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Stevenson family purchase Cascade Locks businesses

Two long-time Columbia River Gorge families have come to an agreement for the purchase of the Char Burger restaurant and Best Western Plus Columbia River Inn in Cascade Locks.

Around June 15, D.M. Stevenson Ranch will close on the sale of both properties. Dan and Judy Bausch are partners with their son, Troy Bausch, in the Char Burger, and partners with son Kirk Bausch and daughter-in-law Carol in the Columbia River Inn.

The Char Burger celebrated its 50th anniversary in the Bausch family this month, and the sale will enable Dan and Judy Bausch to retire after five decades serving customers in Cascade Locks.

“We began to consider the option of selling the Char Burger to facilitate our retirement and put some feelers out,” Dan Bausch said. “We are so pleased that another family with deep roots in the Columbia Gorge was interested in both properties and will carry on the legacy of the Bausch family.”

The Char Burger became a landmark restaurant after Dan’s father, Lester Bausch, purchased it from another owner in 1963. The Bausches expanded and transformed the restaurant into the current cafeteria-style eatery, creating a dining destination complete with regional memorabilia that’s been famous for its burgers and incredible views of the Columbia River and Gorge.

The 200-seat restaurant, gift shop and lower level banquet room comprise approximately 8,000 square foot of the Char Burger.

The Best Western Plus Columbia River Inn, located on the banks of the Columbia River, opened in 1995. The Inn has 62 guest rooms, most with scenic views of the river and historic Bridge of the Gods, and offers an indoor pool, spa and spacious breakfast room. The hotel is conveniently located near Sternwheeler Columbia Gorge Cruises and Multnomah Falls. D. M. Stevenson Ranch also owns the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn and its on-site restaurant, Riverside, 20 miles east of Cascade Locks.

“We understand that the Bausches would only sell the Char Burger and Columbia River Inn to the right buyer,” explained Chuck Hinman, general manager of D.M. Stevenson Ranch. “This purchase satisfies all parties’ interests in keeping these businesses locally owned and operated.”

D.M. Stevenson Ranch is a limited liability corporation based in White Salmon, Washington, made up of 28 partners from the Stevenson family.

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