NEW YORK — As part of a joint venture, Waterton, a Chicago-based national real estate investor and operator, and Jackson, Wyoming-based Orion Companies completed the acquisition of the Virginian Lodge and adjacent RV Park. RobertDouglas advised Waterton and Orion Companies in securing a $30 million, non-recourse senior mortgage for the acquisition and renovation of the Virginian Lodge. The long-term, fixed-rate financing was provided by a national bank.
The Virginian Lodge is located at 750 W. Broadway in Jackson on a 12.9-acre site within minutes from the historic Town Square and near outdoor recreation opportunities including Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park. Built in the 1960s, the property includes a 170-key independent hotel with a 4,900-square foot conference and event center and 2,600 square feet of retail space. To reposition the asset as a boutique, outdoor lifestyle hotel, the Virginian Lodge will undergo a transformational renovation to its rooms, amenities, common areas, retail spaces, and food and beverage operations beginning later this year.
“The Virginian Hotel is well-aligned with Waterton’s expertise in transforming iconic properties and we’re excited to partner with a respected Jackson-based firm to reposition the property into one with wide appeal for Jackson Hole visitors,” said David Schwartz, president and CEO of Waterton.
“The Virginian Lodge is an iconic property located on an irreplaceable site in the heart of Jackson,” remarked Evan Hurd, principal and managing director with RobertDouglas. “Although many lenders have put new deals on hold, particularly in the hospitality sector, this opportunity drew strong interest from multiple lenders, enabling us to create a competitive marketing process with a range of financing structures.”
Already a thriving market, Jackson has become one of the most desirable travel destinations in the United States due to the growing outdoor tourism market. Unlike most U.S. markets, Jackson is experiencing a significant increase in visitors this summer, surpassing numbers from the past three years. According to the Jackson Hole Travel and Tourism Board, accommodations of all types—hotels, motels, short-term vacation rentals, RV Parks, and campgrounds—are near capacity and not showing any slack until the end of September.
“The Virginian’s diverse revenue streams supported by its hotel and RV Resort enhanced the appeal of the property for many lenders. Travel to National Parks has meaningfully increased during the pandemic and we anticipate markets like Jackson to continue to experience a strong recovery due to the open spaces and outdoor activities,” commented Annie Ferguson, associate with RobertDouglas.
OLS Hotels and Resorts/Springboard Hospitality, a niche operator with experience in managing repositioned mid-century properties, will operate the hotel.