Blaine's Semiahmoo Resort gets a new owner

BLAINE, Wash. (AP) - The Semiahmoo Resort hotel at Blaine has been sold for $19.5 million, and the new owners say they hope to have it open again by the end of August.

The sale was announced Friday.

The Bellingham Herald reports the new owner is Resort Semiahmoo LLC, with Wright Hotels Inc. of Seattle as managing member. Another member is Blue Ridge Cascadia, a real estate investment group based in Southern California. The newspaper says Coastal Hotel Group of Seattle will serve as resort manager.

The Upper Skagit Indian Tribe was the former majority owner.

The hotel closed last December, eliminating about 300 jobs. The resort's two golf courses have remained open.

People in Blaine knew things had slowed down at the inn, but few expected December's closure.

"This is the largest employer in the area, the largest property tax payer, the largest sales tax payer," Blaine city manager Gary Tomsic said after the closure was announced in October.

For Blaine, the closure meant a massive budget hit. Officials estimated the town would lose at least $1 million from sales tax revenues, utility bills and city coffers.

Jerry Anches, a partner in Resort Semiahmoo, said he and his team will be working hard to get the hotel open for business.