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Our View: The Hills are alive

We're sure we're not the only ones to offer a cheer to the news that the Ashland Hills Hotel and Suites is well on its way to reopening, offering Ashland and the entire region a resort and conference complex unmatched south of Seven Feathers. Owners Doug and Becky Neuman and their partners, Mike and Laura Naumes, held an open house over the weekend to show off the renovation work so far.

The hotel and conference center were a fixture in the valley for many years, dating back to 1978. When the renovation is complete, it will boast 230 guest rooms and suites and 10,000 square feet of conference and banquet space, second only to Canyonville's Seven Feathers Casino Resort in Southern Oregon.

All the original two- and three-story buildings, which housed 160 rooms and banquet space for 700 people, were closed in 2007 and have sat unused since. The Neumans and partners bought the 14-acre property last year.

Southern Oregon has lacked a major conference center since the closure, and a revitalized Ashland Hills has the potential to boost tourism throughout the region as it attracts more visitors and groups.

The Neumans have a track record of success in the hospitality industry, owning and operating the Ashland Springs Inn, the former Mark Antony Hotel; revitalizing Lake of the Woods Resort and, most recently, taking on the former Red Lion Hotel in Medford, now the Inn at the Commons. We wish them the best of luck in this new venture.