Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Owners hope to complete project by spring 2014

Despite the obstacles and fleeting hope, Geoff Thompson is finally taking the initial steps toward restoring the View Point Inn, a historic building in Corbett that was ravaged by fire in July 2011.

“In life we all lose faith and hope at times, but I never gave up faith,” said Thompson, who’s owned the inn since 2004. “You don’t give up on a property like this. You don’t give up on a dream like this. And that’s why people like me succeed in the end, because we never give up.”by: OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO - Construction of the View Point Inn in Corbett is under way and hopes to be compete by 2014. OUTLOOK FILE PHOTO

At the inn, which overlooks the Columbia River Gorge, engineers and architects are crawling into every nook and cranny in order to evaluate the extent of the damage and the cost of the restoration, Thompson said.

Money from an insurance settlement will fund the project, which, Thompson said, will be complete in spring 2014.

He added that the structure will need a new roof, and there is significant interior damage. Reconstructing the building’s shell should be complete by Labor Day, and then the focus will move to the interior next winter.

For more than a year, though, Thompson wasn’t sure if he’d reach this point.

He said he relentlessly battled with insurance and mortgage companies before receiving a check for an undisclosed amount on Nov. 26.

“Insurance companies have two departments,” Thompson said. “One department is the department that takes your money. And the other department is the department that denies your claim. So maneuvering through those departments can be difficult at times.

“Every day ... we beat down the insurance companies and mortgage companies, and finally a check was released.”

While Thompson refused to release the settlement amount, he said it would be enough to cover the estimated $1.6 million rebuilding cost.

“It’s guaranteed I’ll be able to complete it,” he said. “What’s salvageable is salvageable, and we’re going to save every drop that we possibly can. Everything that’s original, everything that we can save, we’re going to. We’re going to rebuild it to exactly like it was when it was built in 1924.”

Thompson said his patience and hope were fading while trying to reach a settlement, but having the funds to start construction was significant for the owner.

“If you were giving birth to a child and you were in the delivery room and you were holding your child coming out of your partner’s body — this is everything to me,” Thompson said. “I’ve done many things in my life. I’ve had many successes, many accomplishments, many failures. Rebuilding the inn is everything to me. The land and the inn are in my heart and soul.”

The View Point Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was featured in the movie “Twilight.”

“To rebuild this inn for my community, for my integrity, my dramatically slandered character, to be able to right a wrong and leave this inn rebuilt for generations to come is a dream come true,” Thompson said.

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