The Red Lion hotel chain is putting its Downtown Boise hotel on the market.
Red Lion Hotels Corp. said Thursday that it will sell the Red Lion Hotel Boise Downtowner and 10 other hotels in five Western states as it sheds more of its struggling hotel-operations business and refocuses on franchising.
The Boise hotel is a 182-room, seven-story hotel on 2.7 acres at 1800 W. Fairview Ave., Downtown’s western edge. It includes the Characters lounge and dinner restaurant. The hotel has midrange pricing: A check online Thursday found rooms for one person available Friday night for as litle as $87 a night.
The parent company has been making changes to maintain profitability. Doing business as RLH Corp., the company moved its headquarters from Spokane to Denver in August. It has been signing up franchises and trying to shed the costly capital-expense burden of operating its properties.
“RLH Corp. has strategically chosen to focus on investing its capital in higher-margin hotel franchise business rather than making significant new investments in direct ownership of hotel assets,” the company said in a news release.
RLH said it hopes buyers will keep the hotels as franchises of the company. Otherwise, it was not known Thursday how the sale might affect the brand, management, staff or operations of the Boise hotel, or whether potential buyers are already at work. Calls to RLH and the hotel’s general manager were not immediately returned.
Like the others, the Boise hotel has outside investors who are co-owners. “Working with its real estate investment partners, the company expects to sell these hotels in the coming months subject to continuing favorable market conditions,” RLH said.
Once sold, RLH said it would repay long-term debts on them to cut its interest, depreciation and amortization costs and help the company return to positive earnings. The company lost $66,000 in the quarter that ended June 30, the latest for which it has reported earnings.
RLH engaged CBRE group, a Los Angeles-based real estate brokerage, to market all 11 hotels.
The other hotels it put on the market include seven Red Lions in Post Falls; Bend, Oregon; Redding and Eureka in California, and Pasco, Richland and Port Angeles, Washington; plus three Hotel RLs in Salt Lake City, Spokane and Olympia, Washington.
The company now has 1,100 franchise hotels, compared with fewer than 100 three years ago. Other hotels under the RLH umbrella in Boise include Americas Best Value Inn & Suites, near the Boise Airport, and the Red Lion Inn & Suites Boise Airport.