|By Jessica Lowell, Wyoming
Tribune-EagleMcClatchy-Tribune Business News
CHEYENNE - December 26, 2006 - One of the best-known hotels in the Cheyenne area has changed hands.
On Thursday, the management company representing the new owners took possession of the Best Western Hitching Post Inn.
Joe Leising, vice president of the DePalma Hotel Corporation, said the new owners are the New Jersey-based Mantiff Management Co. His company, which is based in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, will manage it.
"We've been very impressed with the property," Leising said; he made his first visit to the Hitching Post in late summer.
"I was pleased to find we had a dedicated, friendly staff," Leising said. "Most all of the staff stayed on, and we were pleased with that."
Leising said the mission now is to continue to serve guests while making upgrades to the hotel property that meet the needs of the Best Western chain and preserve the charm of the property.
Details of the plan are expected to be developed in the next 30 to 45 days.
Leising said he wasn't privy to the details of the deal. A call to Mantiff Management in Wayne, N.J., was not immediately returned Tuesday.
Among the changes that are being made is the change in the hotel's liquor license. A Cheyenne City Council public hearing on the matter has been scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Jan. 7.
The hotel property went on the block following the death of its owner, Paul Smith, in April from cancer, driving speculation on the fate of the hotel.
Smith had bought the property in 1982 from his parents, who had spent their lives building it up from a roadside motor court.
"We're looking forward to carrying on the tradition that the Smith family had carried on," Leising said.
"The Hitch has been a well-known institution in Wyoming hospitality," Cheyenne Area Convention and Visitors Bureau President Darren Rudloff said. "This is a brand-new day for the Hitch. A lot of people will be interested in the next step for this great, respected property."
Copyright (c) 2006, Wyoming Tribune-Eagle
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