Fri June 28, 2013
Hotel In Downtown Eau Claire Will Be Auctioned Off Next Week
The Ramada Inn and Convention Center, a centerpiece in Eau Claire’s downtown, is scheduled to be auctioned off next Tuesday.
Numerous code violations have plagued the property but city officials are hopeful it can be saved.
The eight-story hotel towers above Eau Claire’s downtown, and is facing the final stage of foreclosure. At a sheriff’s sale next Tuesday the property will be auctioned off at the courthouse steps. The owner of the property, a company called SB Hotel Management, filed for bankruptcy last month. An attorney for SB did not return phone calls seeking comment.
Eau Claire City Attorney Steve Nick says the owners owe the city money as well — thousands in late utility payments and back taxes. He says the city withheld a liquor license renewal over the bills, which were paid today by a court-appointed caretaker of the property.
Nick: “The only outstanding issue then is, before we can issue a license, the property has to meet at least critical health and safety code compliance. That really, right now, is hinging on the operability of a backup generator.”
There are other code violations like a leaking roof, flooding basement and outdated heating and cooling system. Even the hotel’s name is in dispute since the Ramada chain has severed ties with the owners. But despite all that, Nick and other city officials are worried about losing it.
Nick: “It’s an important property to the downtown, and a hotel property…is needed in the downtown, whether it’s a revitalization of this property or potentially construction of a new hotel in another site.”
Nick says the hotel’s appraised value is around $1.6 million but he’s not sure what price it will go for at Tuesday’s auction.