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Balch Hotel
40 South Heimrich Street
Dufur, OR, 97021, USA
(541) 467-2277

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Mothers Day Special!

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON APRIL 28TH, 2010

May 8-9th

Husbands! Sons! Daughters! Sisters!
It’s time to treat your mother/wife/sister/girlfriend.

Overnight stay, two tickets to Maryhill Museum, four course dinner Saturday evening, a-la-carte chair massage/pampering foot soak or facial, and top it all off with a three course breakfast Sunday morning!!

Jamie’s Menu:
Grilled Portobello Mushroom Cap with Spinach and Goat Cheese
Freshly Smoked Salmon, Avocado, and Citrus Mache Salad
Chicken and Prosciutto Ravioli with Asparagus Beurre Blanc
Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with White Chocolate Mousse and Strawberry Coulis
Iced Tea and Coffee
$29 + Gratutity

She’ll feel like a queen and you’ll be beaming.

Call for reservations
541.467.2277

Tuesdays Tip Forums

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON APRIL 27TH, 2010

Two of my MOST favorite wedding forums/resources are on The Knot and Martha Stewart Weddings. They aren’t just for brides!

When Jeff and I were engaged and in the FUN time of planning and figuring out what we wanted, I came about the Martha Stewart weddings forums and it was FABULOUS! I asked all sorts of questions from etiquette to invitation wording.

Unbeknownst to me, my fiance went incognito onto the forum because he had a question of his own! He was looking for the best planning book out there. This lead him to The Knot. It was GREAT! I highly recommend getting a planning book, downloading a guide, or simply hiring a planner to be your “book”. It gave us a realistic idea of what we needed to do and by when. It made us even more thankful for our planner, Stacy!

I suggest you click on the links below and have a BALL on the sites. Your mind will be swimming with fantastic ideas.

Do you have a favorite site of your own? Leave us a comment with your recommendation!

Here’s to years of wedded bliss.

Tuesdays Tip from Erika!

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON APRIL 20TH, 2010

How fun it is to get together with your girlfriends for makeovers, pampering, massage, spray tans, the works!! Spa treatments are SUCH a great way to celebrate AND get looking fabulous before your big day.

Beautiful, healthy skin takes time and planning. For picture-perfect skin on your wedding, Erika, owner of Columbia Laser Skin Center in The Dalles and Hood River, put together this fantastic timeline for preparation!

Six-twelve months before the wedding:

Complimentary consultation with skin care specialist.

Begin Treatments For:

• Acne • Rosacea • Sun damaged skin

• Excess brown pigment (melasma, sun & age spots)

• Laser hair removal • Skin tightening procedures (Titan)

Four months before the wedding:

First Botox treatment to relax those fine lines and wrinkles

Laser facial and leg vein treatments

Begin Latisse treatment for longer, darker & thicker lashes

Two-Three Months Before The Wedding:

Juvederm: fills deep lines & wrinkles; enhances lip volume; corrects under eye circles

Begin series of 6 facials (includes microdermabrasion & chemical peels)

Brow wax, shape and tint

One Month Before The Wedding:

Pre-wedding Botox treatment

Two Weeks Before The Wedding:

Pre-wedding facial

Three- Four Days Before The Wedding:

Book final waxing and/or tint appointment

Massage and body polish

One-Two Days Before The Wedding:

NovaLash Lash Extensions

Mystic Spray-On Tan

Day After Your Wedding:

Relaxing couples massage for the Bride & Groom

Columbia Laser Skin Center is having a special on May 6th from 4:30-7:00.

A perfect time for you and your girlfriends to visit and enjoy an evening out!

Saturday Supper Club!

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON APRIL 15TH, 2010

This Saturday is Supper Club and I just got 4 openings at the 5:30 seating! Lucky You!!! Erin Glenn winery will be here to compliment Jamie’s delicious menu. Call quick to get your name on the list! 541.467.2277

April 17th
Siskiyou Spring
Creamy Wild Mushroom Bruschetta
Chicken Piccata (pick-ah-tah) with Capers, Asparagus, and Pearl Couscous
Poppy Seed Shortcakes with Tangerine Curd, Strawberries and Whipped Cream
Iced Tea and Coffee
(chicken piccata is an Italian-style preparation. Breaded, baked chicken with lemon and white wine sauce.)

We just love that Jamie NOT ONLY prepares delectable dishes every month, but that she gives us cheat sheet information including pronunciation. Hey, we love the tidbits!!

Call 541.467.2277 to grab your place and have some fun!

Tuesdays Tip from Mari-Beth Guenther

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON APRIL 13TH, 2010

When I reminisce about past weddings I think about all the small details that make the day so great and so much fun for all of the guests. I am not naïve to think that a wedding is a day for the bride and the groom but being somewhat of a realist (and somewhat of a people pleaser) we want all of our guests to have a great time! I guess it wouldn’t be selfish of you to think that you want the day to be all about you… oh come on it’s your wedding, everybody should be thinking about what they need to do to make you happy! So how do you give your guests a great time and still be focused on the real task at hand? Well that is what I hope my tip will help you accomplish.

Planning the day is already a daunting task so a little part of me feels bad that my tip includes a night of additional planning. Close your eyes and imagine seeing old friends and relatives that you haven’t seen for some time. When you first see these people there may tend to be what I might call a “catch up” period. This is the time when people are getting familiar with one another again and breaking the ice while learning more about Aunt Ida’s varicose veins and the guys she thinks are cute on dancing with the stars.

While the rehearsal dinner is a great pre-cursor to your big day and does take the edge off of people breaking though the ice it usually is meant for a just a small group of people. A separate gathering the night before for out of town guests might be just the ticket to seeing more guests, getting time to catch up, and if you’re lucky another chance for a bridesmaid to become a bride.

Regardless of the size of your wedding a night of mingling with out of town guests and visitors may be another great chance to get introductions out of the way and time to thank guests for celebrating your big day. The extent of this get together is up to you. I have seen this type of event put together as a separate event all together, catering and all, to a simple cocktail hour in the hotel bar. This tip is not meant to give you an additional event to plan or even another budget item but rather a better chance for your guests to have a great time and make a weekend of your wedding celebration!

Mari-Beth
Gorge Events!

Tuesdays Tip Decor!

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON APRIL 6TH, 2010

Highest form of flattery . . . imitation!

Some may call it stealing but it’s not stealing if you are inspired by the idea. That’s Samantha logic.

I‘ve come across a very fun site, utterly engaged that just conducted a table design challenge for wedding professionals using paper, fabric, or industrial materials. Now, keep in mind that these are PROS. It pays to hire the professionals, they have got it going on! However, I do know some very creative types who could take some of these ideas and be inspired to create their own fabulous display.

My personal favorite received honorable mention :

Don’t know what it is about these, but I’d have them around at my house! I’d throw a party just to show them off.

You can click here to link directly to this design page.

Whatever your favorite may be, have fun looking, dreaming, planning, and get inspired!

And the final total is..

POSTED BY RENÉ, ON APRIL 5TH, 2010

I have been dying to write this blog post…and I have not had the time until now. I’m actually at the Balch Hotel right now…working…but Samantha was kind enough to put it on my list of “projects” for the evening! So now that our guests have their warm and gooey chocolate chip cookies, I’m free to sit and tell you the awesome news!

All the money is finally in, and I can tell you that I was able to raise $1400.00 for the Rogers’ family adoption!! That is more than $100 per mile! I still tear up when I think about the people who contributed, some of whom I’ve never met and most of whom have never met the Rogers’ family. I am blessed beyond words at your kind and generous hearts and I pray the Lord will bless you richly for your generosity.

It has been an amazing experience and I could not have done it without so many folks cheering me on…or without the incredible GRACE that God gave me to do something so completely outside of myself. I can’t believe it’s been almost a month since I completed my first half-marathon. Pretty amazing. I still feel so proud of myself for finishing, and my legs cannot wait to start running again! Seriously. Did I tell you? I’m planning to run another half in September. Yep. This is not a belated April fool’s joke. It’s totally going to happen . You’re welcome to keep up with me through this blog. I’ll post about my training…and my life…from time to time…but for now, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU! For loving, supporting, and praying for me and for the Rogers’ family. We are all unbelievable grateful.

Smiles ~ René

P.S. For those keeping tabs on the Rogers’ through this blog, they have now moved up to #4 on the waiting list. A recent change in adoption regulations means they will have to take two trips to Ethiopia which has added an additional $4,600 to their expenses. Please pray for God’s continued provision and go to their blog to read more about their journey. For you coffee drinkers out there, they have an online coffee storefront where you can purchase fabulous coffee and a portion of the proceeds goes toward their adoption expenses.

Tuesdays Tip Do you need a planner?

POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON MARCH 30TH, 2010

Do you need a wedding planner?

I encounter many brides, moms, aunts, and friends that are excited to “do it all”. This excitement is GREAT!! It’s part of what can make your wedding very wonderful – filled with memories from start to finish. Question is, what kind of memories are in the making?

There are SO many things to take into consideration:

How long do I have to plan? (12 month check lists are common!)
Do I have a full schedule already?
How big is my guest list?
How helpful and organized are my loved ones?
Are my helpers giving suggestions that reflect their wishes or mine? (It’s like opening the gift from your favorite aunt . . . do you open the gift and wonder, “what was she thinking?? this would look great on her but it is NOT my style.” Not helpful for helping to execute your vision for your big day.)

A wedding planner might be just what you need to keep the peace – both in the family and your peace of mind. Remember, they are the experts with experience, knowledge, and references for quality vendors from florists to DJ’s.

You want the day to go smoothly with deliveries and quality vendors. Can you imagine not having the DJ or your cake show up? At my OWN wedding (10 years ago) my planner picked up my dress from the final pressing and it had a HUGE black mark right on the front! This was the NIGHT BEFORE my wedding. Not good. My planner went through the ringer getting it fixed for me and I was none the wiser. She took care of the problem and all the while I was in the state of night-before-my-wedding-euphoria. That’s valuable! She was worth her weight in gold.

Planners have packages to help fit your needs. They range from day-of coordination (GREAT because you can just have fun getting ready!!) to full service planning packages to help you with everything from picking out your color palate to helping your guests with accommodations.

Be sure your planner fits your personality and needs! They are professionals with the vision, resources, and knowledge to make your day a dream come true. Meet with a few different planners. A complimentary consult might be just what you need!

Tuesdays Tip Budgeting

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON MARCH 23RD, 2010

Break it down for me baby!
(I think that’s a lyric from some 80′s song in my head. . . look out!)

Tips for budgeting! The place place to start.

First you and your fiance should decide what’s most important to you both. Where do you want to focus your efforts? After having helped more than a few brides, I must say that location and photography are items to weigh heavily. Your photos will be memorabilia for your family for generations to come! I LOVE looking at old family photos from weddings and other important celebrations. Think about perusing through grandma’s album and looking at her fabulous clothes!

Questions to start the conversation:

Who do we really want to celebrate with?
Start making your guest list!

Is there something special you’ve done, or something about you that you want reflected in your wedding day?
For example, one of my couples had their proposal in the coffee shop at Powell’s books! While he was popping the question some random guy apparently thought they needed to move over on the bench! So, right in the middle of the proposal, ring in hand, this random man asked them to slide over! (Yo, dude! Can’t you see we’re in the middle of something rather important??) Parenthesis are my thoughts. They just laughed and slid over!

Who is contributing financially?
Are you and your fiance paying for the bulk or are parents wanting to contribute? Knowing these things in advance definitely helps with your planning and stress level!

Here’s an excellent guide to help you with that budget.

Reception (food and spirits, rentals and venue) 40-50%
Flowers 10%
Photography/Videography 10%
Attire 5-10%
Music 5-10%
Planner 10-15%
Misc. (officiant, invitations, licences, gifts, etc.) 10%
Cushion 5-15%

Remember, don’t be so rigid that you stress out about your budget. If you truly fall in love with a place, photographer, or some over the top dress, simply move your numbers around. Your day should reflect you and your fiance, and you should love everything about it!

Tuesdays Tip Receiving Line Etiquette

POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON MARCH 16TH, 2010

This will be the first of our Tuesday Wedding Tip of the Week! I’ll be working on giving you some GREAT wedding tips from planning to etiquette.

Why Tuesday?

Well, Tuesday seems to be the “Middle Child” day of the traditional work week. Think about it. Monday it’s back to work day. Monday has a cloud or sunshine all its own (depending on how much you love or don’t love your job.)! Monday elicits a powerful image all by itself when someone says “Monday”. Wednesday, well, that’s hump day. Wednesday signifies that you’re half way through your productive work week! Wednesday is exciting! Thursday is the day before Friday, filled with its own positive anticipation, and Friday has received TONS of mileage: T.G.I.F., Casual Fridays, Cocktails or dinner Friday night celebrating the end of the week and the beginning of your weekend. . . . Poor Tuesday. It’s been neglected, forgotten, looked over, and doesn’t have a ton going for it. That’s about to change!

Tuesday’s Tip of the Week is born! (Besides I like the alliteration of Tuesday and Tip. I will gladly entertain commentary and suggestions for more alliteration or some other catchy name! In the end it all helps Tuesday’s image.) We’re going to redefine Tuesday and give you something good and valuable and fun to associate with this day!

I know, it seems like a lot of pressure to put on ourselves, the redefining of an entrenched work week’s image, created since the dawn of time by whomever started the “work week”. Well, we are up to the challenge!! Now, what to do for the kick off. . . . .

Here’s my all time favorite tip: “Don’t spit in the wind.”

That’s not very bridal . . .

Let’s go this route:

Receiving Line Etiquette

Who’s Involved?
Traditionally the receiving line includes (in this order) the Bride’s Parents, the Bride and Groom, and the Groom’s Parents. The Bridesmaids and Groomsmen are optional. Depending on the familiarity of your wedding party and guests, you can best decide whether or not to have them in the receiving line! I’ve been to large weddings where the entire wedding party was in the receiving line. I was interested in my friend and congratulating her new husband. It was awkward meeting the first-cousin-once-removed-I-need-to-keep-peace-in-the-family-bridesmaid. Not really necessary.

When do we have the receiving line?
It is done right after the ceremony or just before the reception. Your guests will appreciate the time (albeit short) time with you. It’s just good manners! They’ve chosen to celebrate this special day with you and, in most cases, brought a gift! Go ahead and get some lipstick on your cheeks and smash that boutonniere with hugs. When in your life will you get this much lavish attention from the people you love? Enjoy it!

What do I say?
Ideally you should introduce your spouse and your parents to the guests they do not know. However, you might not know a guest that your parents have invited! In most cases guests are pretty darn great at introducing themselves down the line. Remember though, you will make a nice impression by doing the introductions yourself. A receiving line is a great way to meet and personally thank all your guests.

What if my parents are divorced?
There are many variables here. . . Normally they don’t stand next to each other because that gives the impression that they are a couple. If your divorced parents don’t really care, have them stand together! If your parent is remarried and you have a good relationship with the new spouse you could invite him/her to be in the receiving line as well. If this isn’t really the best option, have mom first, the bride and groom, the groom’s parents, then the bride’s father. You want to make it as comfortable as possible for your family and friends. This is a good thing to talk with them about before hand so there is no awkwardness (make lists and discuss who’s involved in which photos too!).

Happy Planning!

Finishing the Race!

POSTED BY RENÉ, ON MARCH 8TH, 2010

I can’t believe I did it. But I did. The experience was fantastic. The running, not my favorite…but you knew that anyway! I had to be on the bus at 4am…that’s 1am in “the hood”…and when I got there, the line was super long. I met some wonderful ladies from a Ft. Lauderdale running/walking club. They were kind enough to let me tag along and two of them were in the same group I started with. There were soooooooooooo many women…and quite a few men as well…and most everyone was dressed in some kind of princess garb. Fireworks went off at the beginning of each running/walking group. The ladies from Ft. Lauderdale walked, but were sure to give me hugs before I ran away .

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The run itself was harder than I expected it to be and I was thankful for the training I’d done in some of the hillier places. There were Disney characters positioned throughout the course which made for many photo opps along the way I decided that I wanted to enjoy the experience instead of worry about finishing in a certain amount of time…which was good since I’m a sucker for a photograph . I am unbelievably thankful for the prayers and encouragement of all my dear friends and family. My back only bothered me once which is a complete testament to your prayers for God’s grace over me as I ran. I walked for a short time (less than .10 of a mile) somewhere between mile 10 and mile 11, because I was really tired. I was frustrated and I definitely felt like quitting. But in His mercy, Jesus came for me, as He always does and I was able to start running again. The last mile and a quarter felt like the longest mile and a quarter in my life, but I was definitely not willing to stop that close to the end.

So it’s over. After some 3 hours 11 minutes and 17 seconds, I crossed the finish line. I feel so blessed to have made it to this point…and I’ll be wearing my medal around for awhile . I ran the race and can’t wait to get home to hug all the people who were praying for me…and if you’re someone who prayed for me that I can’t hug right away, know that I love you and am hugging you in my heart! I’ll post an update from home with the final amount I’ll be giving to the Rogers’ for their adoption. I can tell you with certainty it’s up to 4 figures and that…makes me very very excited!

Wedding Sap

POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON MARCH 4TH, 2010

I am such a SAP!!! Had a great time at the bridal show at the Civic in The Dalles Last Saturday. They had a fashion show and of course I left the booth to go watch!! I was sitting near the door with a great view of the models as they descended the stairs. Here comes a cute little ring bearer boy escorting a gal in a beautiful bridal dress. I couldn’t believe it!! I started tearing up right then and there! I had to get a grip and tell myself, “it’s a fashion show Samantha”. . . .

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For all my hub-bub about being nervous designing and setting up a booth, it turned out GREAT!!! Sorry the photos are just from our little point and shoot camera. They don’t quite do it justice but you get the idea! I partnered with Carol from Palate Pleasers , and hung photos from the very talented Jim Semlor, Kimberly Kay, and Vlado Sklenar. Carol she added such beauty with her cakes, flowers, and design. I think our booth rocked!! By the amount of traffic we had, I think people agreed!

Top 10 (+1) Reasons to Have Your Wedding at Balch Hotel

POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON MARCH 4TH, 2010

1. Dufur (just 40 minutes southeast of Hood River) gets more sunny days and fewer windy days than Hood River. We’re the sunniest wedding location in the gorge!!

2. Wedding packages includes a day coordinator to help you relax and enjoy.

3. Schedule a massage as part of your wedding day preparations.

4. The four different wedding locations on the grounds offer a gorgeous backdrop for your special day.

5. You can book the whole hotel for lodging for your family and guests (sleeps 36!).

6. The bridal suite is gorgeous and includes your own personal Jacuzzi tub and stunning view of Mt. Hood sunsets.

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7. Hosts Jeff & Samantha Irwin are enormously charming, helpful, and focused on helping you with your wedding preparation.

8. The lobby and parlor are a gorgeous place for Hors d’oeuvres, Cake, or Mingling.

9. Wedding and hotel guest love it!

‘Elegant, sophisticated & warm. I enjoyed my stay at the Balch, and only wish I could have stayed longer. Excellent for the business traveler or a romantic get-a-way. Thank you!’

‘Thank you so very much for the hospitality provided during Brandon and Kristi’s wedding. There are so many things that you did for all of us that I can’t begin to list them. My only hope is that more people find your Hotel and realize the unique setting and the first class treatment that you provide. Thank you again.’

‘The entire stay was perfect. Homemade ice cream, warm cookies, super clean rooms, beds that we all loved – hated to get out of! Bathrooms that were sparkly clean. 5 star. We’ll be back again.’

10. Book between now and May 1st and get 2 nights lodging – free! (Gift certificate to be used anytime within 1 year after your wedding date.)

11. Super cool photo ops nearby!!

Email Samantha@BalchHotel.com today to learn more!

Running with Passion

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON FEBRUARY 24TH, 2010


Sunday, March 7, 2010 I will be running in the Disney Princess Half-Marathon. The race itself is a benefit for the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and while my entry-fees go toward that incredible organization, I had to find a deeper reason to run. I’m not really a runner, at least I wasn’t before this. For me to run a half-marathon meant finding a bigger purpose…something way outside of myself, because simply running to run would never have been enough motivation.

Let me tell you about my motivation…

Somewhere in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia there is an orphanage called Hannah’s Hope. Somewhere inside Hannah’s Hope is a precious little princess who is waiting to be brought home to live with the Rogers family.

Bob and Cheri Rogers, and their three boys are currently on a waiting list to be given a referral to adopt a little girl from Hannah’s Hope, run by All God’s Children International – an adoption agency out of Portland, OR. Bob is a high-school math teacher and Cheri home-schools their three boys. They are currently #7 on the waiting list and while they wait, they are trying to raise the $27,000 needed to pay for the adoption. This is the reason I am running!!

Training has gone pretty well…although I still don’t LOVE to run. I’ve wanted to quit several times, but every time I feel that way, I imagine a little face with big brown eyes, curly hair and pink bows. She keeps me going and I dare say, I like running a little bit more every time I do it!

Samantha’s husband Jeff put together a training schedule that has allowed me to gradually work up to longer distances, while training speed on my shorter runs. My lower back gets pretty stiff and knotted on any runs longer than 8 miles, but I’ve found ways to deal with that throughout the training process. I’ve also figured out how to stay fueled during the long runs. My secret? Cold gummy bears and salted cashews …and of course water and G2 Grape Gatorade!

At this point, the Rogers’ have been able to raise all but about $6,000. This money will be used for travel expenses to Ethiopia to get their daughter and bring her home. My goal is to raise $2,000 for the Rogers’ family. To date, I’ve raised $532 through the generosity of a few friends and family members. That leaves me $1468 short of my goal.

Jeff and Samantha are generously donating a percentage of overnight stay this Saturday, February 27th to my fundraising efforts!! It’s PERFECT timing because Jamie Snell is catering a rocking Supper Club! A great excuse to take your honey on a date night. Get away to the Balch for a good cause! www.BalchHotel.com

This Saturday night!! Call NOW for reservations! 541-467-2277.

And, thank you in advance, for supporting such a good cause.

~René

P.S. Samantha says that if you feel moved to donate and cannot stay this weekend you can send something to her c/o René at:
P.O. Box 5
Dufur, OR 97021

Bridal Show!!

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON FEBRUARY 23RD, 2010


Oh my. Oh MY. OH MY!! I’m really looking forward to getting my feet wet and participating in our first Bridal Show!! It’s this Saturday at the Civic in The Dalles. The event is from 10-3:00 with a fashion show at 1:00.

I’m reading up on ways to make your booth reflect your business, what brides are looking for, what kind of give-a-ways to have, etc. etc. It makes my head spin just a little bit! Ok. It makes my head spin a lot!

My biggest challenge is decorating the booth! “What??” you say, “How can this be? You decorated the hotel!!”

Cat’s out of the bag now!! In actuality, I had a vision and then connected with the talent to make the vision come to life!! I can describe in words what I like but to actually put together the pieces to form that vision . . . . well, that stresses me out! I can plan a wedding or event just perfectly and love doing it! To me, that is not a challenge. Arranging flowers, that’s a challenge that should be left to the professionals! Looking for great photograph shots = professionals! Decorations = professionals.

I like to think I am good at seeing talent in other people and then connecting with them. We’ve been blessed to have people in our lives with plenty of talent and a desire to help us move forward with our vision. It’s like a symphony. All the players have valuable talents. They are like our photographers, florists, invitation designers, planners, etc. The conductor, now THAT’S who I relate to. Take all that fabulous talent and bring it together in a wonderful performance. That’s my kind of thinking!

Where is my first cellist or my second flautist? Where is my booth decorator? Fortunately I have great colleagues who are giving me all sorts of ideas for the booth. It amazes me the ideas they spout out. It’s remarkable to me and seems so easy for them!! Lucy, who owns Lucy’s Informal Flowers just tossed out three ideas. JUST LIKE THAT. I was stunned and loved every one of them! My, that’s talent.

Anyone want to decorate our booth??

Dufur Chamber Happenings

POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON FEBRUARY 23RD, 2010

Since the Greater Dufur Area Chamber was reformed a couple of years ago, I jumped at the chance to be involved. I love the idea of a group of people with common interests brainstorming, serving, coming together, and getting things done. “Two heads are better than one” is a phrase I strongly believe in. It was off to a bit of a rocky start because I, Samantha, was at the helm! While I really appreciate the compliment by my fellow officers and those who nominated me, my inexperience slowed us down. I am used to being a one man band! Working and leading intelligent, business, and community minded adults is/was fun and a challenge. I’m still on the board and just as active but also learning from others with experience. Together experience, enthusiasm, and energy can accomplish a lot!

I love the ‘smallness’ of the town. Dufur residents are extremely community minded. Support for sporting events is amazing! During games, I think most of the town shows up to cheer. It’s really great. An advantage of working with a small town and smaller groups of people is that you find people to be very passionate and outspoken about their home. I know, I know, don’t get too worked up about that statement! I’m not dis-ing bigger places, other people from other towns are passionate about their community too!! I suppose the difference here is that it’s still small enough to help form future vision. People are coming together and deciding the direction of growth – or non growth – that the town wants to embrace. People and businesses are revitilizing buildings and taking care of that history that makes Dufur so very special. I really am passionate about helping form this vision.

Well now, it seems I’ve gone off on a tangent! I need to write about our first Business After Hours event! This Thursday, February 25th at the Balch Hotel, we are very fortunate to have Lisa Williams with Media Forte Marketing presenting about the nebulous I N T E R N E T. She’s focusing on how to increase your presence on the net. Let me tell you from personal experience (www.BalchHotel.com) that’s she knows her stuff! I’ve been impressed with her knowledge, the groups and training that she’s involved with that keep her connected and up on the latest. I sure wouldn’t want that job!! I rather enjoy the idea of “mastery”. Hers is an ever changing beast and I’m glad she keeps up with it translating it to a language that I can understand. She’s presenting from 6-7:00, then we’ll network and meet our fellow business men and women from 7-8:00 while enjoying some tantalizing treats from Imperial River in Maupin, Janet Stauffer (for judge!!), and the Balch. Join us!! You don’t have to be a member, but after Thursday night you just might want to be!

Thursday, February 25th
Balch Hotel, Dufur
6-8:00 p.m.

Welcome Blog!

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POSTED BY SAMANTHA, ON FEBRUARY 17TH, 2010

So, we are starting a blog. . . how fun! I suppose this first blog, the introduction, should contain a bit of history. Jeff and I bought the Balch in 2006. Upon walking in the back door, I immediately fell in love with the building. We prayed that if it was the right place to be that the doors open. Boy did they open quickly! I fell in love with the history of the building, the location out here with rolling hillsides, sunshine, and small town atmosphere. It fit ALL of my criteria for a wedding location! We’ve found a diamond.