Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Business

Tampa's Tahitian Inn files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Tahitian Inn, a landmark South Tampa hotel popular among locals, politicians and tourists alike, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization.

The hotel owners vowed to stay open during the reorganization, with their 70-plus employees keeping their jobs.

"The Tahitian Inn has been one of the most successful hotels in Tampa Bay since it was founded in 1952 by my father and uncle," Joe Pupello, the inn's president and owner, said in a statement. "This bankruptcy was made necessary because of a dispute with our lender. We expect to get this resolved, move forward and maintain our position as one of our community's most successful hotels."

Pupello said his hotel, along with most others, suffered during 2009 and 2010. "The worst two years for the industry since the Great Depression," he called them. But he said the boutique hotel emerged in 2011 "with a percentage increase in revenues that led the entire local hotel industry."

Scott Underwood, an attorney with Fowler White Boggs representing Tahitian, said the mortgage dispute centered on funding for a six-figure capital improvement to the hotel's cafe and restaurant.

An employee told hotel owners that he was providing information to the servicer about the use of capital funds when he apparently had not. That failure led to an unexpected default.

Compounding the problem, Underwood said, was that the loan had been transferred between different entities and servicers a half-dozen times, a loan transfer trail covering nearly three pages.

"Loans are transferred all the time," he said. "That said, this loan has a lengthy history and that does hurt … communication."

Underwood said the lender's servicer, LNR Partners LLC., was pursuing litigation against the hotel and was unresponsive to proposed resolutions. An LNR representative could not be reached late Wednesday afternoon.

Tahitian has assets of about $10 million, and its primary secured debt is its $4.6 million first mortgage. In its filing, Tahitian did not list any single unsecured creditor owed more than $12,000, but Underwood said the largest unsecured expense will likely be employee wage claims.

"We'll be filing a motion for employees, so they don't go without any pay," he said.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at (727) 893-8242 or [email protected]

Comments
FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

FPL parent wants to expand its Florida footprint with new purchase

TALLAHASSEE ó The parent company of Florida utility giant Florida Power & Light announced Monday that it will buy the largest electricity producer in Northwest Florida, Gulf Power, in a $6.4 billion deal.Juno Beach-based NextEra Energy Inc. said in a...
Updated: 5 hours ago
One of Ybor Cityís most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

One of Ybor Cityís most historic blocks about to see construction of four-story boutique hotel

TAMPA ó Developers are poised to launch construction this week on one of Ybor Cityís biggest new projects in years ó a four-story, $50 million boutique hotel being created by a Chicago company that seeks out neighborhoods rich in color and character....
Updated: 7 hours ago
Shoppers begin Publix boycott as chain continues supporting Adam Putnam for governor

Shoppers begin Publix boycott as chain continues supporting Adam Putnam for governor

Publix has been Floridaís favorite grocery chain for decades ó but some shoppers are turning their backs on the store after learning it donated more than half a million dollars to gubernatorial candidate Adam Putnam. A handful of state advocacy group...
Updated: 9 hours ago
GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

GasBuddy predicts plunge in summer travel, blames gas prices

At least one gas price tracker expects rising fuel prices to sharply curtail summer travel. "For all those that have said summer travel will be unaffected by high gas prices, we offer thousands of respondents who have strongly indicated thatís not tr...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Barack and Michelle Obama are becoming television and film producers for Netflix

Barack and Michelle Obama are becoming television and film producers for Netflix

Netflix announced a production deal Monday with Barack and Michelle Obama that will see the former first couple create a wide range of content for the streaming service.The deal, talks for which had first been reported in March, will encompass a wide...
Published: 05/21/18
Starbucks: You donít have to buy coffee to sit in our cafes or use our restrooms

Starbucks: You donít have to buy coffee to sit in our cafes or use our restrooms

Starbucks is now allowing people to use its restrooms and sit in its cafes and patios even if they do not buy anything.The coffee giant on Saturday announced its new policy, which says that customers, including those who did not make a purchase, can ...
Published: 05/21/18

Hernando Business Digest for May 25

Business digestBrieflyHOSPITAL UPGRADES SURGICAL SYSTEM: Oak Hill Hospital recently acquired the latest da Vinci Xi Surgical System, which has broader capabilities than prior generations of the system. The new system is designed with the goal of furt...
Published: 05/21/18
Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

Camping without the hassle: New service rents you all the gear you need, plus the car

One day in April, I returned from a camping trip - a quick 24 out of the city - and ran a load of laundry. Whatís more telling is what I didnít do.I didnít hose down a muddy tent, I didnít soak a shoddily cleaned pot, and I categorically did not empt...
Published: 05/19/18
Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

Romano: Save your money, sports betting wonít be in Florida anytime soon

It is the middle of the day and the beginning of the off-season at Tampa Bay Downs. That means the action is limited to simulcast wagering, and that means the televisions outnumber the bettors.The parimutuel industry is long past its heyday in Americ...
Published: 05/19/18
Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

Son of Crabby Billís founder leaves complex legacy of troubled projects and good deeds

SOUTH PASADENA ó Like his father, who founded the Crabby Billís seafood restaurant chain, John Loder Sr. had a larger-than-life personality. That was one reason he dived into the real estate business, becoming a well-known, if at times controversial ...
Published: 05/18/18
Updated: 05/21/18