The courtyard level of the hotel is where the kitchen, coffee shop and dining room are located. Below it there are 2 levels of "basements". The upper basement level contains an employee dining area, 3 rooms for employee housing, and storage space. The lower basement level is much smaller in size than the other floors and contains mechanical equipment. Both basements are not fully underground, 3 sides of them are below ground but the 4th side facing the creek downstream is above ground. I don't have any pictures of either basement, they are not open to the public.
The Flood of 64:As previously mentioned, the Chateau building spans Cave Creek like a dam. Normally the flow of water in the creek is minimal, the water flows into a large pipe which carries it from upstream under the Chalet and Chateau buildings, releasing the water back into the creek just below the footings of the Chateau. During the winter of 1964 Southern Oregon was hit with a series of huge storms leaving a deep snow pack at Oregon Caves. On December 22 of that year a warm rain caused a sudden snow melt and a flash flood roared down Cave Creek. The pipes under the Chalet and Chateau buildings could not contain the water. Mud, rocks and debris surged through a breezeway of the Chalet, and poured down into the Chateau where it became trapped. The Chateau started filling with water. The building started to groan and shift as the floors began to give way under the weight of the water. Winter managers Bob Hines and Harry Christiansen were in the Chalet at the time, and saw the wall of water rush past them and flow straight into the Chateau. At the risk of their lives, they waded into the Chateau dining room, where they smashed out the plate glass windows, allowing the water to flow out, and saving the building. However major damage resulted to the building, some of it still apparent during our visit in 2004. (I'm not sure if the proposed 2018 remodel of the Chateau will "fix" the damage, so if you visit after 2018 all this may be repaired!)
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