Spokane Journal of Business

Red Lion Hotels sells Yakima hotel to new franchisee

Separately, company adds new brand convert in Tucson

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 Red Lion Hotels Corp., of Spokane, says it has sold the Red Lion Hotel Yakima and has signed a franchise agreement on a Tucson, Ariz., property.

The Yakima hotel, with 156 guest rooms, is adjacent to the Yakima Convention Center near Interstate 82 in downtown Yakima. Red Lion will retain the hotel as a franchise, and the new owner will continue to operate the hotel as the Red Lion Hotel Yakima. Red Lion won’t divulge the sale price for the property until May 1, when it releases its first-quarter financial results.

Separately, the company says it signed a franchise agreement with the operator of a Quality Inn & Suites in Tucson, Ariz., in mid-April, and the hotel will convert it to the Red Lion Inn & Suites brand next month. The hotel has 155 rooms, 91 of which are suites, and 1,600 square feet of meeting space, as well as a heated outdoor pool and hot tub.

In 2012, the company said it expected franchising to emerge as a primary vehicle for growth after a transition that involved selling hotels, paying off debt, and a subtle rebranding.  

Angela Landgraf has joined Red Lion Hotels as senior vice president of business development, an addition that is intended to help the company capitalize on expansion projects into leading markets around the U.S., says Greg T. Mount, Red Lion’s president and CEO, in a news release. 

“Angela’s depth of real estate development experience with some of the largest hotel brands in the country will be a valuable addition,” Mount says. “Her strength lies in her ability to create strategic partner relationships and provide opportunities to investors and owners.” 

Landgraf will split her time between the company’s offices in Spokane and offices in Anaheim, Calif.

In an earlier Journal of Business story, Red Lion Hotels Corp. reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $14 million, or 71 cents a diluted share, compared with a loss of $3.6 million, or 19 cents, in the year-earlier period.

For all of 2013, the company posted a loss of $17.2 million, or 87 cents a share, compared with a loss of $14.7 million, or 76 cents a share, in 2012.

The company reported a $9.1 million impairment charge from discontinued operations during the fourth quarter. Higher utility costs due to colder weather in some markets and an increase in insurance costs also contributed to the deeper loss for the quarter, as did greater income tax expenses, Red Lion said.

The company reported comparable revenue of $22.1 million from owned and leased hotels for the quarter, up $500,000 from the year-earlier period. Franchise revenue for the quarter rose to $1.6 million, from $1.2 million.

Red Lion added 11 new hotel locations in 2013, bringing the total number of franchised hotels to 30. 

Mount was named president and CEO of Red Lion in January 2014, replacing Jon E. Eliassen, who retired. 

Judith  Spitzer
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Reporter Judith Spitzer covers technology, mining, agriculture, and wood products for the Journal. A vintage-obsessed antique collector in her off hours, Judith worked as a journalist in Colorado and Oregon before joining the Journal.

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