Canad Inns hotel chain purchases the Radisson


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Manitoba's biggest hotel chain has made its first foray into downtown Winnipeg -- but it likely won't be its last.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 13/09/2008 (5312 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Manitoba’s biggest hotel chain has made its first foray into downtown Winnipeg — but it likely won’t be its last.

Canad Inns has purchased the Radisson Hotel at the corner of Portage Avenue and Smith Street from the Paletta Group for an undisclosed sum and will take possession in the next few weeks.

But Leo Ledohowski, Canad Inns’ CEO, said his people are also crunching the numbers on Winnipeg’s premiere business hotel, The Fairmont, which is currently for sale.

“The Radisson came to us. It seemed like a good fit, so we made a deal,” he said. “If the Fairmont is a good fit, we’ll make a deal. If it’s not, we won’t. We’re just beginning our due diligence.

“It all depends on conditions, price and profitability. It’s a nice hotel. I’ve been through there for a lot of functions.”

Ledohowski said his team’s first order of business is turning the 263-room Radisson into a destination centre, just like it has done for the other 10 properties in its portfolio. He said it’s too early to tell what combination of restaurants, entertainment concepts, night clubs or water parks will be launched at the hotel — which will continue to fly the Radisson flag for the time being.

The Radisson isn’t the first investment by Canad Inns in Winnipeg’s central business district. The company is an investor in the MTS Centre and it operates the adjacent Tavern United Pub. It also recently bought the Metropolitan Theatre, which is scheduled to be turned into a shrine for Canada’s rock and roll music scene. Canad Inns also plans to start construction early next year on a 200-room hotel at the Health Sciences Centre.

“(The Radisson) has a good location. I think the skill set we have fits very well with that. It’s also very close to the Met, the MTS Centre and Tavern United. We have a pretty good cluster there. We believe it’s a pretty good operation and we think we can improve it,” he said.

Canad Inns is the third owner for the Radisson in the past month. The Paletta Group, which owns three hotels in the province, including the Clarion, bought half of the Radisson in November, 2005, partnering up with the Tribal Councils Investment Group, which bought the other half.

This spring, TCIG triggered a shotgun clause to buy out Paletta but before the offer’s window closed, Paletta turned the tables and offered to take out TCIG.

Allan McLeod, president and CEO of the First Nations consortium, was happy to oblige.

“We put together a win-win proposal. The hotel is a great property, it has lots of potential and lots of upside. We doubled our money on it. Doing that has the equivalent upside and potential because that money can be used to invest in other things that will generate returns over the coming years,” McLeod said.

Joe Paletta, CEO of the Paletta Group, said he flipped the property because the right opportunity came along.

“For the right price, everything is for sale,” he said.

Ledohowski said he’s also considering possible options with two mothballed movie theatres — formerly the Northstar Cinema 1 & 2 — at the Radisson.

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