|By Randy Diamond, Tampa Tribune, Fla.|
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
Jun. 16, 2005 - TAMPA -- New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner has sold his Radisson Bay Harbor hotel on the Courtney Campbell Parkway, a Tampa real estate investment group said.
Ben Wacksman, who heads Capital Realty Investors, said Wednesday that he purchased the hotel for $13.5 million. Steinbrenner did not return phone calls.
But in an interview last spring, Steinbrenner said he was in the hotel business because he enjoyed it. Besides the Radisson, Steinbrenner owns several hotels in Ocala, including a Ramada named Steinbrenner's Yankee Inn.
The Radisson Bay Harbor hotel has had a more subtle Yankee aura.
No big signs announce the Steinbrenner connection. But children waiting for autographs in the lobby during spring training give away the fact that it is the Yankees' team hotel.
Wacksman said he wants the Yankees to stay. "We are hoping to continue the tradition," he said. Wacksman also said he expects to continue to sell team merchandise in the gift shop.
Wacksman said he purchased the property because an upswing in tourism and business travel is filling hotels again. He said his group owns a million square feet of office and retail space in the Tampa area.
Researcher Buddy Jaudon contributed to this report.
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