It's not everyday, or even week, that a resort hotel is sold, so this week is rather extraordinary as two resort hotels relatively close to one another both changed hands in the past five days: the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort in British Columbia and the Rimrock Hotel in Alberta.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort
The Fairmont Hot Springs Resort has been acquired by Vancouver-based Aldesta Hotel Group, which also owns the Harrison Hot Springs Resort, Harrison Lake Hotel, and Poets Cove Resort in BC, as well as Heron Island and Wilson Island in Australia.
The resort is located at 5225 Fairmont Resort Road, about midway between Windermere Lake and Columbia Lake, near the border with Alberta. (It is not to be confused with the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort located in Montana.)
According to the listing brochure, the property consists of a whopping 1,229 acres of land, including about 550 acres from the ski resort, 233 acres from the golf course, 86 acres from the core resort, 21 acres of timeshare strata lots, 220 acres of utility and industrial lands, and 668 acres of land that holds further commercial and residential development potential.
Pages from the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort listing brochure. (Colliers)
The core resort includes 151 guest rooms across several lodges and cabins, while the RV park has 190 spaces and the strata lots house 116 villas. The golf course has 45 holes and a driving range, and over on the ski hill, there are 14 different runs.
The resort is a fully operational all-season destination that includes Canada's largest natural mineral hot springs, and acts as the centrepiece of the larger Fairmont Hot Springs resort community, which is served by it's own small community airport, the Columbia Valley Airport.
In a statement issued on June 9, Aldesta said that it is committed to investing in the property and preserving it as a world-class destination. Aldesta also called the acquisition "another milestone in Aldesta's strategic expansion plans."
Rimrock Resort Hotel
The second property is the Rimrock Resort Hotel on 300 Mountain Avenue in Banff, on the other side of the Alberta border, a two-hour drive away from the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
The acquisition of the Rimrock Resort Hotel was announced on Tuesday by Oxford Properties -- the real estate investment arm of the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System, commonly referred to as OMERS. Oxford did not disclose the amount it paid, but the price was reportedly $170M.
The Rimrock Resort Hotel is situated within Banff National Park, on Sulphur Mountain, about four km away from downtown Banff. It originally opened in 1884 as a two-storey, six-room hotel, and has since grown to have over 330 rooms, 18,000 sq. ft of event space, a 9,000-sq.-ft spa, and amenities ranging from multiple restaurants and pools to a fitness centre and skating rink.
The Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff, Alberta. (Oxford Properties)
Oxford says that it and an undisclosed capital partner will make a "significant investment" in the property including a "comprehensive top-to-bottom renovation" that will "transform" the hotel.
"The investment will enhance the luxury experience available to guests in Banff National Park, improve the environmental sustainability of the hotel, and amplify The Rimrock's distinctive location in the famed Canadian Rockies," Oxford said.
Oxford simultaneously announced that French multi-national hospitality company Accor had signed on as the operator of the Rimrock, effective immediately.
The Rimrock Hotel is Accor's 30th property in Canada and the acquisition is Oxford's first hotel acquisition since 2014.
"We are very excited to acquire this extremely unique resort within the vibrant, high-barrier-to-entry Banff market," said Oxford Properties' Head of Hotels and Alternatives Tyler MacDonald. "Our acquisition of The Rimrock speaks to our long-term conviction in Canada's luxury resort hotel market."