PENDLETON - A longtime fixture in downtown Pendleton, the Motel Tapadera, has reopened with a new name and new ownership.

Mike Walling of Vancouver, Wash., whose family has been in the hospitality industry for nearly 40 years, is the new owner of the building and operator of the renamed Tapadera Inn, 105 S.E. Court Ave.

Walling, 51, said he was "born in the motel business." He said his father has bought, sold and operated lodging properties in the Northwest since 1965. The family still owns oceanfront motels in Manzanita and Rockaway Beach.

Walling reopened the two-story, 47-room hotel March 2, having purchased the building from the Drumheller estate. The hotel had been closed since Oct. 19. Stetson's House of Prime, which leases space in the building, remains open under separate management.

Judy Jackson manages the Tapadera Inn, which employs seven.

Walling said he plans some exterior and interior refurbishing "to upgrade it and make it more country-western - a little classier, more like the restaurant." He also is developing a Web page at www.tapaderainn.com and plans a link to the Pendleton Chamber of Commerce Web site.

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