|By Samantha Maziarz Christmann, The
Buffalo News, N.Y.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
August 27, 2009 --God save the Queen? No, it's Delaware North Cos. coming to the rescue this time.
The Buffalo-headquartered global hospitality and concessions company is about to add the Queen Mary to its roster of attractions and specialty venues.
Delaware North is wrapping up a deal to take over daily operations at the historic ocean liner, which has been dry docked in California since 1967. It is now a museum and hotel containing several restaurants. The handoff is likely to take place this fall.
"It is the kind of special kind of property Delaware North would want to be involved with," said company spokesman Glen White. "Its historic [value], the lodging component, the potential for catering, that's what makes it something we would want to take a hard look at."
Previous leases have included control of 45 acres of the adjacent Long Beach Harbor along with 11 acres of water rights.
The tourist attraction first welcomed visitors in 1971. Most recently, the ship was operated by Hostmark Hospitality Group, which was hired by developer Save the Queen. Save the Queen bought the Queen Mary and its surrounding assets from the city of Long Beach for $43 million in 2007. Master lease rights defaulted to lender Garrison Investment Group in February, after Save the Queen failed to meet financial obligations.
Under Save the Queen's control, the ship underwent $6 million in renovations. Further development plans called for a 200-slip marina and mixed-use retail and entertainment at the site.
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