hospitality & tourism

Prospective Biltmore buyer backs out

Posted 12/12/11

PROVIDENCE – Sale of the bankrupt Biltmore Hotel, scheduled to take place Friday in Superior Court, has fallen through.

Providence attorney Richard L. Gemma, receiver for the downtown landmark, told Providence Business News Thursday afternoon the potential buyer decided to exit the purchase and sales agreement that had been arranged for a selling price of $18 million.

The 292-room hotel is owned by Historic Hotel Partners of Rhode Island LP. The potential buyer was Providence Hospitality LLC, an affiliate of Linchris Hotel Corp. of Hanover, Mass., a hotel management company that serves and partially owns about 25 hotels on the East Coast. The sale at that price “did not fit in with its [Linchris] business plan,” Gemma said.

Gemma said Linchris may be interested in acquiring the Biltmore at a lower price, but he declined to provide further details.

Meanwhile, Gemma said he is not worried about the hotel’s fate because he’s already received another offer and “other major hotel players from all over the country” are interested. “I expect two or three more offers” in the coming days, Gemma said.

The 89-year-old city landmark with 292 guest rooms and 195 employees entered receivership earlier this year, weighed down by approximately $30 million in debt. The sale to the Linchris affiliate would have been finalized at Friday morning’s session in Superior Court. The Biltmore remains open for business.

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