Owner of Crowne Plaza Owes City Thousands of Dollars

By Justin Foss, Reporter

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By Justin Foss

CEDAR RAPIDS - City leaders in Cedar Rapids said they're worried about getting paid from the city's only downtown hotel.

The city's finance department said the Crowne Plaza owes the city $71,000. This is not the first financial problem the hotel has had.

It's not only well known as a place to stay, ask dozens of vendors and they'll tell you it's also well known as a place that won't pay its bills.

The hotel owes the city through unpaid parking fees, lease agreements and utilities.

Back in January the city sent the hotel's parent company, Kronos Hotels, a letter telling it to pay the city $65,000.

The company paid days later.

But Monday, the city's Finance Department said Kronos hasn't paid again since this spring.

You might also remember last Friday KCRG TV9 reported dozens of employees at the hotel have had several of their payroll checks bounce, including the General Manager.

The city owns the land the hotel sits on, it also owns the ballrooms the hotel uses. The city also owns the U.S. Cellular center which is intertwined with the hotel.

The Executive Director of the U.S. Cellular center is Scott Schoenike. He said the hotel owes them $50,000. That's $50,000 of the total owed to the city.

But, Schoenike said they don't know how to collect that money, because the lease agreement between the city and Kronos doesn't have much for enforcement of paying bills.

This Kronos owned hotel isn't the only one facing financial issues.

Just last Friday the City council in Sheffield, Alabama revoked their lease of property to a Kronos-owned Holiday Inn.

The city council said the company wasn't paying its lodging tax to the city, and other state-wide taxes.

Last Friday David Hockenberry, the General Manager of the hotel, told KCRG TV9 he'd sit down and tell more about what is happening at his hotel.

Monday, he didn't return our phone calls and staff at the hotel said he was just too busy.

Email Justin Foss at Justin.Foss@kcrg.com

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