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Oxford, partner buy Banff's Rimrock Hotel for $170M

The Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff. (Courtesy Oxford, Life Outside Studio)
The Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff. (Courtesy Oxford, Life Outside Studio)

Oxford Properties Group and an institutional capital partner have acquired The Rimrock Resort Hotel on Sulphur Mountain in Banff National Park for $170 million Cdn and plan a “comprehensive top-to-bottom renovation” of the property.

International hospitality group Accor, with a portfolio comprising 5,400 properties and 10,000 food and beverage venues in 110 countries, has signed with Oxford to operate The Rimrock. 

The renovation will be part of a “significant investment” of up to $100 million by Oxford and its partner, but the hotel will continue to operate throughout the work. Part of the goal is to improve the sustainability aspects of the hotel as well as enhancing what Oxford calls the property’s “luxury experience.”

The Rimrock is four kilometres south of the town of Banff.

With a history dating back to 1884, it is considered one of the premier hotels in the region.

The Rimrock Resort Hotel history, features

Since its opening, The Rimrock has transformed from a two-storey, six-room hotel to a pre-eminent property boasting over 330 guest rooms, including 24 suites.

It also includes 18,000 square feet of event space and a range of amenities including a 9,000-square-foot spa, an indoor pool, four restaurants and bars, a fitness centre and a seasonal skating rink.

“We are very excited to acquire this extremely unique resort within the vibrant, high-barrier-to-entry Banff market," Tyler MacDonald, head of hotels and alternatives at Oxford Properties, said in the announcement.

"Our acquisition of The Rimrock speaks to our long-term conviction in Canada’s luxury resort hotel market, where we have meaningful scale.

“It also grows our important relationship with Accor, offering world-class resort experiences in renowned destinations across Western Canada.”

Oxford’s Western Canada resort hotel portfolio comprises Accor-managed properties Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Accor’s collection of Canadian hotels also includes the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City, Fairmont Royal York in Toronto and Fairmont Hotel Vancouver.

“With The Rimrock Resort Hotel, we officially mark our 30th property in Canada, further extending our offerings for Accor guests, from the landmark properties of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, a globally celebrated luxury brand with roots that run deep from coast to coast, to the unique stories told by the MGallery Hotel Collection, to our family- and business-friendly Novotel properties,” Mark Purcell, Accor’s senior vice-president, development, North and Central America, said in the announcement.

“We are thrilled to continue the group’s growth in North America and further our longstanding relationship with Oxford with this exceptional addition to our Accor portfolio.

“Already a tremendous property, we can’t wait to unveil what is to come.”

The Rimrock is Oxford’s first hotel acquisition since 2014.

Banff is one of the best-performing lodging markets in North America based on its wide range of nature-based activities and unique supply-and-demand dynamics.

Located within Banff National Park, which attracts over four million international visitors every year, its location creates a high barrier to entry with new development limited to protect the surrounding natural environment.

Renovations planned for The Rimrock

“Our mountain resorts have operated within Canada’s national parks for over 130 years and we recognize the enormous privilege and responsibility that comes with this,” MacDonald said in the announcement.

“As such, we’re committed to improving upon both the environmental sustainability and guest experience at The Rimrock. 

“These two goals have been at the core of our investment thesis at our existing mountain resort hotel portfolio, which has seen us invest over $500 million since 2006, resulting in our hotels winning multiple environmental awards and becoming internationally recognized for their guest experience.”

Planning and design for the renovation project will begin immediately, with work anticipated to begin in 2024.

“We are delighted to have The Rimrock and its team join the Accor family in our region,” Gregor Resch, Fairmont regional vice-president for Canada’s Western mountain region, said in the announcement.

“We’ve had the pleasure of working alongside Oxford for more than 15 years and cannot think of a more perfect partner for this endeavour.

“With a shared vision for the revitalization of the property, backed by Oxford’s reinvestment in the hotel, and Accor’s global reach and proven expertise in luxury, we are excited to be embarking on this transformative journey for The Rimrock together.”

The second-largest luxury operator in North America, Accor is globally known for its luxury and upscale brands, including Fairmont, Emblems Collection, Raffles, Orient Express, Sofitel, MGallery Hotel Collection and more.

Planning and design for the renovation project will begin immediately, with work anticipated to begin in 2024. 

In an email to RENX, an Oxford spokesperson noted the acquisition is part of Oxford’s belief in the Canadian resort and hospitality sector, which has been experiencing a boom as it emerges from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To this end, the sector has seen revenue per available room rise significantly from its Q1 2019 levels, up 19 per cent comparatively in Q1 2023.

About Oxford and Accor

Oxford Properties Group is a global real estate investor, asset manager and developer.

Established in 1960, Oxford and its portfolio companies manage approximately $86 billion of assets across four continents on behalf of their investment partners. 

Oxford’s owned portfolio encompasses office, logistics, retail, multiresidential, life sciences, hotels, alternatives and credit. It invests in properties, portfolios, development sites, debt, securities and real estate businesses across the risk-reward spectrum.

Together with its portfolio companies, Oxford is one of the world’s most active developers with over 70 projects underway globally across all major asset classes.

Oxford is owned by OMERS, the Canadian defined benefit pension plan for Ontario's municipal employees.

Accor is an international hospitality group with over 5,400 properties in 110 countries,10,000 food and beverage venues, wellness facilities or flexible workspaces. 

It has one of the industry’s most diverse hospitality ecosystems, encompassing more than 40 hotel brands from luxury to economy, as well as Lifestyle with Ennismore. 

Founded in 1967, Accor SA is headquartered in France.

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