Governor Hotel back in business after renovations; more promised

Venerable downtown hotel 1 of several undergoing changes by local hoteliers

rboone@theolympian.comNovember 5, 2013 

The Governor Hotel is open for business after a recently completed round of renovations, but more work is set to begin in order to get the property ready in time for the legislative session, a hotel official said Monday.

In what he termed a “progress report to the community,” general manager Ryan Kang showed off on Monday the changes that have taken place so far at the hotel since it was purchased by a new ownership group.

In September, Rusco USA LLC paid $3.4 million for the hotel on Capitol Way. The hotel closed soon after the sale, then reopened for business on Oct. 16, Kang said.

Here is some of what has occurred so far:

 • The hotel lobby has been renovated, giving it a more open feel. The lobby previously felt too cramped, Kang said. The front desk no longer has its back to Capitol Way; it was moved to the opposite wall so that it could face Capitol Way and street-level windows.

 • The restaurant space also has been renovated. The owners are in discussions to get a local or regional restaurant owner to operate it, Kang said.

 • Fifteen rooms on the top two floors of the hotel were renovated under the previous ownership, Kang said, and the new owners will complete another 90 rooms in the hotel, installing new furniture, carpets and TVs. In total, the hotel has 126 rooms. “By December, a majority of the rooms will be open,” he said.

 • Kang said there is a possibility that the owners will bring a major brand such as Holiday Inn to the hotel, but they also like the historical significance of the Governor Hotel name. “Nothing has been decided yet,” he said.

The sale of the Governor Hotel is just one of several recent moves by local hoteliers.

Downtown’s Phoenix Inn has become a DoubleTree by Hilton, and work has started on downtown’s Capitol Plaza Hotel.

Han Kim, whose group, Hotel Concepts, brought two hotels to Lacey, paid $1.7 million for the Capitol Plaza property.

Kim, of Seattle, has said he is now awaiting approval from Marriott to turn it into an extended-stay brand called TownePlace Suites. Kim’s group also plans to bring a Hilton Garden Inn and a Marriott Courtyard to property they own at Henderson Boulevard and Interstate 5.

Another new hotel could be coming to one of the Port of Olympia’s East Bay parcels near State Avenue.

Seattle developer Lorig Associates has an option on the property, and that option has been extended through the end of the year, port senior manager of business development Mike Reid said.

“A hotel is still the primary development concept,” he said.

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

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