Breitenbush Hot Springs logo
Breitenbush Hot Springs logo

New Phone System

Published March 22nd, 2005 in Community Perspectives

phones“Breitenbush Hot Springs, may I help you?” … or 20,000 Guests and 2 Phones

Kathy Biskey

There is change in the air at Breitenbush. The crisp winter days are upon us, making my cabin oh so cozy and the steam above the hot springs ever more visible and inviting. The upgrade to the hydroelectric system continues, and has been graced with a magnificent Torii Gate that towers symbolically over the headgates of our power system. And, believe it or not, we’re upgrading our phone system!

For any of you that have visited Breitenbush over the years, jokes about our phone system are bittersweet. But then, the best jokes often have their roots in painful truths. We know (boy, do we know!) how frustrating it can be to reach us for any reason, even the simple act of making a reservation. We’ve managed to run our business with two radio phones and an office in either Salem or Detroit for many years, thanks to the patience and persistence of our guests. Thank you!

So, with very little fanfare, but lots of relief and big smiles, Breitenbush is upgrading to an Internet/Satellite phone system. This will serve our phone needs via a satellite dish mounted on our maintenance building. We’ll soon have plenty of phone lines, for both our business and our community! And, for the first time since 1988, our remote office can close its doors and come home to this beautiful land.

Initially, we’ll be running the calls through the internet and there will be more lines and clear sound, but with a slight delay in the transmission of sound, called “latency.” We’ve tried it out and it isn’t too bad. If anything, it eases the conversation into a gentler pace. We’re in process with the Forest Service to have a microwave dish installed which will then move the phones off of the latency prone satellite. At that point we’ll have conversations will all of you out in the rest of the world without any hesitations, and hopefully, without any frustrations!

Thank you again for your patience, persistence, and yes, even the jokes! There will undoubtedly be plenty of additional fodder for jokes during the transition times, while the bugs are worked out. Yet I’m confident we’ll all come out laughing about the old days, when the phones were so impossible.

Got to run, but hey, give me a call.