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Building on success: one B.C. developer’s incredible journey in hospitality

From working a motel front desk to constructing hotels, through his focus and hard work, Ron Mundi is building an empire
Ron Mundi, owner of Mundi Hotels & Mundi Construction | Photo courtesy of Mundi Hotels & Mundi Construction.

When Mundi Hotels & Mundi Construction owner Ron Mundi first moved to Canada in 1994, he had a dream of owning his own company. While he wasn’t sure what that business would be, an offer from a friend to manage the front desk of a motel in Kamloops jumpstarted his love affair with the hospitality industry.

Now Mundi owns 14 hotels and oversees a visionary company specializing in purchasing, renovating, and developing hotels and apartments in Western Canada.

“When I arrived in Canada, my goal from day one was to have my own business,” Mundi says.

Working seven days a week, Mundi took care of every aspect of the motel while simultaneously falling in love with the hospitality industry. Ultimately, his hard work paid off, and he managed to buy a small ownership stake in the property.

In 2005, his fellow partners decided to sell their shares of the business, and Mundi was able to buy the motel from them.

“I said, ‘I love this industry, and I don’t want to do anything else,’” Mundi recalls.

“I was still working the front desk, but now I owned 100 per cent of the motel. I took it more seriously than many would because it was my life and my passion. I made sure everything was top-notch.”

Mundi also started getting more involved in the local community, volunteering his time and resources to Thompson Rivers University (TRU), where he served as a director on the University Trust Board for over seven years. In 2000, he brought a group of delegates from TRU to promote the university to India. This year, the university and the community has received $75 million per year in revenue and has grown from five to 1500 students attending from India. 

Mundi has also given his time as a B.C. government-appointed director with the BC Pavilion Corporation.

Mundi says his volunteer work has been integral to his success.

As his experience grew, Mundi began acquiring other motel properties that he could update. He would look for underperforming properties with low vacancy rates but which he saw had the potential to be renovated and improved and eventually sold to a new owner for a profit. To date, he has purchased and sold 40 hotels and motels.

His team also grew over the years, as did the scale of projects, prompting Mundi to move from purchasing and renovating motels to constructing new hotels, building a new Coast Hotel in Oliver in 2018 and a new Hyatt in Prince George in 2020. Mundi also opened a Fairfield by Marriott in Penticton in the summer of 2020.

To support financing and operating his business, Mundi has worked with Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union – of which First West Capital is a subsidiary – for many years. When he needed capital to build a new Four Points by Sheraton hotel in Penticton, his credit union advisors referred him to First West Capital, and he began working with director Geoff Devereux.

“Ron was introduced to us as he was launching his Four Points by Sheraton hotel construction project in Penticton. We really liked the project and Ron – his vision for the Mundi Group, depth of experience, and community spirit were key in supporting the deal,” says Devereux.   

The new hotel, slated for completion in summer 2023, is located across from the Penticton Trade & Convention Centre, an important tourism draw for the city.

“The community’s support for the project has also been outstanding,” says Devereux. “There were a number of local politicians and dignitaries at the groundbreaking, demonstrating they also recognize the value this hotel will bring to Penticton. It’s a great location and something that will solidify the vision for the Penticton tourism area.”

Mundi Construction has recently expanded outside of the hospitality industry into the residential market, with six apartment building projects currently on the go.

“We now have the expertise in our company to move into development,” Mundi explains.

Hiring and keeping the right people on his team is of utmost importance to Mundi, who says he is grateful for their dedication. 

“We treat our team like family,” he continues. “My philosophy is that I want everyone on my senior team to be with me for a long time.”

Over the years, as his business has expanded to construction and development of the hotel and residential sector, Mundi’s same sharp focus, passion and dedication has persisted.

“This is a new chapter for our business,” Mundi says. “I don’t want to ever retire. I want to continue doing this for the rest of my life.”

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