Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. Revealed as $9m Bidder for Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, Decatur, IL

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Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. question why Central Bank of Illinois and City of Decatur failed to support Carpe Diem's $9m offer for Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, which put the City of Decatur in the position of buying the hotel at a cost of $7.12m taxpayers dollars. Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. had solid financial backing for their offer along with 25 years of hotel experience and finance to improve the hotel and its standing within the city. Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. saw Decatur Conference Center and Hotels as a potential flagship for the new group but is now having to look elsewhere for a flagship property, unless City Managers change their view to quickly recover their taxpayers dollars from a genuine buyer with a long term view of the hotel's success.

Senior executives of Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. today expressed their regret that Central Bank of Illinois and Decatur City Managers failed to support their $9m offer for Decatur Conference Center and Hotel first made on 27th July 2007. Decatur Conference Center and Hotel, with 400 rooms and 55,000 square feet of convention space, was purchased by the City of Decatur at a cost of $7.12m on Wednesday 15th August 2007, pre-empting the intended auction on 16th August 2007.

Carlo Aguas, Chief Executive Officer of Carpe Diem Hotels Inc., said Sunday 19th August: "We spent a week at Decatur Conference Center and Hotel from July 23rd getting to know the hotel, the city and the excellent prospects for the hotel under our control." Carlo also observed: "We met with Jim Randall many times and became acquainted with the Waterpark plans, which we felt were the way forward. Decatur Conference Center and Hotel would have been the flagship of the group we will create. Our interest in the hotel was for long term success and not to make a fast buck."

Matthew Brooks, Chief Operating Officer of Carpe Diem Hotels Inc., who has 25 years experience in hotel management in London, England, said that: "The City of Decatur hopes to sell the hotel later to a major operator unaware that major operators are currently selling their own hotels to investors and taking long term management contracts on them. Hilton, ICHG, Marriott and others no longer want to tie up funds in the real estate."

Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. revealed it already had finance in place for the purchase of the hotel prior to its senior executives visiting Decatur in late July. Winston Sam, Chief Financial Officer, explained "We did not want to arrive in Decatur and waste time on a deal that might not work, so we put solid financing in place before going to Decatur. Unfortunately, City Manager, Steve Garman, was on vacation but we provided full details of our finance and hotel experience to the City executives we met with."

Matthew Brooks, said: "As an experienced hotelier, I could see all kinds of problems with the hotel as it is now but we could all also see the potential of Decatur Conference Center and Hotel and, potentially, the Waterpark. Our finance was structured to let us make the improvements the hotel needs, potentially adding a national brand and enhancing the contribution to the City along with ensuring the security of the hotel's employees." Matthew also noted: "We have been referred to as 'marginal operators'. I am not sure if the City of Decatur can show the benefit of 25 years hotel experience."

Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. is actively pursuing projects in other states in the U.S. and anticipates concluding a flagship hotel deal before the end of the year. Carlo Aguas observed "Decatur Conference Center and Hotel would have been challenging but would have received our total commitment to success. Richfield Hospitality Services has offered to take operating losses on the hotel in return for receiving the profits. Richfield Hospitality is a respected commercial organisation based out of Singapore. Their offer shows that they also expect much more by way of profits than losses. Carpe Diem Hotels Inc. remains in a position to purchase Decatur Conference Center and Hotel but, whilst we are looking at other projects, time is of the essence."


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Matthew Brooks
Carpe Diem Hotels Inc.
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Carlo Aguas
Carpe Diem Hotels Inc.
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