Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Red Lion adds Woodlake Hotel - Sacramento Bee

The sprawling Woodlake Hotel along Highway 160 in North Sacramento is entering its fourth incarnation under a complex deal announced Tuesday.

The hotel along Highway 160, which was the Radisson prior to this year, will become the Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center Sacramento, under the ownership of Shri Vinayaka Hotel Inc., operated by Kumar Sharma.

The name change was set in motion with Tuesday's announcement that Sharma's subsidiary had purchased the Red Lion Hotel at 1401 Arden Way near Arden Fair mall for $9 million.

The hotel previously was leased to the buyer.

Officials of Spokane, Wash.-based Red Lion Hotels Corp. said the franchise agreement with the Arden hotel will end, and Sharma ultimately will have to decide what to do with the property â€" perhaps continuing it as a hotel under the banner of another lodging company.

"It won't be a Red Lion. It will operate as something else," said Red Lion spokeswoman Pam Scott.

The Woodlake facilities at 500 Leisure Lane were long known as the Woodlake Inn, a name sported for nearly two decades before it became a Radisson affiliate in 1989. The Woodlake Hotel name replaced the Radisson label on Jan. 1 this year.

"This transaction supports our strategy to reduce debt, expand our franchise system and improve the competitive position of our hotels," said Jon Eliassen, president and CEO of Red Lion Hotels. "We sold our property in Sacramento and added a new franchise hotel with extensive meeting and banquet facilities that make it a much better fit in that market for the Red Lion brand going forward."

The Red Lion Hotel Woodlake Conference Center Sacramento has 306 guest rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space.

In a statement, Sharma said:

"We are looking forward to our continued franchise relationship with Red Lion and all of the benefits we expect to have from converting an independent hotel to a trusted brand."

Future plans for the Arden property were not disclosed.

Red Lion acquired the Arden hotel in November 2011, part of an agreement with iStar Financial Inc. to purchase 10 previously leased hotels. The company said it has been leasing the property to Sharma's company since then.

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Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

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