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Arlington Hotel

Carmens Group acquires The Arlington Hotel and Dominion Telegraph Event Centre (Hamilton Spectator)

Carmens Group has acquired The Arlington Hotel and Dominion Telegraph Event Centre from fellow Hamilton-based hospitality group The Other Bird.

The purchase of the Paris, Ont., properties was announced in a press release earlier this month and marks the company’s most recent expansion beyond its Steeltown base, said chief operating officer Joe Mercanti.

“It’s going to require a little bit of a different operational requirement for us, which we’re excited about,” Mercanti said in an interview. “It’s new territory for us.”

The Arlington Hotel, built in the early 1850s, features nearly two dozen suites that follow literary and artist themes, an art-deco-inspired bar and its original stone wine cellar, according to a release.

Dominion Telegraph Event Centre, now known as River’s Edge, is a waterfront space that can host weddings and other events. The venue was the site of the world’s first long-distance phone call performed by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876, according to a release.

The Other Bird owned the pair of businesses for six years, said Erin Dunham, co-founder and CEO of the hospitality group.

Dunham told The Spectator the decision to sell the properties came down to a shift in focus for the hospitality group, which meant deciding whether to keep their portfolio as is or centre their efforts on expanding The Mule and The Rapscallion and Co. brands.

The company chose the latter, she said, while noting that retaining the hotel “takes a lot of work.”

“Being able to free people’s time up by selling The Arlington was huge,” said Dunham. “And having the funds from the sales to help fuel the growth of The Mule has been great.”

While Dunham admits that selling the businesses is “bittersweet,” she’s also “very happy” they’re staying in the hands of another Hamilton-based company.

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