Vancouver-based Vesta Hospitality has purchased one of Central Oregon’s best-known hotel properties, the Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center in Bend, and will launch a major makeover late this year.
Rick Takach, president and CEO of Vesta Hospitality, said his company and outside investors expect to spend $6 million or more on upgrades to the hotel facility, which includes the 53,000-square-foot convention center, a dining building and 220 rooms in numerous buildings along or near the Deschutes River in the heart of Bend. The convention center is the largest meeting space in Central Oregon, with capacity of more than 1,000 seated guests.
“it’s irreplaceable,” Takach said Wednesday of the property, where he was spending the day after closing the purchase deal Tuesday night. Takach said he and the owners had agreed not to disclose the purchase price.
The acquisition is the latest and one of the largest deals for Vesta, a hotel acquisition and management company that was launched in 1996 as the Northwest Hospitality Group and renamed as Vesta Hospitality a decade later. The company currently owns 13 hotels at scattered U.S. locations, including the Hilton-branded Homewood Suites in Vancouver. During its history, it has built or acquired 45 hotels, typically with financial backing from investors. Although Vesta has held on to a few hotels for the long haul, the company typically purchases, renovates and then sells the hotels, Takach said.
“Most of the time when we look at buying and creating value, we estimate a three to seven year period” of ownership, he said,
The Riverhouse was established in 1974 with 93 rooms and developed in phases by the Purcell family, which retained ownership of the property until its sale to Vesta.
Takach said his company will convene two more focus groups and hold meetings with community members before finalizing renovation plans for the Riverhouse. But some improvements are certain. The new owner said he intends to upgrade audio visual equipment in the convention center and to gut and fully renovate the property’s food and beverage facility. Rooms will be upgraded and the hotel’s grounds, which run to the banks of the Deschutes, will also be improved, Takach said. The work will start this fall and should be complete by next spring, he said.
Takach, whose office is in downtown Vancouver, said he is constantly on the lookout for hotel opportunities and would love to purchase a hotel in downtown Portland or Seattle. Closer to home, he has paid attention to the local discussion over a hotel in Vancouver’s waterfront project. He says he has no idea who Tualatin, Ore.-based Gramor Development is considering as a hotel developer and operator at the waterfront site.
“I have not heard one word and I’m pretty well-connected,” he said.
Takach likes the idea of a waterfront hotel but says the project will be a financial challenge because of high infrastructure costs. Likewise, he said the Port of Vancouver’s proposal to replace the Red Lion at the Quay seems to be a viable idea.