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MARIETTA, GA-This Atlanta suburb of 65,000 permanent residents has finally removed a financial cloud that has beleaguered the city for nine years. Marietta City Council has approved an unconventional leasing deal with Dallas-based Remington Lodge & Hospitality LP that Mayor Bill Dunaway’s office says will save the city $2.2 million in annual finance charges on the 199-room, nine-year-old Marietta Hotel and Conference Center.

Under terms of the lease that could run up to 18 years, Remington will keep any profits from the property and also assume any losses. Remington has been managing the facility under short-term leases since August 2004 under a contract that calls for the city to pay Remington 3% of gross revenue. That contract ceases under the new leasing deal, according to the mayor’s office.

The hotel has been running at about 50% occupancy and had an operating loss last year of $1.8 million, including $1 million in depreciation. The hotel and convention center, built in 1996 for $27 million, is financed by bonds scheduled to be paid off in 2023. Remington will now pay the financing charges but the city will still keep the property when the bonds are paid off, according to city staffers.

Dunaway and Remington officials couldn’t be reached by GlobeSt.com’s publication deadline, but city staffers say the mayor won his election three years ago on a platform to restructure the management contract for the convention center and hotel. At that time, he called the operation of the hotel and conference center “a tremendous financial burden” to the city, the mayor’s office confirms.

The property is on Powder Springs Street, about a mile from the Marietta Square. The city continues to manage the 18-hole golf course on the same site as the hotel and convention center.

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