A major hotel in Vernon has ended its 20-year partnership with the Best Western chain.
The former Best Western Plus Vernon Lodge officially changes its name Dec. 1 to the Vernon Atrium Hotel & Conference Centre.
“There will be no change to ownership or staff,” said general manager Claus Larsen.
Larsen said 125 employees work at the hotel in high season and 85 to 90 in low season.
The hotel hasn’t changed hands and remains with RPB Hotels, which also owns the Ramada Inn in Kelowna and Lakeside Resort in Penticton.
“Best Western has to set their rules and regulations for a certain decor and everything else based on all 4,200 properties, and we find it a very hard fit,” Larsen said of the split. “We find the red tape somewhat cumbersome.”
There are certain things we want to do for our guests that aren’t necessarily what Best Western wants to do.”
Larsen said cosmetic changes will include redoing the hotel’s signature atrium to its former glory. A tropical plant expert has been hired to replant the venue.
No changes will be made that will effect BX Creek, which runs through the middle of the hotel, he said.
Staff are also experimenting with changes to the guest rooms. “We’ll be focusing on the comfort side,” said Larsen.
He said $2 million had already been spent replacing the roof over the ballroom and convention rooms, among other changes.