County Council expresses concern about Rosario Resort

The San Juan County Council expressed concern Monday about the imminent auction of Rosario Resort on Orcas Island.

The resort, centered around the 100-year-old Rosario mansion built by shipbuilder Robert Moran, is an island landmark and one of the island’s largest employers.

Earlier this month, owners of the resort, Olympus Real Estate Group, announced Rosario would be sold on Sept. 30 in a no-reserve auction.

“This will have a very serious impact on Orcas Island and all of San Juan County,” said Councilman Gene Knapp, Orcas East. “We have year-round, 100 full-time jobs at jeopardy as well one of the county’s historic attractions and a major contributor to the tax base.”

Knapp noted that, in the past, Rosario has always been operated as a top-of-the-line resort and he expressed hope that a new buyer will emerge that will continue that tradition.

Last May, the council approved Rosario Resort’s Master Plan for future development, which included establishing “private residence clubs” (privately owned individual units with one or more owners) and foresaw the replacement and upgrading of the resort’s marina and guest facilities.

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