Facing foreclosure, the Ramada Plaza, Macon’s only major downtown hotel for almost four decades, was sold Tuesday at the Bibb County Courthouse for $1 million.
The hotel is one of 11 owned by Atlanta-based Kronos Hotel & Resorts listed as collateral for a $48.5 million loan that’s now in default.
“All I can tell you is it did sell for $1 million,” said Kevin Stine, an Atlanta attorney representing the lender.
Court documents put the value of the Ramada Plaza, with 297 rooms, at $5.43 million. The value of all 11 hotels is listed as $73 million.
Foreclosure means the deed goes from the previous owner to the lender, assuming no one buys it at the courthouse sale.
Stine identified the buyer as “108 First St, Holding LLC.” The group is not listed as a corporation with the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office, but it apparently is a “special purpose company” formed by the lender, said Kyle Green of Hospitality Receiver LLC, doing business as Prism Hotels and Resorts of Dallas, Texas.
Green and Prism were appointed by court order last fall as receiver — or manager — of the hotel. Green said the sale will not change that.
Hotel general manager Andreas Muggler, who works for the court-appointed management company, said he could not discuss the sale except to say that “nothing’s really changed.”
“It won’t impact our operation at all,” Muggler said. “We’re here for business. We’re open for business, taking care of our guests and employees.”
The hotel at 108 First St., which operates under the legal name Portfolio-Macon LLC, had some problems before the receiver was appointed in November. It at some point lost its liquor license, which has since been obtained. The water was shut off temporarily and employees reportedly were not paid or not paid promptly. About 50 people work at the Ramada.
“Once the receiver came, all those past payroll issues were rectified, and we’re just doing the best we can to mend the relationships that were kind of damaged,” Green told The Telegraph two weeks ago.
“Some things are going in the right direction,” he said. “It is our job to turn it around and help the lender go through foreclosure and ultimately sell the hotel.”
According to a complaint filed in the Superior Court of Bibb County in November,
Portfolio-Macon “has failed to pay certain vendors, thereby allowing liens to be placed against the property.” All American Laundry filed a lien for $3,602, and taxes are due on the property, according to the complaint.
In July of last year, Ramada Worldwide sued Portfolio-Macon for breach of contract, claiming the hotel owed more than $127,000 in fees under a licensing agreement.
Court documents show that Kronos Hotels and Resorts, which at one time reportedly owned $250 million in hotel properties, has run into similar legal problems in other parts of the country.
Neither Kronos nor Portfolio-Macon have Web sites or listed phone numbers. The 16-story Macon hotel was built in 1970 and has had five names since it opened as a Hilton. It became the Macon Downtown Hotel in 1991, was a Radisson hotel from 1993 until 1996 and was the Crowne Plaza for 10 years before becoming a Ramada in 2007.
Information from The Telegraph’s archives was used in this report. To contact writer Rodney Manley, call 744-4623.