March 4

March 4

UPDATE: Oak Bay Beach Hotel in receivership

Lenders called in loans, online community responds with support

  • Dec. 4, 2014 6:00 a.m.

A Vancouver Court has appointed a receiver to take over operations of the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

“This is not a reflection of the calibre of management team we have at the hotel, which is exceptional,” hotel owner Kevin Walker said in a release last Thursday. “Our real estate sales have been under performing and our lenders were no longer patient. Shawna and I will collaborate with Ernst & Young and their team and we wish to thank everyone who supported us over the years. While our hearts are breaking over this decision by the courts we are extremely proud of the level of hospitality we brought to Victoria.”

While the hotel operations are exceeding expectations, real estate sales were struggling and the lenders called in their loans, they said in their statement.

The struggles with the real estate sales didn’t come as a surprise to Oak Bay realtor Cassie Kangas.

“I love the new hotel, it’s fantastic. But the real estate, the units were poorly designed and they were overpriced. They overvalued what they’d be able to get for those,” said Kangas, with DFH Real Estate.

She said the units sold as hotel rooms and put into a rental pool were fine, but those being sold as condos were getting little interest from buyers.

“I’ve showed the units and people just didn’t like the design,” said Kangas. “They were just awkwardly designed, and the higher priced ones were the most awkwardly designed.”

She said it’s going to be tough for whoever takes over the real estate operations at the hotel because it’s impossible to change the configurations of the rooms and they will have difficulty in adjusting the price enough to attract buyers.

“They’ve done in-house marketing, they’ve done marketing with realtors on MLS and the feedback’s been the same from everybody — international clientele, local clientele, it’s all been the same.”

Within an hour of the online announcement an outpouring of support filled the comment section.

“This stinks, the Walkers have worked so hard to ensure Victoria and its guests continue to enjoy the beauty and pleasure of a grand lady. The staff at the OBBH are shining examples of exemplary hospitality,” wrote Gyneth Erskine Turner. “The careful craftsmanship of the renovation is evidence of a vision to create both a beautiful and durable building able to withstand the ravages of time. How sad that the fickle winds of commerce will exclude them from continued stewardship.”

The Walkers state that hotel operations will not be impacted.

Bruce Walker and business partner Glenn Anderson bought the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in 1972. Bruce’s son Kevin and daughter-in-law Shawna purchased the hotel in 1995. In 2006, the doors to the hotel were closed and reconstruction began.

The current 100-room hotel and 20 luxury residences opened in spring 2013. It was built on the same oceanfront lot the previous hotel at 1175 Beach Dr. Amenities include seaside mineral pools, a fitness centre, Boathouse Spa and Baths, The Snug pub, the David Foster Foundation Theatre and a fine-dining restaurant.

 

cvanreeuwyk@oakbaynews.com

 

 

Just Posted

University of Victoria researchers received more than $9 million from the federal government for projects that aim to advance big ideas, discoveries and innovations. (Photo courtesy of UVic)
University of Victoria research boosted with more than $9 million in federal funding

The research funding will support a wide range of projects and study

LeoVegas's promotional art for their survey of Canada's funniest proviences (LeoJoker)
B.C. second-funniest province in Canada: online survey

Dry humour popular with B.C. residents – we’re also boisterous laughers

Coun. Bob Thompson wants authorities to delay the June 30 deadline for submissions to BC Housing’s request-for-proposal to run the supportive housing project at Prosser Road. (Black Press Media File)
Central Saanich calls for delay in supportive housing project deadline

Municipality wants more say in eventual choice of contractor to run supportive housing project

Shaelyn Sinnott of Oak Bay Volunteer Services delivers groceries for client Irene Kenny. The organization has kept up delivery of food and medication throughout all phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Courtesy Oak Bay Volunteer Services)
Oak Bay volunteers keep critical services running

Duo drove between Oak Bay and Jubilee three days a week, twice a day during pandemic

Two volunteers work to sieve a sample of sand and ocean water through a filter, capturing any potential microplastics. (Courtesy of Ocean Diagnostics)
Victoria startup making waves in microplastics research

New products from Ocean Diagnostics will make research faster, more affordable

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

A Lotto 6/49 ticket purchased in Parksville for the June 19, 2021 draw is a $3M winner. (Submitted photo)
Winning Lotto 6/49 ticket worth $3M purchased on Vancouver Island

Lottery prize winners have 52 weeks to claim jackpot

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

Most Read