Kalama—remember, you passed it on the drive up to Seattle? Just south of Longview? Old-timey railroad town? No? Well, you heard it here, folks—Kalama is about to become a Cascadian travel destination: home, starting in 2017, to a sprawling, tiki-themed McMenamins resort.
See, the City of Kalama (population 2,500) gets its name from John Kalama, a native of Maui who found work two centuries ago at the Hudson Bay Company. (Or maybe it does; other stories reference a nearby town called Thlakalamah, or the native word “calama,” which allegedly means “pretty maiden.”)
Anyway! Long-lost Hawaiian heritage will make a fine hotel theme, yes? You can expect McMenamins to run with it in style—think wraparound porch, rooftop brewpub, restaurants, onsite brewery, and of course ancillary tipple-houses elsewhere on the property. (Zombies! Not you after too many Ruby ales. We mean the fruity rum drink. Let’s hope they’ll have them.)
Here’s the rendering of the Pacific Northwest’s newest beer/wading pool/disc golf/quirky wedding destination—modeled after Lahaina’s Pioneer Inn and kindly financed with $6.8 million of the Port of Kalama’s own money. McMenamins will take over once the Port completes the build-out—likely a few months from now, says a McMenamins spokesperson—chipping in another several mil for interior design work and customization.
Don’t bust out the floral print just yet, though. This pretty maiden is gonna be built from the ground up. So keep 2017 open, and we’ll keep you updated.