Palmieri hits a homer with sale of Gorge Hotel

22 Oct

Kathy Palmieri, owner of Premiere Properties at 602 Oak St. (next to Brian’s Pourhouse), had been involved in representing the Columbia Gorge Hotel since January. Patience pays. Focused on selling hotel, commercial, equestrian and high-end residential properties, she hit a homer when she linked Vijay Patel up with the Columbia Gorge Hotel.

After it failed to find a buyer and Shore Bank Pacific took it over, Palmieri — and a lot of other people — continued trying to find a buyer. She represented Tri-Cities resident Vijay Patel of A-1 Hospitality LLC in his offer to purchase the hotel.

She says Shore Bank Pacific turned down several higher offers to go with Patel because of his history of community involvement. He’s a past president of the Oregon Lodging Association, and very involved in community organizations where A-1 owns hotels.

“Shore Bank wanted to make sure the buyer wouldn’t flip the property and try to make a quick profit,” she says. “They wanted someone who was committed to the local community.”

Palmieri, whose family has deep local roots, this summer spun her real estate business out of John L. Scott. For many years, she operated out in the building where Centerpointe Bank is now located.

She says Patel has met with all the staff brought in by North Pacific Management when it was hired to reopen the hotel in September. “He has elected to retain all the staff,” Palmieri says.

Sixty-eight people now work there. The hotel will add more staff as business grows. And it appears headed that way. Since August, when North Pacific got involved, more than 700 brides have talked with hotel management about possibly using its grounds for future weddings.

Palmieri says Patel is working on five new hotel projects along the Columbia River, including a Holiday Inn Express in The Dalles.

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