|By Josh Flory, The Knoxville
News-Sentinel, Tenn.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 09, 2011--A Sevier County hotel magnate who recently faced legal trouble over unwanted sexual advances to women is now looking to sell part of his property holdings.
Alley Auction has scheduled multiple auctions for later this month to sell properties belonging to Ken Seaton, including hotels in Knoxville and Pigeon Forge.
Properties for sale at the July 23 auction include the 65-unit Family Inns of America-South at 4112 Parkway in Pigeon Forge; three home sites in the Wears Valley area; a lot and a duplex in Sevierville and additional acreage east of Sevierville; and a billboard off Highway 66 in Sevierville.
Auctions on July 28 will include a 90-unit Family Inns of America hotel building in Caryville; a 53-unit Family Inns hotel on Rutledge Pike in Knoxville; two commercial sites across Alcoa Highway from McGhee Tyson Airport; and a 75-unit Family Inns motel on Alcoa Highway.
Seaton said Thursday that he owned 34 hotels at one time, but will be down to 13 after the auctions, noting that he's 73 years old and has a 6-year-old son who "wants to do some fishing."
Seaton said he plans to eventually trim his hotel holdings to four or five, and let his grandchildren run those properties. As for the upcoming auction, he said he has no idea about the value of those properties.
"The land will be the prevailing value, you know," he said. "The concrete don't bring a lot now, but land ... they'll be excellent properties for people to get started in."
In February, Seaton pleaded guilty to three counts of simple assault and no contest in two other cases, all related to alleged sexual advances made on women. At the time, his lawyer said Seaton maintained his innocence in the latter two cases.
Asked if he needs money from the sales to settle any of the legal matters, Seaton said no, adding that he's retiring.
"This has been planned for about two years," he said.
The July 23 auction is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at a site adjoining the Family Inn at 4112 Parkway in Pigeon Forge.
The July 28 auctions are scheduled to take place at multiple sites.
On July 14, Alley is planning an auction of four residential properties and a home site owned by Seaton in Knox and Blount counties.
Auctioneer David Alley said buyers will have an opportunity to purchase the whole portfolio.
"I think the ultimate buyers are people that are looking to invest into income producing portfolios in this area," he said.
Business writer Josh Flory may be reached at 865-342-6994.
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Copyright (c) 2011, The Knoxville News-Sentinel, Tenn.
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