Marriott Hunt Valley offered for $13 million Prudential taking sealed bids on inn

October 21, 1993|By Timothy J. Mullaney | Timothy J. Mullaney,Staff Writer

The Marriott Hunt Valley Inn is being offered in a international sealed-bid auction, as owner Prudential Insurance Co. moves to sell the 22-year-old hotel for $13 million or more.

The sale is part of a broader auction of five high-end hotels and resorts organized by the same New York and California brokers who coordinated the sale of the Omni Inner Harbor Hotel earlier this year, said Dennis Malone, a broker at W. C. Pinkard & Co. in Baltimore who is local agent for the sale.

The other hotels are in Arizona, Toronto, suburban Los Angeles and Spain.

"This is not a foreclosure," said Mr. Malone, who said he expects strong interest in the hotel because its 56 percent occupancy rate, well below the industry average, should rise with the economy. Further, a new owner will be able to try to improve operations, he said.

"If you can make it work at 56 percent, you can definitely make it work at 65 or 70," Mr. Malone said.

"You're well below replacement cost. For someone who knows the hotel business it's an opportunity. [But] it's going to be tough for someone to get his feet wet on something this size."

The 392-room hotel at 245 Shawan Road across from Hunt Valley Mall has a three-diamond rating from the Automobile Association of America.

The hotel's low occupancy rate reflects broader problems for hotels muscling each other to serve business travelers in the Hunt Valley-Interstate 83 corridor. The Embassy Suites and Marriott Residence Inn hotels in Hunt Valley, as well as the Holiday Inn in Timonium and the Sheraton hotel in Towson, have all gone to auction or foreclosure since 1991.

The sealed bids are due Dec. 16, Mr. Malone said. The $13 million is a reserve price below which Prudential does not commit to accepting.

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