|By Tom Sowa, The Spokesman-Review,
Spokane, Wash.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
May 15, 2013--A bankruptcy trustee has chosen a Spokane management firm to run the Montvale Hotel, the downtown Spokane boutique hotel saddled with more than $3 million in debts.
Rob Brewster, the owner of the Montvale at 1005 W. First Ave., filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in February.
Trustee David Gardner, an attorney with Spokane firm Winston & Cashatt, said he chose Hotel Market Solutions to manage the 36-room hotel and find a way to make it profitable again.
Hotel Market Solutions, with offices in the Paulsen Building, manages a number of regional hotels, including the former Howard Johnson at 211 S. Division St. and a hotel in Post Falls.
Brewster, who is reeling from several downtown property foreclosures, bought the Montvale in 1998 and converted it into a stylish hotel that honored its early 20th-century character.
Gardner said the Montvale bankruptcy's secured debts come to roughly $3 million. Unsecured debts include nearly $140,000 the state says Brewster owes in back taxes.
HMS took over the Montvale in late April and is running the hotel with a full staff.
Gardner also said he's not certain whether the hotel should be sold or if HMS should continue running it.
If it remains unsold, he said the goal is to create a payment plan that directs the profits to its various creditors, said Gardner.
He also recently shut down the Catacombs Pub, the basement restaurant in the hotel's lower level. He said he couldn't verify that the restaurant had business licenses.
As part of the reorganization, Gardner said he'll consider reasonable offers from anyone wishing to buy the restaurant.
All other businesses in the hotel, including the eatery Scout,
are operating normally.
About The Montvale Hotel - The Montvale Hotel is a boutique hotel in Spokane, Washington. Originally built in 1899 as an SRO (Single Room Occupancy Hotel), the Montvale Hotel also served Spokane as an apartment building and as a youth hostel during Expo '74 and then was abandoned for 30 years. It was restored and reopened in January 2005 as a 36-room boutique hotel, becoming one of Spokane's premier hotels with The Davenport Hotel and the Hotel Lusso. With the demolition of the Pennington Wing at the Davenport Hotel, the Montvale gained the distinction as Spokane’s oldest hotel. Kilmer and Son's Hardware was located on the buildings' main floor for over 60 years. Kilmer once employed Henry J. Kaiser.
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