New manager makes plans for Sunbanks
arry Donnelly, Sunbanks Lake Resort's new manager, has his eyes on a number of projects at the popular Eastern Washington resort. These include hooking up to Electric City's water supply and adding three more beachfront cabins. He took over as manager recently and lives in Longview. - Roger S. Lucas photo
Larry Donnelly, Sunbanks Lake Resort's new manager, arrived on the scene here running, and he's still running.
Born in Seattle, and now a Longview resident, driving home on the weekends gives Donnelly plenty of time to think about his new assignment.
The resort plans a major water hook-up with the City of Electric City in April, the addition of three new beachfront cabins, and a re-building of the stage area, and that's for starters.
Donnelly a 20-year veteran of the Navy, has managed several limited service resorts, including a LaQuinta, a limited service hotel; a Howard Johnson motel, and a Holiday Inn.
Donnelly graduated from high school in Newberg, Ore., and shortly after entered the Navy, a family tradition that included his father and grandfather.
He served at first in communications aboard the U.S.S. Nimitz, a super aircraft carrier, and finally switched to food service.
Serving thousands of Navy personnel probably sealed his fate and led to what has been a career in hospitality service.
Donnelly has also been in food service on shore for the Navy, even serving for a time in recruitment in Tacoma.
The new Sunbanks manager is married. His wife's name is Joi, and the couple has three children, Jessyka, 31; Cammeron, 30; and Tyler, 23.
With a food background, Donnelly says he will probably "tweak" the resort's menu and add a number of things, primarily to provide expanded service to youth.
The water project will allow the resort to connect to Electric City's water supply and will likely occur in April, a hurry-up project to be completed before the summer tourist season sets in.
The three beachside cabins, which rent in prime season for $350 a night, will be located as soon as they are ready. The resort already has two in place.
Donnelly plans to show movies in the resort's log headquarters, an early show for youth and a later one for adults, Donnelly notes.
In an effort to relieve the logjam that occurs when people start arriving on Friday for the weekend, the check-in this year will occur at the front desk.
An expanded boat slip moorage of some 50 slips will permit more people to have access to their boats. And Donnelly hopes to upgrade the putt-putt golf course.
All in all, there's a lot of work ahead for Donnelly and his crew.