|By Bill Wilson, The Wichita Eagle,
Kan.McClatchy-Tribune Business News
Mar. 29, 2007 - Two Arizona hotel groups paid a total of $5.5 million at public auction Wednesday for almost 400 Wichita hotel rooms that will soon regain national affiliations.
Dilip Seth, a Scottsdale, Ariz., hotelier, paid $3.1 million for the 206-room Canterbury Inn at 5805 W. Kellogg Drive.
Another Arizona group, headed by Neal Dhanani, paid $2.4 million for the 192-room Weekly Studios hotel at 7335 E. Kellogg. Dhanani wouldn't identify his group.
The sales were conducted at the Broadview by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, on behalf of California-based PJDYH LLC and Mordechai Boaziz of Miami. They own the Broadview, Canterbury and Weekly Suites.
Both new owners said they will pursue national hotel chains for the properties.
Weekly Studios will require "an extensive renovation, a lot of money" before it can be re-flagged, Dhanani said.
Seth has only minor renovation plans for the Canterbury.
More quality hotel rooms are welcome news, said Olivia Reynolds, vice president of the Greater Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau.
"We have events here 365 days a year, and more often than people realize those events sell out citywide and sometimes outside the city as well," she said.
"So whether the rooms come on the east or west side, as in these cases, they're a great benefit to Wichita.
Dhanani and Seth said Wichita's growth lured them into the Kansas hotel market.
"It's a great location, a growth area," Dhanani said. "It's very close to the mall, very close to corporate areas, very close to I-135."
"This is a great location in a nice part of town," Seth said.
The Canterbury is back under its original name after operating as a Four Points Sheraton until February. It opened in 1973 and operated as a Canterbury Inn until it was flagged a Ramada Inn in 1986. The hotel was sold in 1995 and operated under the Clarion flag until the current owners renovated it and joined the Sheraton system in 2003.
Weekly Studios also opened in 1973 as a Holiday Inn franchise. It was reflagged as a Ramada hotel in the 1990s, becoming an independent extended-stay hotel in 2005. The hotel is currently closed.
Both sales remain subject to anticipated approval by the bankruptcy court, said Alan Kravets, president of Sheldon Good & Co., the Chicago-based auctioneer.
Reach Bill Wilson at 316-268-6290 or email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org].
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