Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

New Port Richey entertains new offer on Hacienda

NEW PORT RICHEY — Yaakov Rosner came a long way to make a big offer to a City Council hungry to redevelop the cherished but crumbling historic Hacienda Hotel.

The Israeli investor said he flew in all the way from Jerusalem to say he has $2 million in cash set aside to throw at redeveloping the city-owned hotel. He also added that while his family foundation in Israel has "substantial funds" for the project, there is a deadline of June 20 for the city to decide whether to enter into an agreement with his son, Abraham, who has lobbied the city for months to redevelop the 1920s downtown hotel.

"Time is money for us," Rosner said, standing at a podium with his son. "Without specific direction I can't let significant funds lay idol."

Abraham Rosner has experience with hotel renovation in Florida, most recently completing a full redevelopment of the 100-room Florida Hotel in Yulee. His father told the council that the project was such a success that he did not hesitate to fly in from Israel to support his son's latest ambition to do the same for the Hacienda.

If the city approves an agreement, Yaakov Rosner said he plans to buy his son a home in New Port Richey so he can live near the hotel and oversee the project from start to finish. Abraham Rosner then added he hopes to re-open the Hacienda as a boutique hotel within 18 to 24 months.

The proposal garnered serious interest from the council especially after the board learned that another firm in the running, Legacy Lodging LLC., of Birmingham, Ala., has missed deadlines set for providing financials, and has been slow to respond to emails and phone calls, according to city Economic Development Director Mario Iezzoni.

For months, Iezzoni has been seeking to collect financial information from both Rosner and Legacy so the council can officially pick its top firm. The ranking decision will be on the agenda for a vote June 3.

"I would rank you No. 1 at this point," council member Jeff Starkey told the Rosners.

In other news:

• The council is calling on local retailers to stop selling and marketing fruit- and candy-flavored tobacco products to youths.

On Tuesday, the council heeded a call from a local student-run group called Students Working Against Tobacco, or SWAT, to pass a resolution urging retailers not to market and sell tobacco products to the young.

Mayor Rob Marlowe added that statistics show tobacco is the cause of nearly 500,000 deaths a year and the resolution states "almost 90 percent of all tobacco users begin smoking before the age of 18."

The unanimous vote for the resolution came after an impassioned presentation from SWAT members that included pictures from local convenience stores of apple and grape-flavored tobacco on counters and some tobacco products that look like breath mints. Following Pasco County and San Antonio, the city is the third local government agency from which SWAT has successfully obtained a resolution.

• Organizations that wish to host events co-sponsored by the city between Oct. 1 and Sept. 30, 2015, must apply by June 1.

The New Port Richey Special Event Sponsorship Program is designed to provide funds to local organizations to assist them in the production of local special events that promote New Port Richey as a destination for visitors, promote local businesses, impact the city's economy and provide family-friendly programs. Request a special event sponsorship application at City Hall, 5919 Main Street; by phone at (727) 853-1024; or by email at

For more information, call (727) 853-1024.

New Port Richey entertains new offer on Hacienda 05/22/14 [Last modified: Thursday, May 22, 2014 9:28am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays make Hechavarria trade official


    Here is the release from the team ...


  2. Jones: Will Tampa Bay hit a Hall of Fame dry spell now?

    Lightning Strikes

    Marty St. Louis may lack the Hall of Fame stats, but two scoring titles, an MVP award and clutch goals should count for a lot. (Dirk Shadd, Times)
  3. SeaWorld shares drop Monday to 2017 low after disclosure of federal subpoena


    The Orlando parent company of SeaWorld and Busch Gardens theme parks saw its stock drop 3.5 percent Monday to $15.10, its lowest price of this year.

    Killer whales perform at Shamu Stadium at SeaWorld in Orlando in 2011, before public pressure was placed on the theme park company to curtail its orca shows.SeaWorld has since announced an end to the traditional killer whale entertainment  at its theme parks. [AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack]
  4. Update: Scientology cancels planned mock FBI raid on downtown building

    Special Topics

    CLEARWATER — The Church of Scientology planned to film a mock FBI raid on a downtown building Monday afternoon, but the actors and cameras never showed up to the location disclosed to the city.

    According to Clearwater Police, the Church of Scientology plans to hold a mock FBI raid at 3 p.m. Monday at this vacant building at 305 N Fort Harrison Ave. Police announced the raid in advance to alert the public. They said they did not know the reason for the event. [Google Earch image]
  5. Support for gay marriage surges, even among groups once wary

    Human Interest

    NEW YORK — In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey.

    People gather in Washington's Lafayette Park to see the White House lit up in rainbow colors on June 26, 2015, the day the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage legal. In the two years since same-sex marriage was legalized nationwide, support for it has surged even among groups that recently were broadly opposed, according to a new national survey released on Monday, June 26, 2017. [Associated Press]