Friday, 30 May 2014

Royal York, Hotel Vancouver up for sale


Two of Canada’s historic railway hotels — Toronto’s Royal York and Vancouver’s Hotel Vancouver — are up for sale as Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec moves to get out of the hotel business.

The Quebec pension fund has scaled down ownership of hotels over the past three years from about 70 to fewer than a dozen. A Caisse spokesman said Friday the hotels were now a “non-strategic asset class.”
Also up for sale are five other locations —Fairmont hotels in Victoria, Barbados, Seattle and Washington, D.C., along with the Hilton Downtown Atlanta.

Last year, it sold Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier to an affiliate of Vancouver’s Larco Investments.
Its portfolio of hotels will be reduced to three, including the Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City, the W Montreal and the Queen Elizabeth in downtown Montreal, which will be renovated.

"It's hard to be an expert in everything everywhere and we now want to refocus and concentrate on these three asset classes," executive vice-president Sylvain Fortier said in an interview.

He said hotels are too cyclical, seasonal and volatile for most institutional investors like the Caisse. It prefers to invest in real estate assets such as office and residential buildings and retail properties. "We feel that we're not hotel experts and we want to leave that to those who are."

Both the Royal York and Hotel Vancouver are managed by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts and have prominent downtown locations.

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