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Sudbury’s Northbury Hotel sold to new owners

Popular hotel and conference centre will fly Days Inn banner, effective April 12
Sudbury's Northbury Hotel & Conference Centre has been sold to new owners and will be rebranded as a Days Inn, effective Friday, April 12.

It’s the end of an era for a longstanding Sudbury hotel and conference centre, which will adopt a new name when its new owners take over this spring.

In an unsolicited offer, the Northbury Hotel & Conference Centre, located on Brady Street near the city’s downtown, has been purchased by a group of stakeholders and will be rebranded as a Days Inn & Conference Centre by Wyndham, effective Friday, April 12.

Norm Grillanda, president at the Northbury, said negotiations for the transaction had been in the works for several months.

The hotel has been “unofficially” up for sale for a number of years, Grillanda said, and since he joined the venture as president in 2014, the current group of shareholders has received a number of unsolicited proposals.

Though none had come to fruition, the group was “always interested in hearing what someone is willing to offer for the hotel,” he said, and this time, they accepted the offer.

“We've been very happy with the operations of the hotel. I think Sudburians and-out-of-towners that have used the property have enjoyed it,” Grillanda said.

“I think we've done a good job in terms of providing hospitality in the city and a nice conference facility and hotel facility close to the downtown, and it's just time to change hands.”

The 77-room hotel and conference centre has been a popular event facility over the decades, hosting everything from weddings and business meetings to the city’s popular Comicon pop culture gathering.

There are nine conference room configurations available, which can handle between six and 250 attendees, and each space is equipped with audio and video capabilities for presentations and training sessions.

Guests staying at the hotel have access to wi-fi, a hot breakfast, a fitness facility, and the business centre, while the Thyme Out Restaurant & Bar offers daily breakfast and Sunday brunch.

Its central location positions it close to the downtown and amenities like the community arena, Place des Arts cultural centre, and the Sudbury Theatre Centre, while its position along a central city corridor provides easy access to Highways 17 and 400.

In operation for more than 50 years, the Northbury was initiated by a group of 20 local investors who decided to invest their pooled money into real estate. They built the facility on the Brady Street property in the early 1970s, and it’s operated as a hotel ever since, Grillanda said.

After more than 20 years operating under the Northbury name, the hotel transitioned for a time to a Holiday Inn, followed by a Howard Johnson, and then to the Lexington Hotel before returning to its original name in 2019.

Now, the facility can add Days Inn to the list.

Owned by the U.S.-based Wyndham Hotels & Resorts chain, Days Inn-branded properties are marketed toward “value-conscious” consumers, with more than 1,800 properties around the world.

Though he declined to speak on behalf of the new owners, Grillanda said the group is a combination of local and out-of-town investors who bring varied backgrounds to the mix.

“It's a very diverse group of people,” he said. “They have experience in the hotel industry as well, so we're really confident that they're going to do a good job and continue on with the great legacy that we've left to this point.”

The interior of the Northbury property got a makeover just prior to the onset of COVID-19, which was completed in 2019.

But Grillanda said that the new owners are planning an update to the exterior of the facility, which he complimented as a smart approach to maintaining a reputable business.

“If you continue to reinvest in your business, then that's what brings people back,” he said.

“That's really what kept us in tune with the public and kept them coming back.”

There’s no word yet on how many employees will stay on with the new venture.

Grillanda said the new owners reserve the right to rehire staff, and those conversations are ongoing. But there are some long-term employees who are mulling retirement, he said.

He also emphasized that any events booked for this year and into next would continue without disruption.

Though the hotel's name and owners will have changed, when it comes to the services provided, it will be business as usual.

“Somebody that may have booked a wedding in eight months' time, it's important for them to know that everything will carry on as if it was the same owners, and there's really nothing to worry about in that respect,” Grillanda said.

“The business is going to be continuing and there'll be continuity there and, we're sure, the same great service they've come to expect.”