June 11, 2014 - 3:06 PM
KELOWNA – After more than a year of aggressive interest and offers from Kelowna real estate development company Argus Properties, Hotel Eldorado owner Jim Nixon decided the time was finally right to sell after 25 years.
“They wanted what I wanted,” Nixon says on Argus’ plans for the hotel, marina and restaurant. “It’s a local company with great big Kelowna roots and there won’t be any change in the staff. That was the major concern.”
Nixon made the announcement and informed staff Tuesday, calling it a difficult decision.
“It’s very bittersweet,” he says. “I loved the El but my family and I felt it was time to move on. As much as we loved it, it might be time to take life a little easier. It will be nice to not have to worry about storms moving down the lake and if boats are going to get wrecked. It’s been great but it’s come with challenges as well.”
Once owned by former Kelowna mayor John Hindle, the original Eldorado Arms Hotel was built by Austrian Countess Bubna Litite in 1926. It catered to local ranch hands and cowboys during its first years, but has since received many upgrades making it the premiere lakefront destination residents know today.
In 1989 Nixon saved the hotel from demolition and moved it by barge from Eldorado Rd. to where it currently sits on Cook. It was destroyed by arson that same year but rebuilt and reopened in 1990.
With the changeover set to take place June 20, Nixon says of all the challenges he has overcome and memories he has made, he will miss one thing the most.
“Probably the staff,” he says. “I’ve got second generation staff working here. Some have been hired as kids and now their kids work here so that’s been great.”
As for the future, Nixon says he is going to focus on a new venture with his son Kyle Nixon.
“I really enjoy working with my family and my son Kyle and we are going to bring something new to the Kelowna dining scene,” he says. “It’s time for a new challenge.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014