 23-lot Phase 2 for reservation.