Cavanaughs Hospitality Corp. has extended its hotel empire into the heart of downtown Spokane with the purchase of the 342-room Ridpath Hotel.
The acquisition announced Monday brings to 1,700 the number of rooms the Spokane-based chain owns or operates in an area extending from Kalispell, Mont., to Seattle.
Terms of the Ridpath deal were not disclosed. The sellers, said Cavanaughs President Don Barbieri, are a group of Portland and Seattle investors who acquired the hotel in 1988.
WestCoast Hotels manages the property at 515 W. Sprague, which has been on the market for some time. More than $3.5 million in renovations were completed in 1995.
The hotel will be renamed Cavanaughs Ridpath Hotel on Jan. 1, Barbieri said.
General Manager Tom Dietz said the hotel employs 150 to 350 people, depending on the volume of business.
The Ridpath joins three other properties in Cavanaughs’ Spokane portfolio - Cavanaughs Inn at the Park, Cavanaughs River Inn and Cavanaughs Fourth Avenue. Together, the four contain 1,136 rooms.
That total excludes a 55-room extended-stay facility on the South Hill, Cavanaughs Resident Court.
Barbieri said the larger block of rooms downtown will enable the chain to promote Spokane more aggressively as a convention site.
The transaction is part of the company’s commitment to invest in downtown Spokane, he said. “Our team is thrilled to be part of the operations of one of Spokane’s earliest grand hotels.”
Renovation of Spokane’s other hotel landmark, the Davenport, is expected to start early next year.
The original Ridpath, built in 1906, was destroyed by fire in 1950. The existing 13-story tower opened in 1952. The Motor Inn was added in 1963.
Barbieri noted that his father, Louis Barbieri, helped arrange the purchase of the land now occupied by the motor inn for the Ridpath’s then owners. Lou Barbieri died in July.
The Ridpath is the ninth hotel-motel property for Cavanaughs, and the addition of The Silver Grill and Ankeny’s brings its restaurant total to 20.
The facility also has more than 15,000 square feet in meeting space. The existing Cavanaughs facilities have about 36,000 square feet.
Barbieri said Cavanaughs Hospitality Corp. is a newly created holding company. Besides the various hotels and restaurants, company affiliates will include Goodale & Barbieri Co. real estate, property management and ticketing operations, he said.
Barbieri said he was impressed by the Ridpath’s management and work force, and predicted few changes. But he added that Cavanaughs will not inherit labor contracts negotiated with the current management.
Goodale & Barbieri Co. was entangled in a prolonged dispute with Teamsters Local 582 over an agreement governing workers at the Broadview Dairy that ended with the union’s ouster.
Broadview has since been consolidated with Darigold Inc., and workers at the combined operation are not organized.
Officials with the Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees Union Local 400, which represents most Ridpath workers, could not be reached for comment about the sale.