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Posts tagged: red lion hotels corp.

Red Lion adds a new hotel in Tucson, making it the 31st franchise

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Correction:  Earlier, this entry said the Tucson franchise will be Red Lion's 30th. When it converts, it will be the 31st.

Red Lion Hotels Corp. has  signed a franchise agreement to add a new hotel in Tucson.

The conversion is for the Quality Inn & Suites, 7411 N. Oracle Road, a property near the Santa Catalina Mountains in west Tucson.

Converting hotels into Red Lion Hotel franchises has been the primary business goal of the Spokane-based, publicly traded hospitality company.

The building is expected to complete the brand conversion by May.

It has 155 rooms, 91 of which are suites, and 1,600 square feet of meeting space.  It also offers a heated outdoor pool and hot tub.

Interim Red Lion CEO Jim Evans said the company added 11 locations in 2013, bringing the brand total to 30 franchised hotels. Tucson will be the 31st.

The Arizona market is considered a dynamic travel, business and leisure area. Red Lion already has the Red Lion Inn & Suites in Tempe-Phoenix.

Red Lion Hotels adds franchise in Ontario, Southern California

Red Lion Hotels has added a Los Angeles property as a new franchise operation.

The Red Lion Hotel Ontario Airport, 204 N Vineyard Ave., is roughly 35 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The former Ayres Grand Boutique Suites has 107 rooms and suites and borders the Ontario Convention Center.  Amenities include an outdoor pool and hot tub, a hot breakfast cooked to order and free internet access.

In a release, the Spokane-based hospitality company declared: “In terms of convenience, this hotel is in the center of everything in the Los Angeles Inland Empire.”

The Ontario Airport is just a mile away.

Walla Walla hotel converting to Red Lion franchise later this year

Red Lion Hotels Corp. is adding a new franchise hotel in Walla Walla, helping the hospitality chain add a property in the heart of Eastern Washington's wine country.

The formal switch to the Red Lion system is expected to occur later this year following a full renovation.

The future property is the Red Lion Inn & Suites Walla Walla, at 325 E. Main St, in downtown Walla Walla.

It has 80 rooms.  Renovations include a breakfast room and lobby, updated guest rooms, a fitness center and a new whirlpool spa. The hotel is walking distance from the Whitman College campus.

The current owner of the hotel, BHG Hotels, also owns the Red Lion Hotel Portland Airport in Oregon.

Red Lion adding another franchise hotel in Walla Walla, following renovation

Red Lion Hotels Corp. is adding a new franchise hotel in Walla Walla, helping the hospitality chain add a property in the heart of Eastern Washington's wine country.

The formal switch to the Red Lion system is expected to occur later this year following a full renovation.

The future property is the Red Lion Inn & Suites Walla Walla, at 325 E. Main St, in downtown Walla Walla.

It has 80 rooms.  Renovations include a breakfast room and lobby, updated guest rooms, a fitness center and a new whirlpool spa. The hotel is walking distance f rom the Whitman College campus.

The current owner of the hotel, BHG Hotels, also owns the Red Lion Hotel Portland Airport in Oregon.

Red Lion will light up the sky downtown, celebrating ‘magic of service’

Red Lion Hotel will host free fireworks tonight, Tuesday, starting around 9 p.m. in downtown's Riverfront Park.

Red Lion spokeswoman Pam Scott said the five-minute fireworks display kicks off the Red Lion Hotels' Magic of Service Brand conference.

“Red Lion Hotels is proud to bring business and energy to our hometown of Spokane, and we’re putting some of that energy into the sky to prove it,” said Harry G. Sladich, Red Lion's VP for sales, marketing and distribution, in a release.

The conference invited more than 125 franchise owners and general managers from our hotels across the country. That conference will take place at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park, 303 W North River Dr., from Tuesday through Thursday.

Red Lion sells Kalispell Center Mall for $11.6 million, still runs Kalispell hotel

Red Lion Hotels, of Spokane, has sold its last non-hotel property, the Kalispell Center Mall in Kalispell, Mont.

The company said WSPGB Mall, LLC bought the mall for $11.6 million. WSPGB is an affiliate of Woodbury Strategic Partners, of Salt Lake City, and Spokane-based Goodale & Barbieri Co., which manages the mall.

Red Lion signed a long-term lease to operate the Red Lion Hotel Kalispell that’s attached to the mall, the hospitality company said in a news release.

Kalispell “has been, and will continue to be, important to Red Lion for many years,” president and CEO Jon Eliassen said in the release.

The mall and hotel were built in 1986.

Red Lion Hotels converts Tri-Cities hotel to its brand

Red Lion Hotels Corp. announced its Red Lion Inn & Suites Kennewick in Washington has officially joined the system.

The Kennewick faciltiy has 61  rooms with flat screen televisions and an indoor pool, plus other amentiies.

It's at 602 N. Young, in walking distance to Three Rivers Convention Center, and Tri-Cities Visitor & Convention Bureau.

It's owned by Paul Sandhu, of Sandhu NW Hospitality, LLC.

Sandhu owns the Red Lion Inn & Suites Kent. That hotel became part of the Red Lion brand in February of this year.

The earlier experience  made the Kennewick conversion “very smooth and we are excited to offer guests another great place to stay in the Tri-Cities,” Sandhu said in a press release.

Red Lion has more than 45 hotels in nine states and one province in Canada. The company has rapidly been moving from self-owned to franchised hotels in key markets..

Red Lion adds its first Leo Collection hotel, the Las Vegas Hilton

Red Lion Hotels Corp.back in January announced formation of its Leo Collection, a boutique-focused line of properties meant to appeal to the off-the-beaten track traveler.

Red Lion recently announced the first property in the Leo group. It's the Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. 

The company launched the Leo on its site in time for the recent WCC Conference basketball tournament. 

Here's what's a bit odd. The Las Vegas Hilton is large.It has almost 3,000 rooms. 

When the Leo Collection was announced, one focus, according to the company, was on developing a group of boutique, smaller or historic hotels that retain their names but use Red Lion’s distribution and marketing channels.

The Red Lion hotel announcement does note the hotel apparetnly served as headquarters for Elvis Presley, Liberace and Barry Manilow.  Maybe that's what they mean by histoic? 

Hey someone at Red Lion, can you explain how the Las Vegas Hilton fits that description?

Red Lion Hotels introducing new boutique hotel group, Leo Hotels

UPDATED Jan 24 at 10:03 AM

And to explain why the name is Leo Hotel Collection, we went to Pam Scott, Red Lion's director of communications. The answer:

“We engaged  an outside firm, Methodologie, to assist in the development of The Leo Hotel Collection soft brand.  Based on their extensive brand research, Methodologie proposed the name as a complement to the Red Lion Hotels and Red Lion Inn & Suites.”

Spokane's Red Lion Hotels is branching out, developing a boutique franchise network.

Today's business section story covers the essentials:

“Called the Leo Hotel Collection, the concept has boutique, smaller or historic hotels retaining their names but using Red Lion’s distribution and marketing channels, said Harry Sladich, Red Lion’s vice president of sales and marketing.

Red Lion operates or franchises 48 hotels across the Western United States and Canada. In recent years it has focused on franchises rather than corporate-owned properties, which reduces its operating costs while building its network.”

Sladich offered two other hotel groups that have already been pushing the same smaller-is-cool approach.
Marriott Hotels has developed the Autograph group with the same focus. ChoiceHotels introduced its version, Ascend Collection, in recent years.

Why “Leo Hotel”?   Keep watching this post. We'll explain within the hour.

Red Lion opens franchise location right next to Denver International Airport

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Spokane based Red Lion Hotels Corp. opened a new franchise, the Red Lion Inn & Suites Denver International Airport, on Thursday..

The newly branded hotel  is at 7010 Tower Road, and has 87 guest rooms and is just minutes from downtown and multiple venues.

It's also next to one of the top five busiest airports in the country, a Red Lion press release said.

As of September 30, 2012, the RLH hotel network had 47 hotels in nine states and one Canadian province, with 8,872 rooms and 443,587 square feet of meeting space.

Red Lion sells its Denver property for $13 million

Spokane's Red Lion Hotels Corp. said Wednesday it's closed a $13 million sale of its Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast.

This past August the publicly traded hospitality company announced it had entered an agreement with the likely buyer.

Wednesday's announcement identified the buyer: Pandey Hotel Denver LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Pandey Hotel Corporation, the US division of CP Group New Zealand..

CEO and President Jon E. Eliassen said, in a release: “The sale of our Denver hotel helps us reduce debt and invest in our owned hotels in a manner which is meaningful to both guests and shareholders.”

The just-sold former Red Lion Hotel Denver Southeast has 478 rooms and 25,000 square feet of meeting space. It's near Cherry Creek State Park and has scenic views of the Rocky Mountains and downtown Denver.

Red Lion adds hotel in Sacramento; has hotels for sale in four cities

Still responding to investors urging the company to shake itself free of underperforming assets, Red Lion Hotels Corp. announced a new Sacramento franchise has joined the company brand.

The Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center Sacramento has officially converted to the Red Lion.

The owner is Kumar Sharma of Shri Vinayaka Hotel, Inc.  He was quoted saying, “Rebranding the hotel to Red Lion is the next step in marketing this property to its full potential.” The deal came out of an earlier sale of a Red Lion-owned property to Sharma's firm. That other hotel, the former Red Lion at Arden Village, is now part of Sharma's hotel operations.

In exchange, Sharma agreed to franchise the Woodlake hotel.

The full-service hotel has 306 guest rooms, 60,000 square feet of meeting space, a fitness center and an outdoor pool. 

As it continues working toward a focused balance of franchises and owned properties, Red Lion is also listing for sale hotels in Medford, Missoula, Denver and Pendleton.

Red Lion Hotels comes out and admits it’s not able to find a willing suitor

Red Lion Hotels Corp. managers yesterday (Tuesday) produced some responses to last week's shot by an investor group who felt the company wasn't moving forward fast enough to make some major changes.

On Tuesday managers said they’ve contacted more than 70 potential buyers but have failed to find offers to buy the hospitality chain.

The effort is a response to Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund, a group that has vocally asked for major changes, including sell part or all of the company.

The Red Lion release noted: the outreach resulted in “a limited number of non-binding indications of interest, but (we) did not ultimately receive any offers,” a statement said.

Red Lion’s search to find a buyer followed the publicly traded company’s hiring this spring of Bank of America Merrill Lynch to “develop strategic alternatives” as Red Lion struggled to increase its market share.

Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund, based in Seattle, said it might seek to oust the company’s directors unless more assets were sold.

The Columbia Pacific filing on Friday said Red Lion managers had not given an adequate summary of its efforts to maximize stockholder value. Columbia Pacific owns about 29 percent of Red Lion’s common stock.

Tuesday’s release also said company board chair and first CEO Donald K. Barbieri will retire at the end of 2012. He has served as board chairman since 1996.

His brother, Richard L. Barbieri, also will retire from the board Dec. 31 unless the board appoints a replacement sooner. Richard Barbieri was the firm’s general counsel and became a board member in 1978.

Both brothers were named by investor group Somerset Capital in a letter released this year. The letter said the Barbieris and CEO Jon Eliassen should be removed from the board for ineffective management.

Eliassen said in Tuesday’s release Re

Red Lion Hotels adds new Denver franchise

Red Lion Hotels Corporation said on Wednesday it's signed a franchise agreement for a new location at the Denver airport.

“Our new franchise is one of the closest hotels in proximity to the Denver International Airport, a superb location that will gain visibility for our brand,” said Ron Burgett, Red Lions' VP.

The future Red Lion Inn and Suites Denver Airport, at 7010 Tower Road, is expected to join the system by November 2012. 

The hotel has 87 guest rooms and is near downtown and multiple venues, including those used by the Denver Broncos, Colorado Avalanche and Denver Nuggets.

“With all of the competition we have in this market, we think Red Lion will help us to differentiate our property and compete in the midscale segment,” said Zanfar Kahn of Tower Hospitality, owners of the hotel.

Red Lion’s largest shareholder says it’s tired of waiting, threatening to remove board members

Spokane-based hotel chain Red Lion Hotels is on the receiving end of an SEC filing by Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund, the Seattle investor group that owns 19 percent of the company's common shares.

The filing is one of a number of requests made by Columbia, which is the largest investor group owning RLH shares.

Saturday's SR and will have the full story. Here is the short segment from the filing that lays out Columbia Pacific's concerns. The full letter taken from the site is below the text of the story.

Red Lion Hotel Corporation
To the Board of Directors,

While we are encouraged with the recent success in selling off non-strategic hotel assets with the goal of paying down debt, we are completely dissatisfied with the lack of measurable progress made toward satisfying the strategic process.  This process was announced on March 28th, and we assume the Board must have been reviewing the options in front of the company for months previously.  After five months, it is time for shareholders to learn the results of this process.   

Let it be understood that a majority of shareholders are not confident in the current Board’s ability to define a clear direction or strategy for the future of the company.  The Board’s lack of a clear or comprehensive plan to create shareholder value is evidenced by relentless shifts in strategic direction over the past several years.

Therefore, should the Board not present a proposal to sell or liquidate the company; we will call for the resignation of the current Board.  We are prepared to present a new slate of directors who have demonstrated success in hotel operating experience and value creation through real estate repositioning and capital market transactions.  While we would prefer to work with the current directors to reconstitute the Board, we are prepared to take all necessary actions to effect this outcome.

We look forward to hearing results of the strategic process soon.


Red Lion Hotels sells Sacramento hotel for $9 million, adds a franchise hotel

Spokane's Red Lion Hotels Corp. has made another sale. The hospitality company said Tuesday it's sold the Red Lion Hotel Sacramento at Arden Village.

Paying $9 million for the hotel is Kumar Sharma, who had been franchising the hotel prior to the sale. As part of the deal, Red Lion announced it's formed a new franchise deal with Sharma's subsidiary, Shri Vinayaka Hotel Inc.

That deal allows Red Lion to have the former Woodlake Hotel Sacramento now become part of the chain's franchise group. It will be called the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center Sacramento.

“This transaction supports our strategy to reduce debt, expand our franchise system and improve the competitive position of our hotels,” said Jon E. Eliassen, Red Lion's president and CEO.

“We added a new franchise hotel with extensive meeting and banquet facilities that make it a much better fit in that market for the Red Lion brand going forward,” he said in a release. It has 306 rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space.

In November 2011 Red Lion became the owner of the Red Lion Hotel Sacramento at Arden Village as part of an agreement with iStar Financial Inc. to purchase 10 previously leased hotels. It's had the Sacramento hotel on the market since then. That deal was done to reduce company debt and was financed by the sale of the Red Lion Fifth Avenue in Seattle.

Red Lion shares have been falling since late June when prices hit $8.63 per share. Tuesday the stock was selling at $7.30.

How young did Jon Eliassen look before he retired? Very very young

OK, so we went a little long in a Sunday story on Jon Eliassen, CEO of Red Lion Hotels Corp.

He's probably, as one blog commenter noted, Spokane's “most interesting” exec. Or close, anway.

Here's a little snapshot photo of Eliassen from some unknown date. This has to have been an Avista mugshot that sat in the SR archives for close to 20 years. 

If anyone can come up with the year this photo was taken, we'll send you a free e-book on how to use and manage Microsoft Outlook 2010.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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