New owner of Valdez hotel plans reopening next year

Posted: Monday, August 13, 2001

VALDEZ (AP) -- The Kodiak investor who purchased the Westmark Hotel in Valdez is making renovations to the facility and expects to have it reopened by next spring or summer.

Jack Johnson, who owns Best Western hotels in Kodiak and Homer as well as a motel in Susanville, Calif., purchased the Valdez hotel earlier this year. Terms were not disclosed.

The Valdez Westmark was closed in March after 60 of its 96 rooms failed to meet fire safety standards. Problems at the hotel included a lack of sprinklers and fire walls.

''We'll be remodeling the interior,'' Johnson told The Valdez Vanguard. ''It's going to be substantial. The fire system works itself will take six figures.''

Johnson, who is trained as a chef, said he plans to reopen the hotel's restaurant to upscale dining in a few months.

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