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Buyer of Executive Inn Turns Away a Meeting of
 Paducah (KY) Convention Center Board
By Brian Peach, The Paducah Sun, Ky.McClatchy-Tribune Business News

Jan. 10, 2007 - In yet another move shaking confidence in Bhupinder Singh's ability to follow through on his deal to buy the Executive Inn, he did not allow the Paducah-McCracken County Convention Center Corp. Board to use the Executive Inn as a meeting place Tuesday.

"I won't speak for Mr. Singh, but it was made clear that the meeting would need to take place over here," board Chairman Jim Sigler said at the downtown Paducah-McCracken County Convention and Visitors Bureau following the board's meeting. Sigler said Singh's assistant, Wilma Doom, told him the room usually open to the board would not be available.

"I guess because he wasn't going to be there," Sigler said when asked why Singh suddenly wouldn't want board members there. Singh canceled his scheduled appearance before the board last month, but the board was allowed to use the regular meeting room in the hotel's main lobby.

Sigler said the board has used the visitor's bureau office in the past when scheduling with other meetings conflicted at the hotel, but no such meeting was scheduled Tuesday. In Singh's absence -- which Doom attributed to Singh being sick and meeting with other people in town -- the board met with the hotel's current owner, Yvonne Holsapple, and her attorney, Spivey Gault, in a closed session. Both declined comment when they left the meeting.

Singh also missed a payment due last month. He is supposed to be paying off the $5.7 million purchase price of the hotel in installments. Gault recently said that the contract agreement gives Singh an extra 60 days past the December due date to make the payment, but he must pay an undisclosed penalty. In the meantime, the board hoped to get some financial statements, employment records, proof of experience, or perhaps just a resume.

But Singh hasn't provide those requested documents nor more complex ones, such as architectural plans. "I guess he feels like that's a waste of time," Sigler said. Singh has not replied to the Sun's requests for comment over the past several months. Singh has until Feb. 11 to make his December payment, Sigler said. If he doesn't, the board will schedule another meeting to determine whether the board needs to hold Holsapple responsible for continuing to maintain the convention and exposition centers.

Sigler said Tuesday that Holsapple has "her eyes and ears open" on everything that is going on at the hotel, and is ready to resume control if necessary. "She understands very much the role that the convention center board is expressing," Sigler said, adding that the April 25-28 quilt show is not at risk if the sale doesn't go through.

"Everything's a go." But despite all the negative signs and lack of any information provided by Singh, the board members and Sigler are still optimistic. "We have received no information from Mr. Singh, but he is working to pull that information together," Sigler said. "At this point, we need information, but we accept Mr. Singh on his word."

Others, such as Mayor Bill Paxton and Bonnie Browning, executive director of quilt shows for the American Quilter's Society, aren't as hopeful. The mayor said Monday that he looked at Singh's continued absence from meetings and lack of providing information as a "snubbing his nose to the convention center board," and Browning said last week that the AQS board just wants to talk to Singh, but can't get in touch with him.

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Copyright (c) 2007, The Paducah Sun, Ky.

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