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Man behind Bing, Ruby projects buys Montvale Hotel

Jerry Dicker, who bought and renovated the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane and opened the Ruby hotels, has purchased the Montvale Hotel with plans to remodel it as well. (File)
Jerry Dicker, who bought and renovated the Bing Crosby Theater in downtown Spokane and opened the Ruby hotels, has purchased the Montvale Hotel with plans to remodel it as well. (File)

Spokane’s oldest hotel, the 36-room Montvale across the street from the Fox Theater, is joining Jerry Dicker’s growing portfolio of boutique hotels and restaurants.

Ruby Hospitality, the Spokane developer’s company, paid $2.3 million in a foreclosure sale last month for the 116-year-old hotel at West First Avenue and Monroe Street. Dicker said he plans to renovate the Montvale, expand the lobby, add a coffee shop and reopen a restaurant in the old Catacombs Pub space in the basement.

“We are thrilled to add the Montvale to our hotel options,” Dicker said in a news release. “My wife, Patty, and I have a passion for art and historical preservation. We look forward to installing amazing art that will be both contemporary and consistent with the historic feel of the Montvale. Our guests will be treated to a first class operation that will be consistent with the hotel’s original era but will include all the comforts of today.”

Dicker said he will transform the Montvale into a “stylish, artistic hotel” like he did with his two Ruby hotels, which formerly were a Rodeway Inn and a Ramada Express. The hotels seek to be unique with innovative art installations and complimentary bicycles, among other touches, he said.

He also bought and renovated the 100-year-old Bing Crosby Theater in 2011-12. In April Dicker opened Ruby Suites furnished extended stay apartments in the former Burgan’s Furniture buildings three blocks north of the Division Street bridge.

And he recently bought the two-story building formerly occupied by Dempsey’s Brass Rail bar at 909 W. First Ave. He is moving his company offices onto the second story and hasn’t revealed what he will do with the first floor space.

The Montvale will remain open during the extensive remodeling work, which will include restoring the original skylights and the decor and furnishings in the common areas and rooms, Dicker said. All mechanical systems, including air conditioning, will be repaired.

Previous Montvale owner Rob Brewster filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in February 2013. A bankruptcy trustee tapped Hotel Market Solutions, a Spokane management firm, to run the hotel, which was saddled with more than $3 million in debts.

Dicker spent more than 40 years in California developing large shopping centers and malls. He and his wife moved to Spokane in 2001 and took to focusing on smaller projects, downtown arts venues and community efforts that showcase innovation and smart design.


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