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New Crowne Plaza Management Makes A Pitch For Convention Business

By KENNETH R. GOSSELIN

March 29, 2011

The struggling 350-room Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Hartford, which filed for bankruptcy last summer, is working to build a higher profile in the city under its new management stepping up competition for convention business.

The struggling 350-room Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Hartford, which filed for bankruptcy last summer, is working to build a higher profile in the city under its new management stepping up competition for convention business.

Maryland-based Marshall Hotels & Resorts Inc. took over management of the Crowne late last year, but did not formally announce it until Tuesday.

"They have made a more concerted effort evolving out of bankruptcy to go after the convention business," said Michael Van Parys, president of the Greater Hartford Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The hotel, tucked near I-84, is in a tougher location than other hotels in the central business district because the highway forms a barrier between the hotel and the rest of downtown.

CHOA Vision LLC, a group of Korean Americans who bought the hotel in 2007 for $20 million, filed for bankruptcy reorganization in August. They owed $13 million on a mortgage that they stopped paying on in January 2010.

According to court documents, the reorganization is continuing.

Mike Marshall, the company's president and chief executive, said that many hotels suffered in the economic downturn "and need capital and reinvigorated management with a clear-cut plan to take advantage of all the opportunities that the rebound is creating."

"While a strengthening economy will positively impact all hotels, we believe that we still have a volatile operating environment that requires the right management" and plans, Marshall said.

Marshall Resorts replaced California-based Packard Hospitality Group as the Crowne's management company.

Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
     
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