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Unprecedented activity in Penticton's motel and hotel market

Real estate broker Philip Hare says nice, clean motels on Penticton's waterfront will never be out of demand for those investing in the city's hospitality industry.
October 20, 2017 - 1:16 PM

PENTICTON - These are changing times in the Penticton accommodation industry.

After several years of little activity in the Penticton hotel and motel sector, interest is elevated this year, according to NAI Commercial Okanagan broker Philip Hare.

So far in 2017, city council has approved two proposals for new hotels in the city, while the resale motel market has shown unprecedented activity in recent years.

Earlier this year the Slumber Lodge and Jubilee Motel changed hands, while the Super Eight Motel on Main Street was purchased by B.C. Housing Authority as a shelter for the homeless.

NAI Commercial Okanagan is currently offering three other motels for sale: the 26 unit Beachside Motel at 3624 Parkview St., the 36 unit Rochester Motel at 970 Lakeshore Dr. and the 68 room Spanish Villa Resort at 890 Lakeshore Dr.

“Everybody wants to be here. I’ve been here 25 years and there has always been more money than there are good deals and good properties,” Hare says.

As more and more people come to the South Okanagan, there has been more pressure on all commercial real estate.

“It seems this year, people are interested in motel property," Hare says.

He regularly receives phone calls from investors in Calgary and Vancouver, as well as Asian markets, looking for properties.

His experience indicates there is no particular season for sales, although most purchasers want to be in the operation in time for the start of the tourist season, which Hare says lasts from June to the end of August, with a fringe season for the Okanagan Wine Festival.

”It’s a limited season, especially in Penticton," he says.

Hare says interest in motel real estate is determined by whether the purchaser can afford the property and whether they feel they will be able to make money.

He believes people are attracted to Penticton’s motel market because the lifestyle allows them to have a business they can work at here for the summer and then go somewhere else to winter if they choose.

Some of the offerings may present options for future development possibilities, he says, but feels Penticton hasn’t quite reached the stage where the city’s existing motels offer a good investment for redevelopment.

“The market has undergone little change for years, to have three or more units change hands in close proximity is indicative of a shift taking place.”

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