News Column

Big Texas Inn ?in foreclosure

July 14, 2014

By Sean Batura, Kerrville Daily Times, Texas

July 14--The Big Texas Inn in Kerrville has been foreclosed and is now in the hands of a national real estate trust that held the mortgage on the property. The 102-room, 43-year-old hotel at 2105 Sidney Baker Street still is open for business, although the restaurant and bar inside are closed.

A federal bankruptcy judge in April had approved a plan for the hotel's former owner, Kamayan Holdings, to pay off its lender, PMC Commercial Trust, after the hotel was sold at an auction in May.

According to the auction company's website, the final bid was about $2.26 million, which was less than the undisclosed price agreed on by the lender and debtor. The hotel property remained on the market through at least part of June but recently sold on the courthouse steps for $1 million to PMC.

The appraised 2013 value of the 4.4 acre tract was $935,903, according to the Kerr County Appraisal District. The original principal amount Kamayan owed to PMC was about $1.3 million.

A PMC representative was not immediately available for comment on plans the firm may have for the hotel.

The hotel was owned by Kamayan Holdings since about 2007, but after the firm ran into trouble in 2008, its creditor, Dallas-based PMC Commercial Trust, moved forward with foreclosure. The foreclosure stopped after Kamayan was acquired in 2008 by Americap Group, which specializes in buying companies that are in trouble.

But PMC moved forward with the most recent foreclosure after Kamayan was two months late on mortgage payments to the tune of about $18,000, said Americap Group representative Jerry Reed, who lives on a ranch near Kerr County and maintained an office at the hotel.

Kamayan was late on the mortgage due to the expenses of repairing damage caused by a windstorm, and the company filed for bankruptcy to avoid the foreclosure, Reed had said.

Trouble at the Inn

Some of the hotel's guests have been thorns in the sides of law enforcement officers, who responded to the property about 230 times from Jan. 1, 2013, to June 3, 2014. Reported incidents that drew Kerrville police include medical calls, attempted suicides, fire alarms, warrant arrests, assaults and loud arguing or fighting.

In a recent case, an officer patrolling the hallways of the hotel in March smelled marijuana from a room and caught a man inside with cocaine. The man received probation in June.

Pending court cases

There are pending court cases involving two former employees of the Big Texas Inn, who have claimed they haven't been paid the damages awarded them by a federal court in January.

John Keeney, who managed the bar and restaurant at the hotel, and Melissa Morris, who was a server, were awarded thousands by a federal jury for unpaid wages and overtime.

Richard Ellison, the local attorney who represents Keeney and Morris, filed another lawsuit against Reed to obtain damages. Reed filed a standard denial, and no trial date has been set.

The federal jury in January ordered that Keeney be paid $1,299 for minimum wages, $1,615 for overtime wages and $2,914 for liquidated damages. The jury awarded Morris $1,159 for minimum wages, $1,098 for overtime wages and $2,257 for liquidated damages. The jury also ordered Kamayan to pay $36,080 in attorney fees.

Ellison also represents Kenneth Woods in a pending civil case against Reed. Woods has claimed Reed owes $4,261 in unpaid overtime and minimum wages, although Reed has denied this and claims Woods, a convicted felon, lied on his employment application and didn't work for him in any legally enforceable sense. No trial date has been set.


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Source: Kerrville Daily Times (TX)

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