The Hotel Pattee was at 70 percent occupancy when the owners, Hotel Pattee, LLC, abruptly closed down the Hotel Wednesday afternoon. The Hotel marks its 100th birthday this year. Ownership has reverted to Raccoon Valley Bank in Perry because Leisure Hotels defaulted on the loan, said City Administrator Butch Niebuhr.
Terry Nielsen, president of Raccoon Valley Bank in Perry, was out of town Thursday and unavailable to discuss plans for the hotel. However, other people with interests in the hotel shared some information.
Niebuhr said about two-thirds of the rooms were rented, and anyone who had rooms was asked to leave and find other accommodations. The current manager, George Pappas, who works for Leisure Services, LLC, the management company running the hotel, is presumably calling and cancelling reservations and overseeing the transition, Niebuhr said.
Niebuhr said that the principle owner of the Hotel Pattee is also one of the owners of Leisure Services LLC.
While the city administrator was sad and surprised to see the hotel close again, he said he is very optimistic about the bank finding a buyer. "I know there was at least one potential buyer who put in an offer to buy the hotel from the LLC for more than they paid for it, but they turned it down," Niebuhr said. "There are currently four potential buyers for the hotel."
He said one of the buyers interested would be a hands-on manager with a vested interest in the hotel and community, even though the potential buyer is not local currently.
"I think a lot of the problem with the hotel has been management. Leisure Hotels, LLC, had a number of different managers they brought in from other places. There was one person from Des Moines," he said.
Bill Clark, a Perry Industries board member, said Perry industries found out about it Wednesday as well. Perry Industries has been handling economic development money, approximately $150,000 that was set aside by the city and Perry Industries for the Hotel’s owners as long as they kept the hotel open.
"Some of that money is still left," he said.
Clark believes the Hotel will be closed for a week or more. Niebuhr said there also will be an interim company hired to run the hotel until a new buyer comes in, but he didn’t know how long it would take to get a company on board.
Hotel Pattee closed unexpectedly on Wednesday afternoon. Perry Police Chief Dan Brickner was contacted by the Leisure Hotels, LLC, to see if they could get some law enforcement on site while they shut everything down. At about 2:30, a Dallas County Sheriff’s Office vehicle was seen parked in front of the hotel, and a Perry police officer was guarding the back door that opens onto the alley.
One worker, who did not want to be identified, stated that they were told to leave, that they were done.