|By Chuck Slothower, Four Corners Business
Journal, Farmington, N.M.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 03, 2011--FARMINGTON - Two northern New Mexico hotels have shed the Best Western Inn & Suites brand for another established hotel chain, Red Lion.
In Farmington, the former Best Western at 700 Scott Ave. will reopen this fall as Red Lion Hotel Farmington. In Gallup, the former Best Western at 3009 West Highway 66 also will become a Red Lion.
Both New Mexico hotels have begun the process to convert to Red Lions. The Farmington hotel is shooting to be done in 60 days, or approximately Dec. 1, said Mike Dodds, director of sales. He said the date is "not set in stone."
Rooms will receive new box springs, mattresses, fixtures and lights. Eventually, every room will have granite countertops in the bathrooms, Dodds said.
Customers will also notice new signage and carpet, and updates to the restaurant and bar.
Both hotels are owned by Positive Investments, Inc., which converted an independent hotel in Oakland, Calif. to the Red Lion brand in
"These two full-service hotels have historically had a strong reputation and customer base in the region," Rao R. Yalamanchili, co-owner of Positive Investments, said in a prepared statement. "Now, together with the strength and support of the Red Lion brand, we are excited to take the hotels to the next level in quality and guest satisfaction."
Rich Carlson, senior vice president of lodging development for Red Lion, said the hotels operate under strong, familiar management.
"We are committed to growing the Red Lion brand in the West, and we are very excited to enter the New Mexico market with an experienced owner like Positive Investments."
The Farmington location has 192 rooms, while the Gallup hotel has 126.
The Farmington hotel most recently operated under the name Farmington Inn & Suites.
Red Lion had a location in Durango until 1997, when the hotel at 501 Camino del Rio was rebranded as a DoubleTree.
Peter Marshall, general manager of the DoubleTree, said market competition, franchise fees and other considerations can play into owners' decisions on how to affiliate their hotels.
"The relative merits of the different chains is probably very much in the perception of the owner," he said.
Red Lion Hotels Corp., based in Spokane, Wash., is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker RLH.
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