Hotel Sold for Millions

One of the most familiar buildings on Kelowna’s skyline will soon have a new owner, and a new name.The Grand Okanagan Lakefront Resort and Conference Centre was brought into the Delta Hotel fold for the cool price of $131 million.

Calgary based owner Royal Host Real Estate Investment Trust has owned the hotel since 1997, and reportedly made a profit of about $78 million from the deal, scheduled to close by Aug. 14.

Patrick Lambie, executive vice-president of Royal Host, said choosing to shed the property from the company’s holdings boils down to a simple matter of dollars and cents.

“It’s just a matter of opportunity…we are in the real estate business and it’s as simple as buy low and sell high,” he said.

As for what the investment will mean to Delta Hotels, Gordon Johnson, the regional vice-president for the chain and the general manager for Delta Vancouver, said Kelowna is a market that’s long been sought after.

So when they were approached by an “institutional investor” to be the new face of the hotel, they jumped at the chance.

“Kelowna has been on our radar for a long time,” he said. “It’s key to the B.C. Interior market because it’s great from a leisure perspective…but it’s also a business hub.”

While the outside will largely remain the same, the resort will receive more than $7 million in capital refurbishments over the next three years to upgrade the hotel and amenities.

“First and foremost we will look at guest rooms. The rooms have been well maintained, but they will need to be upgraded to something more contemporary,” he said.

“We will do the corridors, and there is money earmarked for public areas and the main hallways. Besides the Delta name going on the hotel, we will spend most of the money on the guests, not the exteriors.”