What’s Going Up? Best Western Premier and Zpizza

Owner: Peppertree Hospitality Group of Spokane, Washington

General Contractor: Baker Construction & Development Inc. of Spokane

Architect: Wolfe Architectural Group, Spokane

Subcontractors: Baxter Builders and Severson Plumbing & Mechanical of Bend, Stephens Heating & Cooling of Prineville and Crawford Electric of Stayton

Details: A 120-room hotel and pizza restaurant with taproom are expected to open in early summer 2018, said Brooke Baker, director of business development for Baker Construction, the general contractor based in Spokane.

The hotel is a Best Western Premier with an adjoining restaurant: Zpizza, the Irvine, California, chain that offers nitrate-free pepperoni, gluten-free crust and vegan cheese, along with an extensive taproom, said Rita Santillanes, co-owner of Peppertree Hospitality Group in Spokane.

The project marks a couple of firsts for Peppertree and Zpizza. This is the first time Peppertree, which has built several Best Westerns, is building the premier-class hotel, Santillanes said.

Best Western requires all premier hotels to have an adjoining restaurant, so it’s also the first time Peppertree has acquired a restaurant franchise, she said. The company considered working with an independent restaurant operator and researched several franchises before landing on Zpizza, she said.

“We thought, because it’s close to the university, it was a good choice,” she said.

The Best Western Premier Peppertree Bend Inn will be Zpizza’s first Oregon location, Santillanes said. The building plan is for a 3,700 square-foot restaurant and patio with combined seating for about 100 people overlooking Mt. Washington Drive.

Zpizza is known for self-serve taprooms, but Santillanes said it’s unclear at this point whether self-service will be allowed under Oregon liquor laws. Locally brewed beers will be on tap, she said.

Other amenities in the hotel plan are a flexible-space meeting room, indoor pool and spa, bicycle storage and drying room for ski gear, Santillanes said.

Construction is proceeding on schedule, site superintendent Mike Lourenco said. The main goal is to have the five-story building under roof before snow begins falling, he said. With framing underway, there are on average 60 people working on the site, he said.

Work on the 2.77-acre site began in March with Latham Excavation removing numerous boulders and chunks of concrete, Lourenco said. “This particular site was kind of a dump-fill place before we got here,” he said.

Excavators dug as deep as 27 feet, he said. The unusable material was run through rock-crushing equipment and spread over the site before construction could begin, he said.

—Kathleen McLaughlin, The Bulletin