The Red Lion River Inn will soon be no more. On Nov. 1, a full renovation will begin, and the 45-year-old hotel will be called the River Hotel and Onyx Kitchen.
The name change and development plans follow the decision by Red Lion to not renew its lease on the property at 700 N. Division St. The hotel was purchased by GVD Commercial for $10.75 million in 2003.
GVD and Ruby Hospitality, which will take over management of the hotel, are owned by Jerry and Patty Dicker, who spent 40 years in California building large shopping centers and malls before moving to Spokane in 2001.
In July, the Red Lion Hotel at the Park was sold to Worthy Hotels Inc. for $35 million by the RLH Corp., which previously announced its intent to sell off 11 hotels with a goal of reducing debt and focusing on its franchise business.
In Spokane, the Dickers’ development work has largely focused on renovating historic properties for modern uses. The couple owns a number of properties downtown on First Avenue, including the Montvale Hotel, the former International Order of Odd Fellows Lodge and Music City Building. They also own the Bing Crosby Theater.
Nearer the River Hotel, GVD renovated the old Burgan’s Furniture buildings into an extended-stay hotel called Ruby Suites.
With the new hotel, Ruby Hospitality will run six hotels in all, including Hotel Ruby, Ruby2 and the Montvale Hotel in downtown Spokane, the Hotel Ruby Sandpoint and Ruby Suites. Ruby Hospitality also manages the Montvale Event Center, the Bing Crosby Theater and Sapphire Lounge.
According to a statement, the River Hotel’s renovation will rework all public spaces, the restaurant and lounge, banquet space, guest rooms and pool area.
“The interior will focus on bringing the outside indoors, capitalizing on the majestic views of the Spokane River,” the statement said, adding the renovation’s final design is inspired “by the natural beauty of the region, specifically drawing upon the many rivers that are indicative of the Inland Northwest.”
The Dickers’ plan for the hotel follows closely behind those of Walt and Karen Worthy, who started Worthy Hotels in 2000 with the purchase and restoration of the historic Davenport Hotel in downtown Spokane. Their company now owns and operates five hotels, all in the city center. They include the Davenport Tower, Davenport Lusso and Davenport Grand.
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