This post has been updated.
Le Centre on Fourth, which owns Embassy Suites by Hilton at 501 S. Fourth St., filed a petition for reorganization under Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Florida court on Friday.
“This has to do with the operations of the hotel itself” and how it was managed, said Bob Gunnell, head of the Louisville agency Boxcar PR, on behalf of client Le Centre on Fourth. “The hotel is still an incredible hotel and an incredible property. …It’s a very valuable property if it’s managed well.”
The hotel has four or more star ratings on websites including Expedia, TripAdvisor and Yelp.
Through the bankruptcy proceeding, the 304-room hotel will be put up for sale to repay stakeholders at least some of their investment. One of the primary investors with Le Centre on Fourth is developer Eric Bachelor.
Bachelor filed a lawsuit last year asking a judge to remove The Al J. Schneider Co. as hotel manager, according to a report from WDRB News. Bachelor said the hotel faced “an imminent and ruinous foreclosure” and claimed that The Al J. Schneider Co. steered business toward its other hotel properties, the report states. The company denied the allegations.
The Al J. Schneider Co. continues to operate as the hotel manager.
In a statement emailed to Insider, the company called the Embassy Suites a “remarkably profitable, highly rated, and well-managed by the Al J. Schneider Company in a Four-Star manner.”
“The Hotel is staffed with hundreds of hard-working Louisvillians, is well capitalized, and in no need of restructuring,” according to the statement. “AJS is committed to its substantial investment in the Le Centre on Fourth project, which far exceeds the contributions of Mr. Bachelor. The bankruptcy petition was filed without the knowledge or consent of AJS, and is merely a symptom of an ongoing partnership dispute with Mr. Bachelor, which will not interfere with day-to-day operations. AJS will continue to aggressively pursue its rights, and to protect the jobs of its valued employees.”
The bankruptcy case was filed in the Ft. Lauderdale Division of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Florida. The filing will not affect hotel operations, guest or its vendors, according to a news release.
Le Centre on Fourth has hired GlassRatner Advisory & Capital Group as interim managers and financial advisers, the release states.
How fast the property moves through Chapter 11 bankruptcy and goes up for sale is dependent on the bankruptcy court judge.
“We are hoping it will move very quickly,” Gunnell said.