The Parliament House files bankruptcy

By : Chris Muscardin
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Orlando – The iconic Parliament House Resort filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this month, right around the same time it was celebrating its 39th anniversary.

Citing $15.5 million in debt, the unexpected announcement was made July 25. This is not the first time that the Parliament House’s future has brushed rocky shores, after defaulting on loans back in 2009. Since then the business has been locked in an ongoing battle with creditors, this declaration of bankruptcy being the latest chapter in the story.

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy allows debtors to remain in control of the business in order to compile a reorganization plan. This is different than a Chapter 7 declaration, which is much more grim.

Don Granatstein and Susan Unger, the couple who purchased the resort complex 15 years ago, said they have no intent of letting the Parliament House go to creditors.

“The Parliament House is our home now,” said Granatstein. “It’s a family business, it’s a community business, and [we’re] going to fight for it.”

Bankruptcy attorney Scott Shuker told the Orlando Sentinel that the filing came when the Parliament House couldn’t reach an agreement with two secured lenders. Those lenders are USA Capital, with an $8.5 million mortgage, and Parliament Investors, which holds $7 million.

The 4.5 acre complex on Orange Blossom Trail has been in the midst of a massive cosmetic overhaul project for much of the summer in an attempt to modernize and install some much needed updates. While this project will be put on the back burner for now, Granatstein assured that the bankruptcy and reorganization should not last more than four to six months, after which they plan to kick the renovations into overdrive and work on some new additions to the property, including among other things, an additional 100-suite hotel and the expansion of the Parliament House Vacation Club.

“We have so many big plans [for the Parliament House], so many things lined up to do, and this has just been standing in the way for a long time,” added Granatstein. “It was time to finally take care of it.”

It was unclear at press time whether the Parliament House was required to repay debtors within a certain time frame.

 

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