News for the Hospitality Executive
Kearney, Nebraska's Ramada Inn & Conference Center Turned Over to Bank
as New Management Firm, U.S. Motels of Denver, Prepare Property For Sale
|By KEVIN HERVERT Kearney
Hub Staff Writer
KEARNEY, Nebraska, December, 2010 — Ramada Inn & Conference Center at 301 Second Ave. has been turned over to the bank, and new management is preparing it for sale.
A bank official said he intends to keep the motel open until it is sold.
The owner of the 206-room motel asked its lending institution, FirsTier Bank of Kearney, to take the deed to the motel in lieu of foreclosure. Instead, the bank will file a foreclosure after Dec. 30, FirsTier Bank Branch Manager Don Kearney said.
Kearney said he didn’t see the owner’s move coming.
“We did not know the owner’s plans prior to Oct. 12,” Kearney said. “The motel had a positive cash flow, was current on its loans and we had no indication of potential problems.”
Kearney said he plans to make sure motel employees are paid and Ramada stays open until someone purchases it.
Kearney said the owner stated several reasons he wanted to abandon the motel.
Don Comstock, president and CEO of Trinity Property Management in Kansas City, Mo., sent FirsTier Bank’s Kearney branch a letter Oct. 12 stating that because of outstanding payables of more than $370,000, unpaid franchise fees, payroll, insurance and tax liabilities, Comstock wished the bank to take the deed to the Ramada.
Kearney said the letter was specific to the Kearney Ramada Inn. Kearney said Comstock’s daughter, Leslie, said Comstock is ill and wished to get out of business.
FirsTier Bank officers cautioned Kearney against allowing the motel to close because of possible harm that might cause to its value and to the city of Kearney.
Kearney said FirsTier leaders weren’t the only ones concerned.
“When I visited with other people, particularly the visitors bureau, their thoughts were that the closing of the motel would affect Kearney negatively, (especially) for the convention business Kearney has worked hard to encourage.”
FirsTier’s Kearney said there are more than $700,000 in upcoming convention contracts at Ramada and various options were studied.
In the meantime, an experienced management company, U.S. Motels of Denver, took control of the Ramada Dec. 1.
Kearney said FirsTier has every intention of selling the motel once the title is obtained.
“We do not know how to manage any business except a bank; therefore, the management company was critical,” Kearney said.
Kearney said potential buyers have been contacted and negotiations can begin over the next three months.
“I moved rather quickly so we don’t have a hotel closing, and that’s the receivership (with U.S. Motels) that was set up,” Don Kearney said.
Kearney said he hopes someone buys the motel at the trustee sale.
“My preference is somebody else buys it at that time,” he said. “If they do not, then we get a trustee’s deed which eliminates any of the liability that is behind us on the title. If we took the deed in lieu of foreclosure, we would be responsible for some of the debts
Reprinted with permission