A Vancouver property developer and his wife have purchased one of B.C.’s most iconic hotels, the Fairmont Empress in Victoria.
The landmark building on the city’s Inner Harbour has been purchased by Nat and Flora Bosa of Bosa Development, for an undisclosed sum.
A representative for the family, Steve Halliday of Halliday Hospitality, says this is the first time the hotel has even been owned by British Columbians, and that the property will be a “treasure” for the Bosa family.
“This is Nat’s ‘Mona Lisa’ for the future. This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Nat and his wife to buy this prestigious asset.”
Halliday wouldn’t reveal long-terms plans for the hotel, except to say that it will continue to be operated over long-term by Fairmont Hotels and Resorts.
“We are going to carefully examine the hotel, and what needs to happen, and work closely with Fairmont Hotels and Resorts. Everything will be carefully done.”
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“The future of the hotel will be much brighter,” says Halliday.
The Bosa family says they are looking forward to their involvement in the iconic property.
“The hotel is part of the fabric of the community and we look forward to welcoming the residents of Victoria, as well as showcasing it to past and future guests. It is business as usual for guests and employees,” said the Bosa family in a statement.
The Empress was designed by English architect Francis Mawson Rattenbury, who is also responsible for the B.C. Legislature, Crystal Garden and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The hotel features 477 guestrooms, spa, indoor pool, gym, meeting rooms and over 20 ballrooms.
It was previously owned by Ivanhoe Cambridge, a Canadian real estate company.
Another Fairmont property, the Hotel Vancouver, was put up for sale in May by its owner Ivanhoé Cambridge, and is still for sale.
The asking price is not known.