Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Nov 2, 2006
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Red Lion Hotels Corporation Reports Third Quarter 2006 Results; Strong Growth in RevPAR and EBITDA

SPOKANE, WA, November 2, 2006 – Red Lion Hotels Corporation (NYSE:RLH) today announced results for the third quarter and nine months ended September 30, 2006.

Key Third Quarter Operating Results

Significant Events

Arthur M. Coffey, President and CEO of Red Lion Hotels Corporation, said, "This was a great quarter for Red Lion. We delivered excellent results and achieved our key strategic goals. Our operating performance this quarter validates our decision to renovate our hotels. Our increased ADR reflects guests' support for the enhanced Red Lion brand. We also improved our balance sheet this quarter by using the proceeds from our recent public common stock offering to pay down debt. Our resulting financial position gave us the ability to obtain a new credit facility. This new facility and the strengthened Red Lion brand give us the financial flexibility and room product necessary to continue with the execution of our strategy to expand to 100 markets by the end of 2010."

The company's total revenues from continuing operations during the quarter were $51.6 million, up 10.5% from the same quarter of 2005. Revenues in the hotel segment were up 11.0% over the prior year period to $47.8 million. Franchise and management revenues increased 4.6% to $0.9 million. Revenues in the entertainment segment increased 37.8% to $0.7 million.

The company's repayment of debt to increase its financial flexibility resulted in two charges for early extinguishment of debt. In the third quarter, the Company booked an expense of $4.9 million related to the early extinguishment of $34 million in debt secured by one of its hotels. In the second quarter, the Company booked an expense of $0.9 million for the early repayment of $16.6 million of debentures in connection with its public offering.

Excluding the after-tax impact of the expense for early extinguishment of debt, EBITDA from continuing operations in the third quarter increased 21.0% to $12.9 million, and net income from continuing operations increased 60.2% to $4.5 million, or $0.23 per fully diluted share, compared to $0.22 per share in the prior period. Reported EBITDA from continuing operations for the quarter was $7.9 million, and reported net income from continuing operations was $1.3 million or $0.07 per fully diluted share. Overall reported net income was $1.5 million or $0.07 per share.

The company's total revenues from continuing operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2006, were $131.6 million, up 4.1% from last year. Excluding the after-tax impact of the expense for early extinguishment of debt, EBITDA from continuing operations for the nine months ended September 30, 2006 increased 20.9% to $24.3 million, and net income from continuing operations increased to $4.2 million, or $0.26 per fully diluted share, compared to $0.05 per share in the prior period. Reported EBITDA for the nine months ended September 30, 2006 was $18.6 million, and reported net income was $0.5 million, or $0.03 per fully diluted share. Overall reported net income was $0.6 million, or $0.03 per fully diluted share.

Hotel Operations

In the third quarter of 2006, RevPAR for comparable system-wide hotels increased 9.9% over the same quarter of the previous year, to $62.73. This increase was primarily the result of a 9.0% increase in ADR to $87.01. Average occupancy improved to 72.1%, from 71.5% in the 2005 period.

At the beginning of the third quarter of 2006, room renovations at the company's owned and leased hotels were substantially complete. RevPAR from continuing hotel operations at the company's owned and leased hotels increased 11.0% in the third quarter of 2006, driven by an increase of 12.3% in ADR and offset by a 0.9 percentage point decrease in occupancy.

Revenues from continuing operations for owned and leased hotels increased 11.0% to $47.8 million during the third quarter of 2006. This increase was primarily driven by a 12.4% increase in hotel room revenues, as well as a 9.4% increase in food and beverage revenues. The hotels segment direct operating margin improved 300 basis points to 30.0% in the third quarter of 2006 from 27.0% in the third quarter of 2005.

"It is evident by the increased profit margin this quarter that our ADR growth is having a very favorable impact on operating income," commented John Taffin, Executive Vice President, Hotel Operations. "The investments we are making in renovating our hotels are substantially strengthening the Red Lion brand and are delivering excellent results at the company's hotels."

Highlights and Recent Events

The company announced at the end of last quarter that it had substantially completed planned rooms renovations at its hotels. With rooms renovations substantially complete, the company is now focused on completing renovations of public guest contact areas such as lobbies and meeting rooms, which it expects to complete during the upcoming winter months.

In the third quarter, the company closed the sale of the Red Lion Hotel in Idaho Falls, Idaho and the WestCoast Ridpath Hotel in Spokane, Washington. The company received $10.1 million in aggregate proceeds from these sales. The total sale proceeds from the company's previously announced disposition program now stands at $68.3 million. In connection with these hotel sales, Red Lion has paid off a total of $20.0 million in associated secured debt. The company continues to actively pursue the disposition of one remaining non-core hotel and surplus undeveloped land previously identified as assets held for sale.

On September 14, 2006, the company announced the closing of a $50 million revolving credit facility with Calyon Corporate and Investment Bank as Administrative Agent, Key Bank as Documentation Agent, and CIBC, Union Bank of California and Wells Fargo Bank as participants. The company intends to use the credit facility for general corporate purposes and to finance anticipated future growth.

"Our team is doing an exceptional job of leveraging our enhanced Red Lion brand to create value for our shareholders. We plan to continue our efforts to grow our existing operations while at the same time using the enhanced Red Lion brand and our financial flexibility to expand into new markets," Mr. Coffey concluded.

Conference Call

The company will host a conference call at 11:00 a.m. PT (2:00 p.m. ET) on Thursday, November 2, 2006 to discuss financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2006. To participate in the conference call, please dial the following number five to ten minutes prior to the scheduled conference call time: (800) 762-4758. International callers should dial (480) 629-9035. There is no pass code required for this call. This conference call will be broadcast live over the Internet and can be accessed by all interested parties at www.redlion.com, in the Investor Relations portion of the website. To listen to the live call, please go to the Red Lion website at least fifteen minutes prior to the start of the call to register, download and install any necessary audio software. For those unable to participate during the live broadcast, a replay will be available at 6:00 p.m. PST on November 2, 2006 through December 2, 2006 at (800) 475-6701 or (320) 365-3844 (International) access code – 845767. The replay will also be available shortly after the call on the Red Lion website for 90 days.

About Red Lion Hotels Corporation

Red Lion Hotels Corporation is a hospitality and leisure company primarily engaged in the ownership, operation and franchising of midscale and upscale, full service hotels under its Red Lion® brand. As of September 30, 2006 the RLH hotel network was comprised of 58 hotels located in nine states and one Canadian province, with 10,168 rooms and 506,629 square feet of meeting space. The company also owns and operates an entertainment and event ticket distribution business. For more information, please visit the company's website at www.redlion.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of federal securities law, including statements concerning plans, objectives, goals, strategies, projections of future events or performance and underlying assumptions (many of which are based, in turn, upon further assumptions). The forward-looking statements in this press release are inherently subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, economic cycles; international conflicts; changes in future demand and supply for hotel rooms; competitive conditions in the lodging industry; relationships with franchisees and properties; impact of government regulations; ability to obtain financing; changes in energy, healthcare, insurance and other operating expenses; ability to sell non-core assets; ability to locate lessees for rental property; dependency upon the ability and experience of executive officers and ability to retain or replace such officers as well as other matters discussed in the company's quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31, 2006 and in other documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact:
Red Lion Hotels Corporation
Julie Langenheim, Investor Relations Manager
(509) 777-6322

CCG Investor Relations
Crocker Coulson, President
(310) 231-8600 ext 103