Summer Motel Guide Part I

Summer is officially here, which means that it’s time to think about summer vacation. What to do? Where to go? Where to stay? In case you’re planning to visit the eastern side of the Evergreen State and want to stay in lodging that’s a bit older than the local La Quinta, the Summer Motel Guide might be for you!

First up is Darnell’s Resort on Lake Chelan. Located on a 4-acre waterfront property, Darnell’s offers tennis, swimming, golfing, boating, volleyball, basketball, and horseshoes, among other amenities.

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Darnell’s in the 1960s

Information on Darnell’s Resort is scarce. It was built sometime in the 1950s by Ernest De Koven Leffingwell “Ernie” Darnell, Sr., who was born in Chelan and raised in Seattle. He had worked as a plumber and owned a refrigeration business before retiring at the age of 41 and returning to his hometown.

Following Ernie’s death in 1971, his son Raleigh claimed ownership of the resort. Sometime after Raleigh’s death in 2001, Darnell’s was purchased by Columbia Hospitality, a hospitality management firm. As of 2010, the resort is once again family-owned.

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DARNELL’S RESORT Chelan, Wash. 98816. Phone 160. 13 ultra modern furnished units with G.E. kitchens. 300 feet of sandy beach on Lake Chelan. 1 mile from town off highway. SADDLE HORSES, Archery, Golf, Ski Boats, Bicycles, Tennis, Badminton Court, Ping Pong Table, Croquet, Shuffleboard, Dancing Area, Children’s Play Area with Wading Pool. Outdoor Charcoal Barbecues, Lawn Furniture. Swim & Play– Darnell Way

Darnell’s Resort is located at 901 Spader Bay Rd, Chelan, WA 98816.

For more retro fun, and what looks like a few glimpses of Darnell’s, check out this 1950s footage of Lake Chelan.



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