Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Red Lion Hotels Corporation, doing business as RLH Corporation, is an American hospitality corporation that primarily engages in the franchising, management and ownership of upscale, midscale and economy hotels.

Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Traded asNYSE: RLH
Russell 2000 Component
Founded1937 (1937) (as Goodale & Barbieri Company)
Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Area served
United States, Canada
ProductsHotels and resorts
Revenue US$142.92 million (2015)
US$13.88 million (2015)
US$2.7 million (2015)
Total assets US$287.22 million (2015)
Total equity US$167.60 million (2015)
Number of employees
1,783 (2015)
SubsidiariesVantage Hospitality
GuestHouse International
Hotel RL
Red Lion Hotels

Red Lion, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, has 90,000 rooms across more than 1,400 properties (as of May 2018)[1] in North America.


Establishment and diversification

The company originated as a property management and commercial development company when it was founded in Spokane, Washington in 1937 under the name Goodale & Barbieri Company. In 1976, Goodale & Barbieri acquired the River Inn in Spokane, launching the company into the hotel business.[2] The Cavanaughs brand name was later created in 1980 for its hotel operations. By 1987, the company established a computerized event ticketing company, G&B Select A Seat, which is now known as TicketsWest.

1990s–2000s: IPO, regional growth, and rebranding

Preparing for an Initial Public Offering, Goodale & Barbieri Company adopted its hotel brand into its corporate identity in 1997, changing its name to Cavanaughs Hospitality Corporation. The IPO was completed in April 1998, and Cavanaughs began trading under the ticker CVH.[3] By the end of 1999,[4] Cavanaughs announced it would acquire its regional rival, Seattle-based WestCoast Hotels, Inc. with transaction closing on January 7, 2000.[5] On March 1, 2000, the combined company began trading under the new ticker, WEH.[6] Recognizing the broader geographic reach of the WestCoast name, Cavanaughs also changed its name to WestCoast Hospitality Corporation with the launch of its new stock ticker and announced plans to rebrand its hotels into the WestCoast name.[7]

In addition to the expanded hotel portfolio following the acquisition of WestCoast, the company also announced plans to franchise properties under its brand.[8]

By 2001, the company grew again; this time by announcing it would acquire the Red Lion Hotels and Inns brand and properties (along with several other DoubleTree properties) from Hilton Hotels.[9] Capitalizing on the Red Lion brand, a majority of the company's WestCoast Hotels properties were rebranded to the Red Lion name within the two years following the acquisition. In September 2005, further realizing the revitalization of the Red Lion name, WestCoast Hospitality Corporation assumed its present-day name, Red Lion Hotels Corporation.

In 2006, RLHC divested its property development operations by spinning-off that segment into an independent entity, G&B Real Estate Companies.

2010s: Acquisitions and transformation to a national company

Red Lion Hotels Corporation further expanded its hotel operations. In October 2014, RLHC announced a new upscale conversion brand, Hotel RL. In April 2015, RLHC acquired GuestHouse International, LLC and its two brands, GuestHouse International and Settle Inn & Suites, from Boomerang Hotels in a deal with up to $10 million.[10][11] The acquisition more than doubled Red Lion's size from 57 properties to 130[12] properties and added 5,187 rooms to its portfolio.[13]

In September 2016, RLHC acquired Vantage Hospitality Group and its brands Vantage Hotels, Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn, Lexington by Vantage, America's Best Inns and Suites, Country Hearth Inns, Jameson Inns, Signature Inn, and 3 Palms Hotels & Resorts.[14][15]

Following up on its acquisition of Vantage and its nine brands, RLHC pared down its brand lineup and positioning in May 2017 to eliminate market position overlaps and provide its franchisees the flexibility to move between brands. In addition to retiring the Vantage name, the announcement eliminated five of the nine Vantage brands – keeping only Signature Inn, Americas Best Value Inn, Canadas Best Value Inn, and Country Hearth Inn & Suites. All five of Red Lion's pre-acquisition brands were maintained.[16] The eliminated Vantage brands competed directly with Red Lion's existing brands or had a very small footprint. With the brand realignment, RLHC also subdivided its economy segment into three tiers – upper economy, economy, and lower economy – and promoted its existing GuestHouse brand to the upper economy segment.

As a result of its acquisition of Vantage Hospitality, which transformed the company's footprint from regional to national, Red Lion Hotels Corporation moved its corporate headquarters from Spokane to Denver, Colorado, in August 2017, to be more centrally located to its franchisees, partners, vendors, and two regional offices. The former headquarters office in Spokane will be maintained as a regional office along with the former headquarters of Vantage Hospitality in Coral Springs, Florida.[17][18]

On August 17, 2017, RLHC announced it had sold its TicketsWest business to Paciolan, a ticketing business which is owned by Learfield.[19]

On April 4, 2018, RLHC announced it had reached an agreement with Wyndham Worldwide to acquire the Knights Inn brand for $27 million.[20] The transaction closed on May 14, 2018.[21]


Red Lion Hotels Corporation operates ten hotel brands within the following market segments[22]:

Brand Market segment
Hotel RL Upscale
Red Lion Hotels Upper midscale
Red Lion Inn & Suites Midscale select service
Settle Inn Extended Stay Midscale extended stay
Signature Affordable boutique
Guest House Inn and Suites Upper economy
Lower economy


The Franchise Segment licenses the Red Lion brand to third-party hotel owners. As of 2009 there were approximately 17 franchised Red Lion hotels. Hotel owners can franchise as either a full service Red Lion Hotel, which offer restaurant and banquet meeting space; a limited service Red Lion Inn & Suites; or under the Leo Hotel Collection, for unique, boutique or historic hotels.[23] The Las Vegas Hotel & Casino was the first hotel to join the Leo Collection in February 2013.[24]

Loyalty program

RLHC operates a loyalty program called Hello Rewards.


In mid-2008 Columbia Pacific Opportunity Fund, an investment manager for the Baty family, the Seattle founders of Emeritus Corporation, submitted an unsolicited acquisition offer of $9.50 per share to acquire Red Lion.[25] At the time, Columbia Pacific held 12.7 percent of Red Lion.

By October Columbia Pacific had withdrawn its offer and, shortly thereafter, the Red Lion board of directors enacted a poison pill plan, drawing the ire of Columbia Pacific which stated its belief that Red Lion should be liquidated because company-owned assets were in "excess of Red Lion's market capitalization".[26]

Later that year, after the share price increased significantly, Red Lion removed its poison pill.


  1. "Investor Presentation, May 29, 2018". Retrieved 1 June 2018.
  2. Red Lion Hotels Corporate: Staking its Claim , Welcome Magazine, November 2008, Accessed March 3, 2009.
  3. Off to a Strong Start: Cavanaughs Hospitality begins trading on NYSE
  4. Cavanaughs Hospitality Corporation and WestCoast Hotels, Inc. Agree to Form One Hotel Company
  5. Cavanaughs Hospitality Corporation Closes On Transaction With Westcoast Hotels, Inc.
  6. Cavanaughs Hospitality Corporation Begins Trading Under New Symbol, Weh; Changes Name To Westcoast Hospitality Corporation
  7. WestCoast Hospitality Corporation
  8. WestCoast readies to expand
  9. Hilton Signs Letter of Intent to Sell Red Lion Chain and Selected Doubletree Locations to Westcoast Hospitality
  10. Trejos, Nancy (April 23, 2015). "Red lion hotels to buy two economy, mid-scale brands". USA Today. Retrieved 24 October 2016.
  11. HNN Newswire (April 24, 2015). "RLHC to acquire GuestHouse, Settle Inn brands". Hotel News Now. Retrieved April 5, 2018.
  12. "GuestHouse CEO reveals twist in RLHC deal". Hotel News Now. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  13. Gale, Casey. "RLHC to Acquire GuestHouse and Settle Inn". Lodging Magazine. Lodging Media. Retrieved October 24, 2016.
  14. "Red Lion Hotels Corporation Enters Into Definitive Agreement to Acquire Substantially All of Vantage Hospitality Group". Retrieved 22 October 2016.
  15. "Red Lion Hotels Closes Acquisition of Vantage Ahead of Schedule". Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  16. "Red Lion Hotels Corporation Unveils New Alignment of Brands". Hospitality Net. May 9, 2017. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  17. "RLH Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results". RLHC (Red Lion Hotels Corporation). Retrieved August 4, 2017.
  18. Kramer, Becky (August 3, 2017). "Parent of Red Lion Hotels moves corporate headquarters from Spokane to Denver". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved October 7, 2017.
  19. "Paciolan to Buy TicketsWest, WestCoast Ent. - International Ticketing Association". Retrieved August 17, 2017.
  20. "Wyndham sells Knights Inn brand to Red Lion ahead of spin-off". Hotel Management. 4 April 2018. Retrieved 20 May 2018.
  21. . Yahoo Finance. GlobalNewswire. 14 May 2018 Retrieved 20 May 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. "RLH Corporation Brand Overview" (PDF). Red Lion Hotels Corporation. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  23. "Red Lion Hotels Announces Brand in Development, The Leo Hotel Collection".
  24. "LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino First to Join New Leo Hotel Collection".
  25. "Seattle firm drops bid for Red Lion Hotels", The Seattle Times, October 17, 2008, Accessed March 5, 2009.
  26. "Red Lion Faces Shareholder Criticism". Archived from the original on 2013-01-26.
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