Red Lion Inn in Bend gets makeover, new flag

  • The Red Lion Inn & Suites Bend on Third Street is undergoing renovations. (Andy Tullis/Bulletin photo)

  • Renovations continue at the Red Lion Inn & Suites on Third Street in Bend. (Andy Tullis/Bulletin photo)

New owners are investing $4 million in Third Street hotel

The Red Lion Inn & Suites Bend on Third Street is undergoing a $4 million renovation and a name change as part of a change in ownership.

It’s a sign of the potential for redevelopment on Third Street, where the city hopes to spur new investment.

Come June, the hotel will open under the banner Signature Inn, a brand operated by the Red Lion chain. It will be the second property under this flag. The other is in San Francisco.

The new owners, Third Street Ventures LLC, purchased the hotel and signed franchise license agreements in April for $5.5 million, according to the RLH Corporation, the corporate owners of the chain.

The sale was part of a shedding of 18 company-owned properties, the corporation announced in 2017.

Third Street between Division Street and Wilson Avenue is seen as an important corridor leading to a high-density neighborhood. The city identified this area for dense development with the adoption of the new urban growth boundary in 2016, said Ben Hemson, city of Bend business advocate.

A city committee, appointed in 2018, is currently discussing the vision for the area. “The Red Lion Inn is making an early investment,” Hemson said. “It’s exciting for us. They’re a bit a head of the curve, and you may see a bit more development going forward as well.”

Desmond Mollendor, Third Street Ventures managing member, said the company is banking on the city’s urban renewal designation, which when approved by the City Council, will mean higher density and better connectivity to the downtown area.

“We see that Third Street can become an extension of downtown,” Mollendor said. “We’re here early, so we’ll see the benefit of that. I do see that once we get this project renovated, it will be a catalyst for other venture dollars for Third Street.”

This is the first hotel property for the group, Mollendor said. The hope is to purchase additional properties over the next several years in other Pacific Northwest communities like Bend, he said.

“We see Bend as a growing market, and it’s a high-ranked adventure vacation destination,” Mollendor said. “We like Bend and see that it’s continuing to grow.”

The city of Bend collected $9.7 million in transient room tax in fiscal year 2017 from the 3,551 hotel rooms in Bend.

Renovations began mid-January, beginning at the front desk and lobby area, he said. Also on tap will be an upgrade of the building exterior, a game room and lounge and the addition of a patio with three outdoor fire pits.

Room renovations will begin in November, Mollendor said. The hotel has 76 rooms. The third phase will address the pool area. The hotel will remain open throughout the construction.

The Third Street hotel ownership change and remodeling won’t affect Red Lion Inn & Suites Deschutes River, which is owned by the Butler Hospitality Group Inc. The 99-room hotel at NE Butler Market Road was the Bend Inn & Suites until it was purchased by a group of four different owners, said Justin Hanshew, Red Lion Inn & Suites Deschutes River general manager. Often guests mistake the two hotels, Hanshew said.

— Reporter: 541-633-2117,

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