Suite Deal

Developer offers city subsidy if Crowne Plaza ownership will sell

SC: Well, they're not going to give it to me. It's going to be very difficult for them to give it to anybody.

TR: No. Not a chance. They would love to give it to them. To resolve this whole situation . . . that was the conversation we had last week is, I mean, are you willing to . . . if we can put this deal together and someone would . . . let's say someone would pay 40 million bucks for the hotel, I'm not suggesting they can or will. . . .

SC: I'm not going to sell the hotel for 40 million bucks. Just so you know, I will not sell the hotel for 40 million bucks.

Steve Cohn, outside the Crowne Plaza.
Paolo Vescia
Steve Cohn, outside the Crowne Plaza.
Sheryl Sculley, deputy city manager.
Sheryl Sculley, deputy city manager.

TR: What are you going to be able to sell it for?

SC: I will sell it for what Starwood was willing to pay for it or more, but I'm not going to sell the hotel for 40 million bucks. So if . . .

TR: Obviously, Starwood says it's not even worth close to that.

SC: Uh . . . ya know, it isn't, given what you and Embassy are doing to the market.

TR: What is it without what Embassy is doing to the market?

SC: Uh, I figure the hotel would be fine without you guys.

TR: Obviously, your friendly Coldwell Banker hotel expert said it's worth $25, $26.

SC: Yeah, the guy --

TR: That's the same thing Rich Warnick said it's worth.

SC: Yeah, well, okay, I don't think the CB hotel expert has ever been to the hotel. If he had been to the hotel he would know that it doesn't require 20 plus million dollars of renovation. And we are in the process of preparing a slander suit, or a libel suit as we speak. Because they --

TR: Against CB?

SC: Against the Republic and Coldwell Banker. The Republic knew that the hotel wasn't listed when they ran that, that, uh, article. And we've gotten sorta --

TR: Sounds like you're gonna sue everybody in the whole town before it's all said and done.

SC: No, no, not everybody. We . . . just a few.

TR: I mean, why wouldn't you, as we discussed last week, figure out a way to get out of this thing with a positive situation?

SC: Because, I don't know that there's a way to do it without being hypocritical or compromising values, unfortunately. Uh, and I'm not into being hypocritical.

TR: So if someone --

SC: I know that everybody else is, and figures that's what I should be, too. Frankly, it bothers me. Ya know, if Marriott came up to me and said they're willing to pay my price and they put together something on the side that I'm not a party to and don't even necessarily know about, I suppose I sell at my price. But as far as me being party to what I think are illegal dealings?

TR: You can't be a party to it, no. What I'm suggesting is, the only way anybody is going to get close to the price that you want to make it work is by getting something from the city. Maybe that's the way to do it is for me to go to Marriott and say, "Okay, look at the hotel. Tell us what you think it's worth and assume that you can get $10 million from the City of Phoenix and make 'em an offer." Maybe that's the way to do it. But I guess, I guess, I would just -- I mean, I wouldn't want to be doing that without you knowing about it.

SC: If Marriott wants to make an offer on the hotel, they should do that.

TR: What about anybody else? How 'bout if I get a hotel expert to come up with a short list of logical buyers and we talk to them about buying the hotel.

SC: We had a listing on the hotel with PKF a year or so ago. Um, when . . .

TR: Would you have a problem if I talked to PKF and said, "who do you think would be a good . . ."?

SC: Oh, yeah.

TR: You would?

SC: Yeah, at this point? Because they might be involved in the lawsuit.

TR: Oh.

SC: They do have a list of people that they brought it to that are protected, which we have. I guess they're still protected. I don't know when that list expires.

TR: Protected by PKF?

SC: Uh, yeah, where they're protected on the listing. Uh, I mean, basically, we do have some Crowne Plaza issues that can be dealt through. But . . . the uh . . .

TR: There's no way you can share that list with us because you have PKF . . .

SC: I don't know if I can or can't; I don't have the list.

TR: Who has the list?

SC: My brother [Mark Cohn] has the list. I've never seen it, to tell you the truth. I mean, I don't think it's a secret list.

TR: I mean, I guess --

SC: It's, ya know, it's not like --

TR: What does your brother think of this concept?

SC: Oh, he thinks that it's not feasible. He thinks it can't be put together. And that it's a waste of time.

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