April Point, Painter’s Lodge resorts have a new owner

A new owner has taken over the April Point Resort on Quadra Island and Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River, previously part of the Oak Bay Marine Group.

The resorts went on the market last February, along with the company’s Canadian Princess Lodge in Ucluelet.

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Painter’s new owner is listed in B.C. government documents as Painter’s Hotel Resort Ltd. April Point Hotel Resort Ltd. is the owner of the Quadra Island property. The companies were incorporated last year.

In each case, the registered office is at 9260 Bridgeport Rd. in Richmond and its director is Xiao Dong Liu, who could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Best Western Plus Abercorn Inn is at 9260 Bridgeport Rd.; it offers a shuttle service to Vancouver Airport.

A family from Nanaimo purchased Canadian Princess Lodge last year.

Painter’s Lodge and April Point are now closed for winter. Their websites state that Painter’s, which employed 160 people as of September, will reopen on April 28. April Point, which had 65 employees, will reopen on May 12.

The Oak Bay Marine Group put its three resorts up for sale to focus on its other businesses — marinas, attractions and restaurants. These include the Oak Bay Marina, Pedder Bay RV Resort and Marina, and Ladysmith Marina.

Sales closed for Painter’s Lodge and April Point in mid-December, after an agreement was signed a few months earlier.

The buyer owns several other hospitality properties in B.C., the Oak Bay Marine Group said.

“Throughout the listing and sales process, we had sincerely hoped that any new owner would run the businesses as a going concern,” Oak Bay Marine Group chief operating officer Brook Castelsky said in a statement.

“After re-building the historic Painter’s Lodge in the 1980s we are delighted that the new owners intend to keep operating both properties as destination resorts.

“They have expressed that they have the utmost respect and admiration for the rich history, tradition, and guest experiences that makes these two resorts so unique.”

Bob Wright, who died in 2013, founded the Oak Bay Marine Group, developing it into a company offering sport fishing experiences in B.C. He was a major factor in developing Campbell River’s reputation as a go-to destination for recreational salmon fishing. Guests often go out with guides in the hopes of hauling in a prized Tyee, a Chinook salmon weighing at least 30 pounds. Traditional anglers go out in rowboats to Tyee pools.

Frank Bourree, a hospitality industry consultant and principal of Chemistry Consulting in Victoria, said this week: “There’s a big opportunity for upgrading those properties and going after a higher-end market, especially April Point.”

The Quadra Island hotel already has a nice spa, is in a gorgeous setting, and is a little more remote, he said.

“I think there is an increasing opportunity for wildlife viewing. I think fishing should always be part of the offering.”

Along with other Island communities such as Greater Victoria and Nanaimo, Campbell River is benefiting from an upswing in tourism.

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