City of Eau Claire weighs in on Ramada auction outcome - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

City of Eau Claire weighs in on Ramada auction outcome

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - There are many questions about the future of a downtown Eau Claire hotel after a foreclosure auction Tuesday. 

Singh Brothers Properties, or SB Hotel Management, had the highest bid in a sheriff's auction at $1.4 million, for the Ramada Inn.  They have owned the Ramada since 2004, but have run into financial problems, and have been sued by their lender. 

Eau Claire City Council Member, Dave Strobel, says, "We're just kitty-corner from the Ramada Inn up here and there's bricks along this corner here that I know have fallen out. I was actually concerned they might hit pedestrians at one time."

Eau Claire City Council member Dave Strobel has worked across the street from the hotel for years. He says, "We've sort of watched the hotel deteriorate and we really need a first class hotel down here if we're going to continue to help this downtown improve."

Strobel says he was surprised to hear the current owners, who are going through foreclosure, had the winning bid at Tuesday's auction. 

"I think that there were great expectations and a lot of hope in the community that there was a lot of other investors that were looking to buy the hotel," says Strobel.  

The city says the owners were overdue on several bills. Eau Claire Assistant City Attorney, Steve Bohrer, says, "There were some items that had not been paid including the utilities, those items have now all been paid."

But, there's still the issue of a liquor license. "There were some preconditions that were required in order for the receiver to be issued the liquor license, one of which was to get some mechanical back up generator going," says Bohrer.  

The city says until that happens, the hotel isn't able to serve alcohol.  "They were granted the license but not issued the license until there were some final things that were fixed that the city required. The city of Eau Claire would certainly welcome a well run and good hotel and we are hopeful that his group will provide that resource,"says Bohrer.  

Strobel says, "How can we expect something different to happen? I'm not sure. I hope something different will happen, I think we all hope something different will happen."

The company's attorney says the owners are planning major renovations and will pair up with another national hotel brand.

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