|By Mary Sell, Montgomery Advertiser,
Ala.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
July 07, 2011--One of the owners of the downtown Montgomery property that was until recently a Clarion Hotel said he wants to see it taken over by someone who will turn it into an asset for the city.
"The property has the potential to be a great downtown hotel and our goal is to find the right client to do that," said Cory Brick of Hattiesburg, Miss., about the former Clarion Hotel on Madison Avenue.
Brick said the former tenant that turned the property from a Madison Hotel to a Clarion Hotel was there for about two years. In April, managers said it was undergoing a major renovation.
"I just don't believe they had the capital to make the property reach its full potential," Brick said.
"We are currently seeking some topline hotel franchisers and investors," he said.
A sign on the building says "for sale or lease." It closed a little more than a week ago.
"We are asset managers and we don't like to have one of our buildings closed," Brick said. "But it is time to make the property a truly great hotel. It sits on a full city block. There is a lot of potential in that."
Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange said Friday that he hopes a new tenant can be found soon.
"It is 180 rooms," Strange said. "We would love to see it have a good owner and good operator. One hundred and eighty rooms is significant."
Without the Clarion, Montgomery has about 674 downtown hotel rooms. Some officials have said they want to see more hotels downtown.
Last month, Dawn Hathcock, vice president of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Convention & Visitor Bureau, said that the hotels closest to the Convention Center -- the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa, Embassy Suites and Hampton Inn -- had an occupancy rate of about 70 percent in April.
Hathcock said that if there were more available beds close to the Convention Center, it could attract larger events.
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Copyright (c) 2011, Montgomery Advertiser, Ala.
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