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The Red Lion Hotel on West Fox Farm Road is seen on Friday, Sept. 13, 2019, in Cheyenne. The hotel is going up for auction at the end of the month. Michael Cummo/Wyoming Tribune Eagle

CHEYENNE – The Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center is for sale, with an online auction planned for Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Paramount Lodging Advisors have announced.

The hotel, located at 204 W. Fox Farm Road, is among 22 entities associated with Florida-based Inner Circle that filed for bankruptcy in July in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.

“It’s a great opportunity because it’s a great property,” said Suzanna Farley Aldrich, an associate at Chicago-based Paramount Lodging Advisors, who is located in Montana. “Somebody’s going to pick up a good deal, because it needs some updating. Once you put a little bit of time and energy and tender loving care into that property, I think it’s gonna really take off.”

Tours of the property are available by appointment Monday and Tuesday. Aldrich said she’s seen “quite a bit of interest” in the property. “People really like Cheyenne as far as the market goes,” Aldrich said.

Starting bid is $3 million for the hotel, which was built in 1981 and includes 245 rooms and 19,000 square feet of meeting and event space.

The hotel was a Holiday Inn before Inner Circle, a real-estate investment company that specializes in buying and renovating distressed properties, bought it in 2015 and converted it to a Radisson.

In March 2018, RLH Corp. signed a franchise agreement for the hotel, and it was rebranded as a Red Lion Hotel.

“The Red Lion has been an anchor of the Cheyenne hospitality industry since the early ’80s,” said Darren Rudloff, CEO of Visit Cheyenne. “It’s a very important property. It’s the largest property in terms of sleeping rooms, and it has significant meeting space in it.”

Rudloff called the hotel a “great community partner,” and noted that it has hosted countless weddings, banquets, meetings and events.

“It’s an important property for us with great interstate visibility. We look forward to a successful auction and new ownership group working with us here in Cheyenne,” Rudloff said.

Cheyenne’s lodging industry has strengthened during 2019.

Rudloff cited data from STR, formerly Smith Travel Research, that show local hotel occupancy rates have climbed almost 17% to 65.7% through the first seven months of the year, compared with 56.3% for the same time last year. The average room rate also rose 5% during that same time to $99.53, up from $94.82.

The property listing also touts the local market and the hotel’s proximity to Interstate 80 and U.S. Highway 85, with about 20,000 vehicles passing by each day. The listing noted economic growth in the area, pointing out the planned $17.8 million, 80,000-square foot biotech manufacturing center and the $55 million, 2,400-acre Sweetgrass development, which includes plans for a 70,000-square-foot hotel and convention center.

The Red Lion Hotel may be sold as an individual sale or as part of a two-property bank-owned portfolio that includes another hotel in Albany, New York. After the sale, the property may be relicensed with Red Lion or rebranded.

Jonna Lorenz is a freelance journalist living in Cheyenne who has more than 20 years of experience. She can be reached by email at jonnalorenz@gmail.com.

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