Riley, Cooper and Lily

Riley, Cooper and newborn baby Lily

In this four-part series, we share a bit of history about Overleaf Lodge and Fireside Motel. See the first post, Where It Began: The Fireside Motel.

After nearly 15 years of running the Fireside Motel, the vacant oceanfront property to the north of the Fireside Motel became available in 1995. Jerry and Georgia saw another great opportunity ready to be made. They encouraged their son, Drew, and his wife, Kristin, to construct another hotel on the site.

Kristin reminisces, “Looking back, we were so naïve and young, we had NO idea what we were getting ourselves into. That year, our life was in such a state of change – getting married, having a baby, me quitting work – that it was just one more piece of the adventure. It was a leap of faith, but I’d had many adventures in my young life—this was just one more.”

Drew had graduated with a Forest Engineering degree in 1985 from Oregon State University and was 10-years into the Land Surveying and Civil Engineering profession. The Roslund couple with their 3-month old first child, Riley, moved to Yachats to manage the project.

Raising napping children in a construction site was a challenge when building contractors would bang on their front door looking for Drew. Kristin remembers putting a note on the door instructing workers to not bang on the door or ring the bell: “There are babies sleeping in this house during the day. Go to the front desk.”

Drew and Kristin thought the construction project would be a one-year commitment, but God had another plan. Just like many unforeseen things in life, one thing led to another. The couple who was managing the Fireside Motel decided that they didn’t want to manage the Overleaf Lodge, too, and up and left. Drew stepped up to run the hotel in the interim and stayed on to oversee the general management of both the Overleaf Lodge and the Fireside Motel.

Overleaf Lodge opened the week before Valentine’s Day in 1997. Later that year, Drew submitted the Overleaf Village 24-lot Planned Unit Development for approval to the city of Yachats, then subsequently developed that subdivision, sold the lots and worked with the new lot owners and a general contractor to build the houses that are there today.

Drew and Kristin also added to their family. In January 1999, a second son, Cooper, was born and then Lily came along in August of 2001. The photo of the children in the red wagon that you see here was the day they brought Lily home from the Newport hospital. Kristin says, “She got a little sunburn, just in that quick photo! The boys adored her so much.”

Drew and Kristin threw their passion and energy into the construction and management of the Overleaf Lodge and the Fireside Motel. When something had to be done that they didn’t know how to do, they found a way. The entire team had to learn building maintenance and basic construction skills. To better manage the Overleaf Spa, Kristin went to beauty school to become an esthetician. Some nights, their bodies hurt so bad that they remember wanting to cry. “But we just kept telling each other we were fine,” explains Kristin. “Reading the kind reviews that show we made a special experience for a guest helped us get through it—and still does!”

Growing up in a hotel may sound a little like the book “Eloise.” The children could, indeed, be . . . entertaining. When daughter Lily was 2 years old, she tromped through the breakfast room full of guests in a dress and rubber boots, carrying a huge fish she had dug out of the sand. Drew saw her coming and intercepted her, but some guests were aghast. Someone asked her what she was going to do with her fish, and she told them her mommy was going to make into cioppino.

Raising a family while constructing and then running two hotels meant moving in many directions at once. But their mission, Service with Enthusiasm, Excellence and Trust, or SWEET, defined how they approached every challenge.

See our next blog post about how the Overleaf Family grew to include committed staff.

Drew and Riley

Drew with baby Riley, the day they moved to Yachats

Drew Family Photo

Building the Overleaf Village

Drew Housekeeping

Drew learns housekeeping

Overleaf Lodge

Constructing the Overleaf Lodge