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Best Western in Orange may be on road to foreclosure
Orange hotels may be headed to foreclosure auction


Date published: 1/28/2011

BY BILL FREEHLING

An unfinished Best Western hotel in the town of Orange and the Red Carpet Inn next to it might be heading to foreclosure.

A foreclosure auction on the properties has been scheduled for 11 a.m. Feb. 9 at Orange County Circuit Court after the property owner defaulted on the loan, according to a legal notice announcing the auction.

George Thakor, who owns the Best Western near the intersection of U.S. 15 and State Route 20 through Prav Lodging LLC, said he stopped making payments on the loan to Virginia Community Bank several months ago because he hasn't been able to obtain the financing needed to complete the hotel and open it.

Thakor said the hotel is about 95 percent complete and has been for more than a year. All that remains is putting in furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Thakor estimates that he needs another $500,000 in financing to finish the hotel and have enough capital to operate it. He has been looking for a loan or partner but hasn't found either. He said hotel financing is extremely difficult to obtain.

Thakor said he may declare Chapter 11 bankruptcy before the foreclosure auction if he's unable to work out a financing plan with his bank or find other funds. That filing would postpone the auction and give Thakor more time to try to keep ownership of the property.

The Red Carpet Inn is included in the foreclosure proceedings because it was used as collateral for the loan, Thakor said.

Orange town officials have said the Best Western is an important part of their efforts to boost tourism.

The Best Western isn't the only hotel in the Fredericksburg region that has stalled due to a lack of financing.

Projects that have stopped midstream include two hotels in Spotsylvania County--a Candlewood Suites near Interstate 95's Exit 126 and a Best Western near Exit 118. Kalahari Resorts hasn't been able to start its Fredericksburg water-park hotel and convention center due to a lack of affordable financing.

Bill Freehling: 540/374-5405
Email: bfreehling@freelancestar.com