John Q. Hammons’ hotels and resorts are under new management.
As bankruptcy court proceedings continue for the estate of the late Springfield hotelier, Atrium Hospitality LP has assumed command of his remaining 35 hotels, though actual property ownership and when the transition occurred remain unclear.
Georgia-based Atrium Hospitality – held by JD Holdings LLC and owner-investor Jonathan Eilian, the largest creditor in the settlement – penned a deal earlier this year with Hammons estate co-trustees Jacqueline Dowdy and Greggory Groves to liquidate Hammons’ hotels and myriad other assets.
The settlement established, among other details, that Atrium Hospitality would manage John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts’ 35 remaining hotels. JD Holdings and Eilian are lining up a roughly $1 billion buyout of most, if not all, of some 150 assets of the bankrupted Hammons estate.
The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Kansas confirmed the settlement May 11, though a group of secured lenders – representing at least $763 million in defaulted debt – quickly appealed the decision. A court order on the appeal has not yet been delivered.
Springfield-area properties now under Atrium Hospitality management, meanwhile, include Chateau on the Lake in Branson and Springfield’s University Plaza Hotel & Convention Center, Holiday Inn Express & Suites, Residence Inn and the Courtyard hotel east of the Springfield-Branson National Airport.
Hammons’ remaining 35 hotels now are listed as Atrium Hospitality properties by the company’s website, keeping the respective names of those previously listed by JQH Hotels & Resorts.
The JQH Hotels & Resorts website now links directly to Atrium Hospitality, while the Chateau on the Lake and University Plaza websites don the latter logo.
Calls to JQH Hotels & Resorts headquarters in downtown Springfield also are now greeted with the Atrium Hospitality name.
Linked as part of corporate Holiday Inn and Marriott International webpages, the remaining Springfield hotels lack individual websites.
Despite the apparent transition, hotel management at the local properties remain tightlipped.
Inquiries to University Plaza Hotel general manager Brent Parker remained unanswered by press time.
John Parker, general manager of Chateau on the Lake, said day-to-day operations remain unchanged since the transition occurred but declined to comment further.
Parker replaced Stephen Marshall, who retired in February after 20 years as general manager of the resort. His February retirement coincided with the February bankruptcy settlement, though Marshall could not be reached to comment on his departure.
Tyler Stewart, guest services manager at Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Springfield, 1117 St Louis St., also confirmed Atrium Hospitality management of the property.
Stewart indicated that hotel staff were directed not to speak of the transition and deferred further inquiries to Texas-based WiseHive Public Relations LLC.
The company previously served as the public communications liaison for JQH Hotels & Resorts and now delivers the same services to Atrium Hospitality.
WiseHive President Sheri Davidson Smith has remained unresponsive to interview requests as of press time to continued inquiries by Springfield Business Journal since the February settlement.
Smith, however, acknowledged via email the bankruptcy settlement is not yet final.
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