Hammons hotel to be auctioned

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The John Q. Hammons Renaissance Hotel at Interquest Parkway will go on the auction block at 10 a.m. in the lobby of the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office at 210 South Tejon Street Thursday.

Bidding is expected to start at about $30 million based on the foreclosure judgment that construction contractor Flintco won against legendary hotelier John Q. Hammons earlier this year.

Hammons reportedly used $47 million of his own money to develop the Renaissance Colorado Springs Hotel and Conference Center until funds ran out in the fall of 2009. He then said he was going to secure $70 million of borrowed finances in the spring of 2010 and resume building in time to finish and open the hotel by this July.

Construction never resumed and 92-year-old Hammons fell ill and ended up in a nursing home.

About a dozen contractors filed liens on the property with the El Paso County Clerk and Recorder, and RK Mechanical brought a civil lawsuit against John Q. Hammons in March of 2010, requesting a foreclosure judgment.

None of the contractors, including RK Mechanical, had as much invested in the project as Flintco, an Oklahoma-based construction company. Flintco filed an amended lien of $24.55 million on the property in March of 2010 and was named in RK Mechanical’s lawsuit.

Flintco ultimately settled disputes with the other lien holders and won a foreclosure judgment in the case on June 16. The judgment was in the amount of $27.4 million plus interest and continuing expenses, which amounts to a per day assessment of $4,575.81, according to court documents. The total amount owed was more than $29.4 million on May 1.

Hotel investors have called the Colorado Springs Business Journal office to inquire about the auction. But it’s unknown how much real interest the property will draw.

A new Brunswick bowling and entertainment center is under construction at the Markets at Interquest development adjacent to the hotel. The development is already home to a movie theater and two restaurants. Developers  expected to build a large  retail center, including an indoor water park, restaurants and entertainment venues. While there has been some building there, most of that development is also on hold.

The hotel has been boarded up for nearly two years and patrolled by a security detail to keep vandals away.