A farm owner from Metro Vancouver has bought a heritage hotel in southeastern B.C., that was put up for auction after its closure several years ago.
Last week, Kendall Ballantine — who runs the Central Park Farms in the Township of Langley with her husband — won the bid on the foreclosed Windsor Hotel in Greenwood, B.C., about 168 kilometres southeast of Kelowna.
The hotel — which was built in 1896 and rebuilt three years later after a fire — was purchased by its previous owners in 2016 but has been permanently closed since 2017.
Ballantine says she noticed the Windsor Hotel on foreclosure listings last June, and decided two months ago to buy it for her newly developed hospitality business.
She says the three-storey hotel is in disrepair, which she hopes to fix as soon as possible before reopening it next summer.
"It has deteriorated massively, especially in the top two floors — there are kids swimming pools in some of the back rooms that are full of water, because the roof failed at one point. There's been a lot of water damage," she told Chris Walker, the host of CBC's Daybreak South.
Ballantine says she will focus on renovating accommodations on those two floors, before restoring the restaurant downstairs and adding a new retail store to the building.
"The goal is to make sure that this building stays standing to respect its history," she said.
Greenwood is a charming community of 800 people that bills itself as Canada's Smallest City — a moniker referring to its quick incorporation following the discovery of rich copper deposits that led to the establishment of the great Mother Lode mine at Deadwood, three kilometres west of Greenwood, in 1891.
Ballantine says local residents are glad to have her as part of their community.
"They've been so happy to be able to see that somebody wants to respect the community and the heritage of the building," she said.
Ballantine declined to say how much she paid for the Windsor Hotel and how much she will spend on refurbishing it.
Tap the link below to hear Kendall Ballantine on Daybreak South: