Major renovations to add event center, restore property to its former prestige
Wexford Lodging Advisors and Widewaters Hotels have acquired the 200-room Cherry Valley Lodge in Newark and are planning a comprehensive $13 million renovation to restore the property to its prior standing as central Ohio’s premier group and leisure hotel. Upon acquisition, the property’s indoor water park, constructed in 2006, was closed and will be converted into a 45,000-square-foot, first-class exhibition and event center.
Cherry Valley Lodge sits on the border of Newark, the Licking County seat, and Granville, home of Denison University. The Lodge is located just 30 miles east of Columbus and 15 miles east of the rapidly expanding New Albany business corridor.
“We are very excited to announce the acquisition and repositioning of the Cherry Valley Lodge,” said John Rosen, president of Wexford Lodging Advisors. “We look forward to converting the water park to premium event space, renovating the hotel and bringing the Cherry Valley Lodge back to its former position as a leading destination for meetings, events, groups and leisure travelers. The hotel means so much to this area.”
Rosen added that the conversion of the water park was a key component of the investment profile. “We partnered with the City of Newark to create a plan that made the deal possible. It has been a terrific collaboration,” Rosen said.
Newark Mayor Jeff Hall echoed the potential Cherry Valley Lodge holds for the region. “A repositioned Cherry Valley Lodge is an important part of Newark’s continuing growth. It’s a terrific compliment to the $85-million in public and private investment underway in downtown Newark. We’re thrilled to have worked with Wexford to get this done.”
Defiance, Ohio-based First Federal Bank of the Midwest provided debt financing for the acquisition and planned renovation. Widewaters Hotels, a Syracuse, New York-based development and management company partnering with Wexford, has been engaged to renovate and operate the hotel.
“We are pleased to announce this acquisition with Wexford,” said Bill Holstein, senior vice president of Widewaters Hotels. “The repositioning of this unique hotel presents a wonderful opportunity for Widewaters to utilize its independent hotel management expertise. It’s clear that with the removal of the water park, the local community is ready to welcome the Lodge back, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. The exhibition and event center will be a particularly exciting development. The building is beautiful and the location and access are excellent. We look forward to welcoming groups from across the region upon its completion.”
ABOUT WEXFORD LODGING ADVISORS
Wexford Lodging Advisors is a hotel investment, advisory and asset management firm located in Granville, Ohio led by John Rosen, former head of asset management for Columbus-based Rockbridge.
ABOUT WIDEWATERS HOTELS
Widewaters Hotels is part of a vertically integrated real estate organization with more than 35 years of development, construction, management and investment experience. Widewaters has developed or acquired over 12.2 million square feet of retail, office, residential and hospitality projects, including 35 hotels totaling more than 5,000 rooms in 16 US states and three Canadian provinces.