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Sunday, September 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Walt Worthy purchases Hotel RL Spokane

UPDATED: Tue., July 17, 2018, 7:16 p.m.

Worthy Hotels Inc. has purchased the Red Lion Hotel at the Park for $35 million.

The planned construction of a $42 million prep sports complex was among the factors that made the hotel a strategic acquisition, said Matt Jensen, Worthy Hotels’ corporate director of sales and marketing.

The hotel is at 303 W. North River Drive and the sports complex is “just across the street,” Jensen said.

The 180,000-square foot sportsplex, which has a tentative completion date of September 2020, would include an indoor track with room for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and wrestling. Visiting sports teams would likely generate room nights for the hotel, Jensen said.

The hotel’s proximity to the Spokane Convention Center, Centennial Trail, Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena and other redevelopment projects happening along the Spokane River’s north bank were also attractive, Jensen said.

“There were a lot of things that interested us,” he said.

RLH Corp. disclosed the hotel’s sale and purchase price in a Tuesday news release. The company previously announced its intent to sell off 11 hotels, with a goal of reducing debt and focusing on its franchise business.

RLH Corp., formerly based in Spokane, moved its corporate headquarters to Denver last year.

Under the ownership of Worthy Hotels, the 401-room property will be rebranded as the Centennial Hotel Spokane. The hotel recently completed a $12 million renovation.

Walt Worthy, CEO of Worthy Hotels, mentioned development along the Spokane River in a statement about the hotel’s purchase.

“One of the best things Spokane has done is developed its beautiful riverbank,” Worthy said. “I am pleased to now be part of that growing community along the river with the purchase of this hotel.”

Worthy and his wife, Karen, started Worthy Hotels in 2000 with the purchase and restoration of the Historic Davenport Hotel. The company now owns and operates five hotels, all in downtown Spokane. Other hotels in the company’s portfolio are the Davenport Tower, the Davenport Lusso and the Davenport Grand.

The Davenport Hotels are part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, an upper end to luxury hotel brand. Worthy Hotels will consider affiliating the Centennial Hotel with a national brand later this year, Jensen said.

Kate Hudson, a spokeswoman for Visit Spokane, said it’s exciting to see the former Red Lion property remain in local ownership.

Worthy Hotels has “an impeccable reputation,” she said. “They’ve done some wonderful things for tourism, both for leisure and business travel.”

The Centennial Hotel Spokane opened in 1983 with 184 guest rooms, with later tower additions increasing the number of guest rooms. The hotel also has 30,000-square feet of meeting space.

This is the ninth sale of a former Red Lion property, according to a company news release. Last year, the hotel generated about $14.6 million in revenues for RLH Corp.

In May, the company sold Templin’s on the River in Post Falls for $9.25 million to Post Falls Hotels LLC.

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