Member Spotlight: Clover Island Inn

Member Spotlight: Clover Island Inn

By Paul Schlienz


Kennewick’s Clover Island Inn is both a draw for tourists and an asset for its community.

“We’re totally locally owned,” said Mark Blotz, the hotel’s general manager since 2004. “We have 150 guest rooms and a full-service restaurant and lounge.”

Located on a small island in the Columbia River, the hotel, which is pet-friendly, also boasts an outdoor pool and hot tub, free bike use for the beautiful riverside Sacagawea Trail, an exercise room with a dry sauna and a dock on the river with overnight boat moorage. And if you come to the Clover Island Inn during the summer, you can expect music – lots of it.

“We do a lot of summertime events,” said Blotz. “We turn our parking lot into a concert venue. We’ve been doing this for 15 years.”

For tourists who come to the Tri-Cities area for its wineries, golf courses, dry and warm weather and relaxed atmosphere, the Clover Island Inn is a top choice for lodging, but what really makes the hotel stand out is its community involvement.

“We’re very supportive of the community,” said Blotz. “I’m involved with Kiwanis. I sit on the board of the Tri-Cities visitor and convention bureau [Visit Tri-Cities], and I’m in both the Pasco and Tri-City Regional chambers of commerce.”

Additionally, the Clover Island Inn is a strong supporter of Junior Achievement, raising money for the organization through an annual bowling event for the last 10 years. Blotz has also served on the board of the former Kennewick General Hospital’s foundation and participated in downtown Kennewick improvement projects including spring cleaning drives and hanging Christmas lights.

In 2011, Blotz was honored as Kennewick’s Downtowner of the Year for his contributions by the Historic Downtown Kennewick Partnership, on whose board he served.

Blotz and the Clover Island Inn are also looking out for people in need. If a natural disaster ever hits the Tri-Cities area, the Clover Island Inn has been designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a transitional shelter where FEMA will pay for the cost of the room and taxes for those who qualify for disaster relief.

A different kind of disaster recently stuck many federal employees and their families when, due to the federal government shutdown, federal employees were not receiving paychecks. Blotz and the Clover Island Inn were also there to help.

“Right across from our hotel is a U.S. Coast Guard station,” Blotz said. “For about a month, none of the people who worked there were getting paid. We heard about this and we offered to buy them lunch and breakfast, at our restaurant, every day just to help them.”

The Clover Island Inn’s assistance was much appreciated.

“A lot of our people took advantage of the hotel’s offer,” said Petty Officer First Class Vincent Juarez, who works at the Coast Guard’s Kennewick station. “We really appreciated that the Clover Island Inn came to our aid during that period of uncertainty.”

Blotz, who first came to the Tri-Cities in 1978, started as a banquet bus boy at the Richland Red Lion with no previous hotel experience.

He worked his way through the industry, over the following decades, building a career and learning as he went along, moving up to banquet captain, banquet manager, night manager, catering manager and finally to the general manager position he holds today. He said he is proud of what he’s achieved for the hotel and his community.

“It’s been a great run,” he said. “It’s amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it and work hard.”


Photo used by permission of Clover Island Inn.

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Categories: Lodging, News Room