Holiday Inn Harborview owners say theyâ€™ve been in touch with prospective buyers
The owners of the Holiday Inn Harborview are in the early stages of talks that could result in the sale of the downtown Port Washington hotel. Eric Lund, who with Craig Stark owns the hotel, said last week that while the two are not actively marketing the Harborview, they are talking to several people who are interested in the property.
All of them are interested in maintaining it as a hotel, he said.
â€śItâ€™s just dialogue and sharing of information at this point,â€ť Lund said, adding he would not characterize the discussions as serious at this point. â€śItâ€™s hard to speculate what will happen.
â€śThere is no offer. It takes a lot to get from where weâ€™re at to the point where anythingâ€™s going to happen.â€ť
Lund, the chief operating officer of S&L Hospitality, which manages the hotel, said the owners have listed the hotel for sale in the past with an asking price of about $6.5 million.
The hotel is assessed at $3.35 million, according to the city.
â€śAt some point when you have assets, you test the market,â€ť Lund said. â€śWeâ€™re just exploring the possibilities.â€ť
The hotel is not being listed now but, Lund said, â€śEverything in life is for sale at the right price.â€ť
Even if a deal is worked out, Lund said, â€śWe would like to stay involved in the hotel to some capacity.â€ť
That could include managing the hotel or being a partner, he said.
Lund said he and Stark were among a group of investors that bought the former Harborside from the Smith family in 1998. Since then, he and Stark have bought out the other partners.
â€śWe love the market. We love the hotel. Itâ€™s been a great property for us,â€ť Lund said. â€śItâ€™s got a very unique setting and is a unique destination.â€ť
As expected, the hotel is â€śextremely busyâ€ť in the summer and fall, he said, and during the winter there is a steady stream of customers.
The 96-room hotel in the heart of downtown Port has long been a hub for tourists and fishermen and is seen by officials as vital to the health of downtown.
â€śWe need a hotel downtown,â€ť said Randy Tetzlaff, the cityâ€™s director of planning and development.
The Holiday Inn Harborview brought in about $146,000 in room taxes, more than half of the cityâ€™s total room tax revenue of about $254,000 in 2013, City Treasure Doug Miller said. The money is split between the city and Port Tourism Council.
Both Tetzlaff and City Administrator Mark Grams said the hotel has been for sale on and off for years, though the owners havenâ€™t been aggressive about marketing it.
â€śI think they do very well there,â€ť Grams said. â€śObviously, it brings people to our downtown, especially in summertime. Itâ€™s pretty vital to the charter fishing business, and I think a number of other local businesses use
it as well. I think businesses around the area like it.â€ť
The fact that the hotel affiliation could change if it were sold is a concern, officials said.
â€śYou always worry about that, but with the location, I donâ€™t think youâ€™ll see it (become a less-valued brand),â€ť Grams said.
THE OWNERS OF the Holiday Inn Harborview are in the early stages of talks with prospective buyers that could result in the sale of the downtown hotel. However, they say, a deal is far from complete and may not occur. Photo by Bill Schanen IV