Steamboat Inn on verge of closing

Damage from the Archie Creek fire will cost owners at least $200,000 to repair.

Posted: Dec 11, 2020 5:55 PM
Updated: Dec 11, 2020 6:20 PM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore.--Three months after the Archie Creek fire swept over Douglas County, the Steamboat Inn is still struggling with the aftermath.

Located 38 miles east of Roseburg on Highway 138, employees said the hotel and restaurant has been around since the 1950s. Their normal season runs from March to November, and attracts thousands of people from around the world.

The hotel was in the center of the Archie Creek fire, which burned over a hundred thousand acres this fall.

“When I thought the Steamboat had burned down, I cried,” Jesse Goodin, an employee at the hotel, said. “I cried for hours because the fire map showed the fire was at Steamboat.”

But when the fire evacuations were lifted, owner Melinda Woodward said, she was amazed to find all of their buildings fully intact. However, they later realized they were dealing with bigger problems.

“We had fire on our property that destroyed all of our infrastructure,” Woodward said. “We have no water systems, no septic systems, and I have three different sections of property that were damaged.”

Woodward said they no longer have clean water, which has left them shut down for months.

She said the repairs will cost her $200,000 because they aren't covered by insurance. She said they’re struggling to find those funds and they’re at risk of shutting down permanently. Woodward said she created a GoFundMe, but it wasn't an easy decision.

“I waited three months to put up a GoFundMe because I tried every option available to me,” said Woodward. “Now, I’m out of options and I’m not very good at asking for help.”

However, she said she’s not going down without a fight.

“We’re doing everything we can to protect this treasure," Woodward said. "Because we do feel like it is a treasure."

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