The Semiahmoo Hotel

The Semiahmoo Hotel

Semiahmoo Hotel to close Dec. 1

Negotiations for sale of local landmark continue but 200 jobs will end with the closure

Representatives of the Semiahmoo Resort Co. have confirmed it will close the Semiahmoo Hotel in Blaine, Wash. as of Dec. 1, after 25 years in operation.

In a news release this week blaming the demise of the hotel on the collapse of its hotel’s conference booking business as a result of the 2008 recession, the company says it will continue to operate the Semiahmoo Golf and Country Club and the Loomis Trail Golf Club.

Closure of the close to 200-room hotel – located just south of White Rock on the end of a sand-spit entrance to Drayton Harbor – will result in the termination of 200 employees, but workers will continue to receive salary and benefits up to Dec. 31.

Majority-owned by the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, the hotel has been on the market for several years, and was on the verge of being sold in 2010 when financing for the buyer fell through.

In August of this year, it was confirmed negotiations for sale were underway with Warnick and Co., a Phoenix firm that specializes in turning around financially troubled hotels and resorts.

Those negotiations were still reportedly alive as of Wednesday, although nothing has been concluded to this point. Representatives for the owners say they will continue to look for a buyer.

The closure is also bad news for the City of Blaine, for which the hotel’s annual $200,000 tax contribution almost entirely covered the tourism promotion budget, including events such as the city’s summertime youth jazz festival.

The bankruptcy reorganization of part-owner David Syre, a Bellingham developer who launched the hotel and surrounding development in the late `80s, has also complicated the resort’s financial situation, according to the company release.

Syre’s Trillium Corp. sold a majority interest to the tribe in 2003.


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