Hilton Pittsburgh Loses The Hilton Name
Earlier this week a press release announced that exterior renovations were underway at the Hilton Pittsburgh but that's not the only news from the hotel. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Hilton Hotels & Resorts has terminated its Franchise License Agreement with Shubh Hotels Pittsburgh LLC, the owner of the Downtown hotel, leaving it without the Hilton name. A Hilton spokesperson said that the owner had violated the terms of the franchise agreement.
The hotel is located at the gateway to Pittsburgh's Golden Triangle and has been a Hilton since 1959. The move comes less than two weeks after Shubh changed managers at the hotel, bringing in Prism Hotels and Resorts to replace Crescent Hotels & Resorts after a legal battle. The hotel has been facing problems for years. Workers stopped the plans for the exterior renovations after the contractor walked off the job. The new renovation called for the hotel's gold aluminum to be refreshed. The 712-room hotel already went through a $30 million interior renovation.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review also says that there has also been an ownership change with Tampa cardiologist and philanthropist Kiran Patel taking an 89 percent equity position under the name Black Diamond Hospitality LLC and Shubh Hotels owner Atul Bisaria retaining the other 11 percent share. There is a possibility that the Hilton name could return to the brand once whatever issues Hilton had with the hotel are resolved. Shubh Hotels has blamed the problems on the former managers, accusing Crescent Hotels of working with the property's mortgage holder, BlackRock Inc. to try and take over the property. Crescent has filed lawsuits saying it is owed management fees and a loan totaling $1.2 million.
UPDATE: The hotel has filed Chapter 11 following Black Rock's filing of foreclosure papers.