Governor Hotel GM says staff will lose jobs in sale

She says sale of Governor Hotel will close by mid-September

rboone@theolympian.comSeptember 4, 2013 

One of the large 8th floor suites at the Governor Hotel. (The Olympian staff file, 2012)

STEVE BLOOM — The Olympian Buy Photo

The 20 employees at the Governor Hotel will not be retained by the new owners once the sale of the property closes this month, hotel general manager Sandra Miller said Tuesday, adding that she, too, is set to end 15 years with the hotel.

The sale is expected to close about mid-September and then the hotel will shut down immediately for renovations, she said.

Details about the buyer and plans for the property still were not known on Tuesday.

The Olympian was once again referred to Ryan Kang, general manager of the Red Lion Hotel in Tacoma for comment. He could not be reached Tuesday.

Miller sounded the alarm about her employees in a Facebook post late last week.

“I would imagine most of you know by now but yes, it is true … the hotel has sold and we are shutting it down,” she wrote on her page.

“It is an incredibly difficult time for the employees and my heart aches for them. So I need a favor from my posse, if you know of anything out there please let me know. I am trying to place 20 of the finest people you’d ever have the opportunity to work with.”

Miller said Tuesday that the community has rallied around the employees personally and they’ve received support from other hoteliers and hospitality providers.

A number of people commented on Miller’s Facebook post, including Michael Moran of Olympia.

“Sandra (Miller) you did a fantastic job keeping an aging property competitive in a downtown that doesn’t seem to care. … I pray your staff can find places to land. I hope the community wakes up and sees that Downtown Olympia needs our help and monetary support,” he wrote.

The Governor Hotel at 621 Capitol Way S. was operated by the Governor House Hotel LLC. The managing partner of that company was Intercontinental Investments. Miller is also vice president of Intercontinental and will spend her remaining time with the hotel “winding down those businesses,” she said.

Governor House Hotel LLC bought the hotel in 1999, paying Governor House Association $5.67 million for the property, according to Thurston County Assessor’s Office data.

The eight-story hotel was built in 1970, and the top floors of the property were renovated last year.

Although it has been a longtime destination hotel, the restaurant space had struggled in recent years.

Southern Kitchen, Ranch House BBQ and Governor’s Grill all temporarily occupied the space before being more successfully occupied by Mijas, a restaurant that has ties to SafePlace, a nonprofit that provides shelter and support for victims of domestic violence.

Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403 rboone@theolympian.com

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