Branson-based Jaspers Enterprises Inc. voluntarily filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Feb. 13 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Missouri.
Jaspers Enterprises, owned by Keith and Karen Jaspers, operates the Days Inn, Howard Johnson and Red Roof Inn in Branson and the Wingate by Wyndham Hotel in Maryland Heights, outside of St. Louis.
The bankruptcy petition lists fewer than 50 creditors, including claims of $391,760 to Days Inn Worldwide, $252,706 to Wingate Inns International Inc. and $155,039 to Howard Johnson International. Jaspers Enterprises’ liabilities are estimated at $1 million to $10 million, and its assets are estimated at $10 million to $50 million.
Two of Jaspers Enterprises’ Branson hotels were scheduled for foreclosure sales yesterday, but Hawthorn Bank canceled the sales of the Days Inn and Howard Johnson properties after the company filed the bankruptcy petition, said Robert Eggmann, the St. Louis attorney representing Jaspers Enterprises.
“We knew that the foreclosure sale was looming, so we filed it on Monday before the foreclosure sale so that it would be stopped by the bank,” he said.
The Days Inn and Howard Johnson properties are closed for the season, and Eggmann said Jaspers Enterprises intends to reopen the hotels next month. Eggmann expects to submit the company’s reorganization plan within six months. “We need to get into the tourist season before we can see if this case is ready for reorganization this year,” said Eggmann of Desai Eggmann Mason LLC in Clayton.
Eggmann said The Bank of Missouri is a secured creditor with a claim of roughly $4.5 million. He said the bank filed a lawsuit for that amount against Jaspers Enterprises and its owners. “Bank of Missouri has a loan that is secured by the Wingate hotel in St. Louis,” he said.
Eggmann said his client would submit to the courts its bankruptcy schedules by Feb. 27.
Keith Jaspers, president of the hotel company, also founded Springfield-based nonprofit Rainbow Networ
k in 1995 with the mission of serving people in rural Nicaragua with nutrition, health care, education, housing and microloans. He has said Rainbow Network has served more than 25 million meals at its Nicaraguan feeding center.