Inside Scoop: A Chat With Donna Quinn, of the Cannery Pier Hotel
I recently had the opportunity to visit with Donna Quinn, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Cannery Pier Hotel. This chic, modern-style hotel opened in 2005, and is one of the most elegant places I have had the opportunity to stay. Not only were the accommodations excellent, but Donna and the hotel also went out of their way to provide lunch reservations at a local hot spot. Below you will find a brief history on the Cannery Pier Hotel, as well as guest services and exciting news regarding the hotel’s latest project, the Red Building.
Ashley: Could you tell me a little bit about the history of the Cannery Pier Hotel?
Donna: One of the great things about this hotel is that we are 600 feet into the Columbia River. We are located right next to a shipping channel- there is a lot of shipping traffic that comes near our windows as well as the private balconies of our rooms. Another great thing about this hotel is that we are built on hundred-year-old pilings, upon which rested a union fishermen’s cooperative packing company. Astoria used to be the salmon canning capital of the world. We honor this history with the Cannery Pier Hotel- for example, our “Museum Walk” contains a number of pictures from the Clatsop County historical society. We also have speakers at our hotel about once a month, ranging from bar pilots to historians to Lewis and Clark experts and tsunami experts.
Ashley: Could you tell me about the services you offer to your guests?
Donna: We have wine and hors d’oeuvres every evening from 5pm until 6pm. We serve smoked salmon, and help people learn about Astoria’s history. You can take a shower or a bath in your room, and view the shipping traffic from your window. There are a lot of great things for families and couples to do here, from the Astoria column to the Maritime Museum to the Flavel House. The hotel also has a Rolls Royce that is used to chauffer guests to local restaurants.
Ashley: Who built the Cannery Pier Hotel?
Donna: The hotel was built by Robert Jake Jacob, who grew up in Astoria. It took over 16 years to complete his vision. He visits frequently with the guests, and also gives presentations. He strove to make this hotel as authentically historical as possible, so that it would represent the many Astoria canneries.
Ryan Davis also joined Donna and I, to speak about the Cannery Pier’s latest endeavor: The Red Building.
Ashley: What are your plans for the Red Building?
Ryan: This building is a former boat repair/maintenance shop for the Cannery Pier Hotel. It is currently being remodeled. The loft will be transformed into a meeting space, and a venue for wedding receptions and live music. We have about 22 weddings scheduled already. This building was originally built in 1893. The space will house about 400-500 people, or 300 w/banquet style seating. This building will also include a restaurant, the 1,000 sq. foot Bridge Water Bistro (which will also provide guests with room service), and a 500 sq. foot wine tasting room from the Flying Dutchman winery on Otter Rock. A local chocolate company will also be doing their manufacturing on the premise, so you can have warm chocolates right off the conveyor belt.
There will also be a coffee house and retail for the chocolate products, a high-end art gallery, and local microbrewery with tasting room. We will have a 200-300 person outdoor ampitheater, with concrete steps that go down in to the water. The stage will be built out on the pilings.
The red building will be opening in the summer of 2007.
I would highly recommend visiting Astoria, as well as the Cannery Pier Hotel. The hotel is luxurious and cozy, and very close to local restaurants and adorable shops. For more information on the Cannery Pier Hotel, please visit our lodging section.
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