End of an era for Airport Inn, only owner remains

Airport Inn owner Raif Fleihan has put his motel up for sale

Lake Country’s Airport Inn saga is over, apparently.

According to Ruth Sulentich, District of Lake Country communications and public engagement specialist, all of the remaining tenants have vacated the premise and have been provided housing opportunities by BC Housing.

In 2017, the motel was shut down for health and safety purposes after a deck collapse warranted safety measures to be taken.

Despite numerous fines by the city and a revoked business permit, owner Raif Fleihan continued operations, at one point housing nearly a dozen people.

READ MORE: Police investigating suspicious fire at Airport Inn in Lake Country

READ MORE: Airport Inn Lakeside owner cares for his residents but not the Lake Country Calendar

On Aug. 20. Lake Country council ordered the motel of 20 years to be shut down in 45 days, with all residents gone and the building boarded up with a fence around the perimeter.

In an effort to extend the date of closure, Airport Inn owner Raif Flehan’s lawyer asked council to delay the remedial action to ensure tenants could find appropriate housing. On Tuesday, Oct. 1 council decided to uphold remedial action, giving the tenants until Oct. 7 to begin leaving due to safety violations and the lack of an occupancy permit.

Then on Oct. 18, a suspicious fire burned one of the unoccupied wings of the building. Police are still investigating the deliberately set blaze.

Finally, after weeks of hard work, the Airport Inn has housed its last tenants.

The only people who can still be seen on the property are the workers fencing and boarding up the property, the security guards hired to ensure no vandalism or trespassing occurs, and of course, the notorious Airport Inn owner Reif Fleihan.

Pretty soon the Airport Inn will be no more, as the property has been put up for sale by Fleihan.

The district will review the new plans for the inn once Fleihan leaves and the property is purchased.


@Niftymittens14
daniel.taylor@kelownacapnews.com

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