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Four Tampa BayArea Hotels Seek Bankruptcy Protection

By Michael Sasso, Tampa Tribune, Fla.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Jun. 6, 2010 --TAMPA -- Small hoteliers appear to be taking it on the chin lately, with at least four in the Tampa Bay area seeking bankruptcy protection since March.

In May, the owners of a 75-room Hampton Inn, 11740 Tampa Gateway Blvd. in Seffner, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Tampa. Chapter 11 allows a company to reorganize its finances while protected from creditors.

The hotel's owners were forced into bankruptcy when Bank of America started foreclosure proceedings, according to bankruptcy court documents. The bank claims it is owed at least $5.5 million.

Revenue at the Seffner hotel fell about 30 percent last year from 2008, although revenue has picked up recently, the owner of the motel, Llenroc Hospitality, says in documents.

In mid-April, Grayl's Hotel, a small Spanish Mission-style hotel overlooking the downtown St. Petersburg waterfront, filed for bankruptcy protection.

In early April, the owners of a Best Western All Suites franchise at 3001 University Center Drive near Busch Gardens sought Chapter 11 protection. Officials at the 150-room hotel said its revenue had fallen 63 percent from 2006 to 2009.

Finally, in mid-March, owners of a Comfort Inn on Oakley Boulevard in Wesley Chapel filed for Chapter 11.

Last year the average daily rate for a hotel stay was $92.69. That was down from $103.88 in 2008, according to figures from Tampa Bay & Co., the county's tourism marketing agency.

Reporter Michael Sasso can be reached at (813) 259-7865.

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