Pala Mesa Resort survives!
Last updated 11/8/2007 at Noon
During the Fallbrook (Rice Canyon) Fire, a flurry of early reports indicated that Pala Mesa Resort on Highway 395 was devastated by the flames.
“That was incorrect,” said general manager John Martin. “Every aspect of the resort is back in business.” Thanks to the diligent efforts of the firefighters, the beauty of the resort remains.
Following some needed repairs, Pala Mesa officially reopened November 1.
“On that day, we opened with breakfast, served lunch and had a whopping dinner,” said Martin. The resort’s Aqua Terra Restaurant is back in business serving its members and guests as well as preparing for upcoming weddings and events. Despite the recent wildfire in the area, it’s business as usual!
“It was a horrific firestorm, and when it jumped the I-15, it did hit Pala Mesa Resort,” said Martin. The fire affected some perimeter vegetation and several spot fires hit the grounds. “The heroic acts of fire crews from all over the state, as well as a contingent of Navy Seals and national guardsmen, helped us.”
Because of these tremendous efforts, there was no real damage to the main lodge. “There was no damage inside the resort,” said Martin. The Pro Shop, Aqua Terra and guest rooms were not affected by the fire. In a nutshell, the areas of the resort where guest experiences take place are perfectly fine.
However, the fire did damage some of the vegetation around the golf course and a maintenance facility. “We did lose some equipment,” noted Martin.
Martin took a recent swing at the golf course and was pleased with the outcome. “Yesterday, I played golf here, and I have never seen the course look so good.”
During the firestorm, Pala Mesa wanted to help out in any way that it could. “We ended up housing the firefighters,” said Martin. The hotel was filled with firefighters, including members of strike teams from all over the state that helped battle the fire around the community.
When firefighters went to the resort, they had access to clean rooms, showers and an abundance of food. When a shift was on once again, each room would be cleaned and then prepared for the next firefighter who needed a place to relax and rejuvenate.
“We probably served about 800 firefighters and, just as important, all the local law enforcement was taken care of,” Martin said. Serving the firefighters and local law enforcement kept the resort in operational mode, focused and in a giving state of mind.
It was definitely the aspect of teamwork that got everyone through a very difficult week, Martin said. “Giving back to the firefighters was something small we could do. It was our way of saying ‘thank you.’”