South Surrey’s Pacific Inn Resort & Conference Centre is ‘due for a change,’ says owner Fareed Pirani.

Rebranding considered for Pacific Inn

South Surrey hotel ‘due for a change’

Change is in the wind for the Peninsula’s largest hotel.

Fareed Pirani, owner of the Pacific Inn & Conference Centre (1160 King George Blvd.), confirmed last week that he is “working on a deal” to effect “a total renovation” of the facility.

“I’ve been here 25 years now, almost. It’s time to change the hotel and maybe bring in a brand,” Pirani told Peace Arch News.

“You can only powder-puff so much,” Pirani added, referring to sprucing-up efforts. “Now it’s a question of really making a change, maybe… to something a little more modern.”

Known locally as “The Pink Palace” – a reference to its bold exterior colour – the 150-room, Caribbean-themed hotel is located just north of the Douglas border crossing. In addition to accommodations, the resort includes a spa, fitness club, pool and event space for up to 800 guests.

The facilities host everything from business-networking events to fundraisers to music festivals. (This month’s events include this weekend’s Lucky Cat Affair Cat Show from the Cat Fanciers of BC, www.cfofbc.org, and the Vancouver Whisky Festival, www.vancouverwhiskyfestival.com, set for Sept. 16 and featuring ‘Masterclasses’ led by brand ambassadors from Scotland, India and Taiwan, as well as tastings.)

Some online reviews support Pirani’s acknowledgment that the Pacific Inn is due for a facelift.

“Clean and comfortable beds. The rest of the hotel needs updating,” writes one man who commented last month. “Fresh paint would be a start both inside and out. A/C had a tough time keeping up with keeping the room cool at night.”

Another guest notes it is “not fancy or up market but fantastic, convenient, clean and with a few touch ups could be 4 stars.”

One critical guest, commenting three months ago, noted the lack of accommodation options in the area. That opinion that has been voiced a number of times over the years, including in reference to hindering the hosting of large-scale events such as the Canada Cup, as visitors have few places they can stay.

Aside from the Pacific Inn, local hotel options include the Ocean Promenade, located in White Rock’s East Beach district, and the Peace Arch Inn, in the 2200-block of King George Boulevard.

There has been some suggestion this year that those options could soon expand.

Great Wolf Lodge vice-president Keith Simmonds confirmed to PAN in June that the company was considering South Surrey as a potential location for one of its water-park resorts.

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner unveiled the potential for that development in May, describing a $150-million idea proposed by the Jim Pattison Development Group.

PAN last month obtained an email that suggested a site near 192 Street and 16 Avenue may be the proposed location. No further details have emerged.

Pirani said last Tuesday that negotiations around his facility’s future are ongoing.

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