The struggling Crowne Plaza hotel in downtown Hartford is getting a new name — Ramada Plaza — after the hotel's owners fell into foreclosure and lost control of the day-to-day management of the 350-room hotel.
The court has ordered that the management of the Morgan Street hotel be turned over to a receiver, GF Management of Philadelphia, which secured the Ramada name from the Wyndham Hotel Group, according to court documents filed in Hartford.
GF Management Friday confirmed the name change, but declined to comment on what it will mean for marketing the hotel or for prospective guests. It was also unclear when the name on the hotel would change, but the web site already carries the Ramada Plaza name.
The owners, CHOA Vision LLC, hadn't paid franchise fees to the owner of Crowne Plaza for more than a year and were due to lose the right to use the name as of Thursday. Court documents also state that CHOA didn't meet quality and service requirements for a Crowne Plaza franchise.
CHOA Vision, a group of Korean Americans who bought the hotel in 2007 for $20 million, filed for bankruptcy reorganization in August, 2010. At the time, they owed $13 million on a mortgage that they stopped paying on in January, 2010. An appraisal a year ago pegged the value of the hotel at $9.2 million.
The mortgage holder — 50 Morgan CT, LLC — took control of the note shortly before the bankruptcy filing. The bankruptcy was dismissed by a California judge in June. In July, 50 Morgan CT began foreclosure proceedings in Superior Court in Hartford, court documents show. The foreclosure continues to move through the courts.
In addition to what is owed on the mortgage, CHOA Vision owes more than $4.3 million in city and state property taxes and other fees, plus $400,000 in franches fees to InterContinental, which owns the Crowne Plaza name.
Attorneys for 50 Morgan CT and CHOA Vision did not return calls seeking comment Friday. Court documents show that CHOA Vision did not fight the appointment of GF Management.
The change in management of the hotel, tucked near I-84 on the northern edge of downtown, is the second in a year.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
To view other stories on this topic, search the Hartford Courant Archives at