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Morris Group assumes control of Clarion Hotel

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Businessman and hotelier Jim D. Morris at 1 p.m. today assumed control of the Springfield Clarion Hotel at 3333 S. Glenstone Ave. - 17 days before the property was scheduled for foreclosure. Morris Group Properties Inc. owned the Clarion for seven years before selling to a California-based investor group in December 2008.

Morris' attorney, Brett Roubal of Baird, Lightner, Millsap & Harpool PC, said Morris Group sold the hotel in a $6 million owner-financed deal with Los Angeles, Calif.-based Glenstone Enterprises LLC.

Glenstone Enterprises became unable to make its payments, and in December, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Hamid Ebrahimi, managing member of Glenstone Enterprises, signed the documents, according to a filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Western District of Missouri.

Roubal said Morris Group worked out a voluntary turnover deal with Glenstone Enterprises, allowing Morris to assume control of the hotel, which was scheduled for foreclosure Nov. 4. No money is changing hands because the property was financed by Morris Group, Roubal said.

Morris purchased the hotel from Silver Springs, Md.-based Sunburst Hospitality in June 2001 and renovated it to the tune of $1.4 million before selling to Glenstone Enterprises.

Morris said he hadn't planned on the Clarion Hotel coming back under his control, but now that it has, he and his team will evaluate the property.

"We feel right now the hotel is in good shape," he said. "We've got to do a study to see what needs to be done.

"We will bring it totally up to standards and above."

The hotel, which also has a banquet hall, wasn't closed during the bankruptcy proceedings and has continued to house guests, Morris said.

He added that the hotel's roughly 50 employees will keep their jobs.

Morris owns two other hotels - a Quality Inn and a Ramada Inn and Suites - in Branson.

According to the December bankruptcy documents, the Clarion under ownership of Glenstone Enterprises had estimated assets of $1 million to $10 million, estimated liabilities of $500,000 to $1 million and an estimated 100 to 199 number of creditors. In the filing, the debtor estimated it would be able to pay back its unsecured creditors, which included the Greene County Collector of Revenue, Springfield Grocers, Horst Tymon Tradeshow Services, Culligan Water of Springfield, Hlavacek Morris & McIntyre PC and KWTO-FM.[[In-content Ad]]

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