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It’s a done deal — some of Ontario’s most iconic resort properties have a new owner.
In a press release issued today, Freed Hotels & Resorts/Resort Communities LP — a subset of Toronto-based Freed Developments — announced that it has successfully acquired Deerhurst Resort, Horseshoe Resort and the remaining development lands at Blue Mountain Resort in a $330 million acquisition deal. As part of the acquisition, Freed has also “rolled in its interest” in Muskoka Bay Resort.
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The acquisition reportedly makes Freed the largest resort community owner, operator and developer in Canada, according to the press release. Freed Developments is known for its creation of a number of downtown condo projects, including Art Shoppe Lofts + Condos and 346 Davenport.
In total, Freed’s resort portfolio will encompass 1,000 existing hotel rooms, with plans to bring more than 8,000 new developable units into the Northern Ontario market. Three thousand of those new units would be delivered over the next five years.
“The acquisition of these iconic resort properties will allow us to execute our strategy of modernizing the traditional resort community market to the highest and best use through design-driven development and world-class amenities with all season access,” said Peter Freed, founder and CEO of Freed. “The acquisition of these resorts further stimulates the growth in the hotel and resort sectors for Freed.”
Freed Hotels & Resorts will manage the properties, hoping to employ 2,000 local workers. It’s collection of four-season resort amenities includes seven restaurants, four golf courses, trails, cross-country and downhill skiing areas and a variety of waterfront activities.
With Deerhurst Resort having celebrated its 125th anniversary this year, Freed Hotels & Resorts says that it will work to preserve the landmark site’s rich history as a tourist destination.
“Freed Hotels & Resorts is committed to building upon this legacy with the development of its newly acquired resort portfolio by bringing modern design and world-class hospitality and lifestyle experiences to the north,” said the press release.
In a November interview with Livabl, Freed’s new president, Jane Renwick, noted that the developer would build upon the offerings of the renowned Ontario resorts.
“I’m not sure ‘up North’ needs to be reinvented, but there’s certainly room to expand upon the offering to include more modern design,” she said. “You could argue that it’s missing the cool-factor that Freed will inevitably bring to these classic properties, both from a real estate development and hospitality perspective.”
Freed’s plans to purchase the resort properties from Skyline Investments Inc. were originally made known in September.