Supporting green business is a mantra in Hood River, OR. Hood River was voted one of the best places to live by Outside Magazine and citizens and business owners alike have a reputation for thinking outside of the box. Business owner Maui Meyer is a prime example of belief system driving lifestyle. Meyer found Hood River in 1985 as part of the Windsurfing World Tour. He immediately fell in love with the area, and returned to live full time in 1991, after graduating from Cornell University, in Ithaca New York. “Hood River had a strong draw, and it literally came down to making a choice about love of a place over making money” says Meyer, “It was a good decision”.
In 1991, Meyer opened the Sixth Street Bistro, and a few years later, with additional partners, began a construction company, Nisei, then Copper West, Oregon Growers and Shippers, and most recently, Celilo Restaurant. “Each of the businesses focus on a small part of a successful small scale economy based on the Conservation model” says Meyer, “Copper West isn’t about Real Estate Sales as much as it’s about being a trusted negotiator, and local ‘expert-advisor’ to the process”.
Each of Meyers’ businesses has a strong commitment to the environment and living green. Sixth Street and Celilo restaurants boast local ingredients-fresh local mushrooms, organic vegetables, beef, wild fish and local wine and beer. Each dish is a tribute to the region and its spectacular bounty.
The hope is that the product speaks for itself, “When we’re selling homes, we’re selling the area, the lifestyle, the gift of living in such spectacular surroundings, ” says Meyer, “When we’re creating a meal, we’re providing a rich experience of local food and wine prepared by Ben Stenn, our award-winning chef/owner”.
The Yasui building where Meyer runs Copper West Properties and Celilo restaurant are also considerate of green building requirements and efforts are made to use recycled materials for flooring and other building attributes.
Meyer is also using business blogs as a way to communicate and educate his customers with information about working together to support green business practices. Copper West Insider,
is a blog dedicated to the unique aspects of buying real estate and living green in Hood River and the Columbia Gorge. Blog postings focus on everything from how to buy in Hood River to considerations for living in the area, a recent posting, “The Half Gallon Problem” discusses the change of living in the city and having a market on every corner to living in the country and shopping once or twice a week in town, helping a potential real estate investor understand the unique challenges of country living. Being eco-conscious is becoming more prevalent in business development. Meyer hopes it’s a trend that will continue to grow.