CENTRAL POINT &

Could Central Point become one of the next resort destinations in Oregon?




Jackson County commissioners this past week unanimously approved the final reading of an ordinance that designates certain areas in the county as having the potential for a destination resort.




The biggest proposed resort would take up to 2,000 acres on the former John Day Ranch near the Table Rocks. Another has been proposed on 880 acres north of Central Point on the former Hidden Valley Ranch.




Bob Cole, a minority partner with John Elmore, owner of the John Day Ranch property, said the commissioners' approval means detailed plans for the resort along the Rogue River can get underway.




Golf course architect Jim Engh has been hired to design one or perhaps two courses.




Cole said 700 acres of the property are in a nature conservancy. The resort would have adequate water from the Rogue.




"We'd like to do it as 'green' as possible," he said.




Cole did not want to speculate on how much the resort would cost.




The hidden Valley Ranch project was expected to cost about $400 million and would have a hotel, luxury home sites and a golf course.




Another possible resort was not included in the ordinance because the land is in the middle of sensitive wildlife habitat for blacktail deer.




"I feel we have a pretty sound ordinance," Commissioner Dave Gilmour said. "It will have good consequences for our county."