Steve Morberg wants to build ‘green’ hotel in Oroville

A diagram of the floor plan of The Melrose design of a ‘Green Built’ hotel.

A diagram of the floor plan of The Melrose design of a ‘Green Built’ hotel.

OROVILLE – A group of people with diverse ideas is focusingtheir efforts in several areas in Oroville, including building a new hotel.Some of their plans can be seen on the Web site www.sustainableoroville.com.

While Oroville’s Chamber of Commerce regroups, folks fromboth sides of the mountains, have started the Web site which plays up thetown’s tourism, underutilized heavy haul corridor and railway link. They findOroville the perfect place for sustainable solutions that will bring jobs andbusiness opportunities.

From the home page of the Web site, “The City of Oroville iscreating sustainable solutions on their own despite the economic challengesfacing the State of Washington. The city is utilizing existing infrastructure toattract green industry and development that will increase jobs, tourism,affordable renewable energy and revenue for area farmers for a sustainablefuture.”

Steve Morberg has pitched his idea for a motel or hotelbefore in Oroville, but saw his financing dry up along with many others becauseof the economic downturn that struck the nation. He’s back and thinks this timehe’ll be able to get the ball rolling again on a hotel. After looking atseveral designs, many of them with a retro feel, Moreberg is leaning toward the”Green Hotel.” On the Web site it say the Green Hotel is an environmentallyfriendly hotel that costs less than conventional construction and can be builtin less time than through conventional methods.

“The whole thing would arrive in container and would be madeof environmentally friendly materials, many of them recycled,” said Moreberg byphone last Friday. “There is no wood involved in the construction.”

According to the manufacturer, American Container Homes,their “wood-free structures utilize all steel and composite construction toachieve high resistivity to hurricanes, earthquakes, rot and decay. They aredelivered 75 percent complete in a single shipping container. On-sitefoundation options include traditional concrete footings as well asconcrete-free systems using advanced steel-anchored frames and piers.”

On the Sustainable Oroville Web site Morberg writes aboutthe hotel, “With the goal of bringing a new hotel to town, Oroville can promoteand attract more people to come and conduct business as well as enjoy what thearea has to offer. The hotel will also ensure that Oroville reaps thebenefit of tourism that directly supports local businesses.”

In regards to finance, because the project is ‘green’ hesays they have more options.

“We are actually on our way to meet with American Containerto see what they have to offer. We’ve covered enough bases (includinginvestors, banks and a green fund) that we’ll get to select what best fits thecommunity,” Morberg said.

Morberg and other Sustainable Oroville folks, including TimKing who wants to start a canola press operation here (see related story) andRyan Skinner who is helping to facilitate the different ideas, met in Orovillewith Chris Branch, Oroville’s Director of Economic and Community Development,Roni Holder- Deifanbach, Director of Okanogan County Economic Alliance,representatives of Rail America and others to discuss their ideas last week.Among those in attendance was Robin Stice, who owns and operates Eden ValleyGuest Ranch with her husband Pat. Stice has a background in marketing andtourism and is also a farmer, so both the hotel idea and the canola press,which could benefit local farmers, were of interest to her.

When asked “Why Oroville?” Morberg says he and the others onthe Web site see opportunity here for sustainable development, increased jobs,tourism and alternative fuels with Canola.

“Everyone seems to be on the same page… it’s win-win foreveryone,” Morberg said.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are the Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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