James Heyden, the last remaining member of the Menomonee Falls Radisson Hotel’s five-member ownership group, said he’s the right man to lead the troubled hotel to future success.
Heyden spoke to the Village Board Friday during the public comment portion of the meeting. He pled with village leaders to reach a conclusion to the ongoing foreclosure suit negotiations affecting the hotel.
“I’m here to make a plea to the board on meeting to resolve the current issues which are changing,” Heyden said. “History shows that I took in some partners in the project that have caused major problems shortly after closing. Today those partners are gone, some of them have not even come to the site in the past year and a half and couldn’t care less about the project.”
Heyden made a couple of requests to the Village Board Monday. Heyden would like to remain the principal owner of the hotel, and he requested the board appoint a trustee to sit in on the foreclosure suit negotiations to aid in reaching solution. He said he wants the hotel to succeed and become a valuable addition to the community.
“I would urge the village board to select a member to sit in on ongoing negotiations and reach a conclusion,” Heyden said. “I feel that with my continued principal effort, it will make this hotel asset a success that can be achieved only by a concerned owner’s 24/7 interest and effort.”
Last week, hotel co-owner Dean Grosskopf filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Just a week before that, lawyers representing the village, hotel subcontractors, and the owners scheduled a hearing to expand the authority of the court-appointed receivership attorney.
“I feel this brings new light to the ongoing negotiations. I’m the only original owner left from the group,” Heyden said of the recent developments.
The receivership attorney, Seth Dizard, is seeking the power to market and sell the hotel, as well as quell interference from members of the ownership group, which he claims threatens to erode the hotel’s value. The petition would allow the receiver to remove the ownership group's management authority over the hotel.
In the petition to expand the receiver’s authority, Dizard mentions Heyden several times as a threat to the hotel’s value.
The petition further alleges that Heyden violated a June restraining order that barred him from stepping onto the hotel property. The petition also claims Heyden titled a van purchased by the hotel over to a business he owned. Heyden then allegedly charged the hotel to lease the same vehicle from his company.
The petition also claims five high-profile managers voluntarily left the hotel, citing Heyden's management style as the reason for departure.
Heyden has denied the allegations brought forth in the petition.
Heyden said he would continue to brief the board members and community as he gathers more information about the fluid foreclosure suit negations. The board did not respond to Heyden’s vocalizations Monday citing meeting rule procedures.