By Jon Peterson
San Francisco-based INNSight Hospitality Group has acquired the 80-room Shilo Inns & Suites at 40644 Highway 41 in Oakhurst at the gateway to Yosemite National Park.
The $6.4 million sale followed an unsolicited offer from INNSight, said Wes Raborn, general counsel for Shilo Inns and Suites, which developed the property in 1998. “We … felt that the price was a good one for our company,” Raborn said.
INNSight declined comment for this story. Eric Gunderson, an investment associate with Cassidy Turley Commercial Real Estate Service’s hospitality group in its San Francisco office, represented the buyer. Shilo Inns worked on the sale of the hotel itself.
The property will continue to run under the Shilo flag on an interim basis. Its name will be changed to the Yosemite Southgate Hotel. “The vast majority—around 90 percent of the business in the hotel—comes from guests who are in the area planning to visit Yosemite National Park,” Gunderson said. The property is about five miles from the park’s south entrance.
Despite the national and global economic tumult in the last several years, the park continues to attract a larger number of visitors. In 2010, more than four million people came, the highest level of visitation since 1996, according to the National Park Service. The park first hit the 4 million threshold in 1994. “I think many people on vacation have decided to come to places that are closer to where they live to cut the cost of the trip,” Gunderson said.
It also has been a decade or more since a new hotel was built in the area, which has made the existing properties more profitable, he said.
The property has a current average daily room rate of $90. It has amenities like an outdoor heated pool, sauna and fitness center.
INNSight now owns two hotels in the Yosemite area. Its other property is on the west side of the national park in Groveland. This is the 45-room Yosemite Westgate Lodge at 7633 State Highway 120.