|By Greg Kozol, St. Joseph News-Press,
Mo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
March 18, 2012--The owner of the St. Joseph Holiday Inn filed for bankruptcy this month in St. Louis.
HISJ Holdings, which does business as the Holiday Inn St. Joseph Riverfront, is seeking to reorganize its debts under a filing in the Eastern District of U.S. Bankruptcy Court. HISJ filed the voluntary petition March 6 and listed the Downtown Holiday Inn, 102 S. Third St., as its principal asset.
The filing isn't expected to immediately affect business operations at the Holiday Inn, which has 169 guest rooms along with a restaurant, catering facilities and 7,000 square feet of meeting place. HISJ Holdings has asked for court approval to continue paying salaries and benefits to its 30 employees and continue normal expenditures necessary to run the hotel.
Bankruptcy documents listed liabilities of $1 million to $10 million, with a more precise breakdown planned for upcoming court filings. The largest creditor was listed as Intercontinental Hotels Group, the corporation that owns the Holiday Inn rights, at $23,490.
Other large creditors included Kansas City Power & Light, Missouri Gas Energy and Missouri Western State University athletics.
The bankruptcy filing comes eight years after the city of St. Joseph approved a Tax Increment Financing plan to renovate the Holiday Inn in the hope of future Downtown development. The City Council agreed in 2004 to sell $2.7 million in bonds to reimburse the hotel's owners for part of the $6 million cost to renovate the hotel and surrounding grounds.
At the time, city and hotel officials said the incentives were necessary to revitalize the hotel and allow it to regain its Holiday Inn affiliation, which the hotel lost in 2003 under a previous ownership group. The hotel regained its Holiday Inn status in 2004.
The bankruptcy filing shouldn't impact the Holiday Inn's ability to make reimbursements to the city, based on tax revenue the hotel generates, as long as the business continues operating and emerges from bankruptcy, said Clint Thompson, the city's director of planning and community development.
He said he wasn't sure what factored into the bankruptcy filing but did say that the hotel ownership had hoped for more Downtown development by now.
"Holiday Inn, when it made its investment, they anticipated more development Downtown. That hasn't happened as fast," he said. "I think this proves that Downtown itself will continue to tread water until we get something else, as far as development."
HISJ manager Dan Mercurio and bankruptcy attorney Robert Breidenbach could not be reached for comment. HISJ listed its main address as Maryland Hights, Mo., a suburb of St. Louis.
Greg Kozol can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @gregkozol.
(c)2012 the St. Joseph News-Press (St. Joseph, Mo.)
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