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Group acquires Artisan Hotel, plans improvements

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010 | 3:17 p.m.

The famed Artisan Hotel is getting a second lease on life.

Garrett Capital, an affiliate of The Siegel Group, announced today it had acquired the foreclosed, non-gaming hotel.

The Siegel Group acquired a promissory note secured by a First Deed of Trust from the Artisan's lender, The Citizens Bank of Oregon in Missouri. The group assumed operational control of the property Friday.

In its laundry list of efforts to reposition the Artisan, The Siegel Group said it plans to address the hotel's long-standing operational issues that have affected the hotel's reputation negatively.

The Artisan agreed to be foreclosed on by a lender last month. In December 2008, the Artisan filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy — a case that was later combined with the bankruptcy case for Douglas Da Silva's Artisan hotel in El Paso, Texas.

At that time, its assets were reported at $18.3 million, including $18.2 million for the hotel real estate, and exceeded liabilities listed as $7.85 million.

Michael Crandall, director of business affairs for The Siegel Group, said they are looking to staff the hotel with 60 people, including a new general manager, to help reposition the property. Crandall said when the group took over Friday, there were 12 employees on the payroll.

"Just like any place we take over, the current employees will have to go through our interview process. If they are qualified to do the job, of course we are going to keep them," Crandall said.

The 64-room, boutique-style hotel sits on 1.35 acres on West Sahara Avenue and has developed a following among locals. It's eclectic décor has made the hotel a popular late-night hang out for Las Vegas performers and musicians.

Crandall said The Siegel Group plans to spend an estimated $400,000 on upgrades. The group is looking for bring everything up to building- and health-code standards, replace air conditioning units, update equipment in the bars and restaurant, and increase security in the hotel's parking and valet area.

"We're going to keep the vibe and the feel of the place but we are just going to update it a little. Some of the stuff in the hotel has not been touched in seven or eight years. Things just need a little TLC," Crandall said

In the hotel rooms, Crandall said they plan to update some of the furniture and the linens. Room rates are expected to range from $79 to $139.

The Siegel Group has taken over several run-down properties in recent years, promising dramatic changes under its management. The company revamped the Gold Spike, The Resort on Mount Charleston and is in the process of upgrading the St. Tropez Hotel across from the Hard Rock.

Sun reporter Steve Green contributed to this report.

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