|By Dave Forster, The Virginian-Pilot,
Norfolk, Va.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 21, 2011--PORTSMOUTH -- The city's publicly funded Renaissance Hotel and Waterfront Conference Center has been sold and is now being managed by a new company, Dallas-based Remington Lodging.
Ashford Hospitality Trust bought the hotel and 27 others, including the Hilton Garden Inn at Virginia Beach's Town Center, from Highland Hospitality. The deal was completed earlier this month, according to an announcement from Ashford. The hotel had been managed by Crestline Hotel and Resorts.
The Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center opened in 2001 with an upfront public investment of about $39 million and a private investment of about $14 million. The project included a parking garage.
The city collects annual lease payments and tax revenue from the facility. That income is more than off-set by the city's annual debt payment, which has exceeded revenues in recent years by about $1 million to $1.2 million.
The City Council has not been officially briefed on the changes but had been given a heads-up some weeks ago that a sale was in the works, Councilman Steve Heretick said. The Wall Street Journal reported late last summer that Highland Hospitality was considering filing for bankruptcy protection.
The sale won't change the city's relationship with the hotel, Heretick said. "They are bound by the terms of the standing agreement we have."
For more on this story, read tomorrow's Virginian-Pilot.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Virginian-Pilot, Norfolk, Va.
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