Parliament House looks to renovate, develop after bankruptcy

By : Jamie Hyman
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Orlando – Parliament House is officially unburdened by bankruptcy and looking ahead to an expansion, a big new partnership and its 40th anniversary.

According to attorney Scott Shuker, Parliament House filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy July 25 of 2014 and emerged in early March 2015.

“A debtor goes into Chapter 11 and hopes to confirm its plan of reorganization,” Shuker said.

He said an agreement was reached with Parliament Investors (no relation to Parliament House), the businesse’s primary mortgage holder, to repay Parliament House’s debt.

“We have a year to come up with $3.5 million of an obligation of $14 million,” Shuker said. “We reached an agreement with junior mortgage holders that means their liens will be released, wiped out.”

Parliament House owner Don Granatstein said the Chapter 11 wasn’t the result of a bad financial situation but rather, a way of removing those liens.

“[Chapter 11] was something that we never wanted to do, but we were caught in a situation where we couldn’t remove the Gardens liens that were sitting on the Parliament House, and it took us years of fighting and fighting, and there was no way to get them off except through a bankruptcy,” Granatstein said.

The Gardens LLC is a separate company managing a timeshare expansion on the Parliament House property, and that organization has its own loans and bankruptcy.

“The lender on The Gardens, a company [USA Capital] in its own bankruptcy in Las Vegas, agreed in return for The Gardens getting a new mortgage to release Parliament House [from any financial obligations],” Shuker said. “That’s what made everything so difficult for so many years. That’s why Don could never accomplish what he wanted to without a bankruptcy because he had this lender that was in its own bankruptcy.”

Granatstein expressed relief at the agreement.

“Free at last! It’s what it feels like,” Granatstein said. “We’re finally spending our energy on positive things.”

Those things include plans to spread out.

“We’re working on a deal in a couple of other locations, Fort Lauderdale being number one,” Granatstein said. “Hopefully, [we’ll expand] around the country.”

He said the P-House has opened sales offices in Washington and New York, and created a partnership with The Flamingo Resort in St. Petersburg.

“It’s the first gay vacation club that’s partnered with our [timeshare company] RCI, RCI being the largest exchange company in the world,” Granatstein said. “So this is a tremendous thing moving forward, and it’s going to lead to a lot of other resorts.”

That vacation club would feature discounts for members.

He said development plans include building next door and across the street from the resort, “something [Parliament House has] been trying to do forever, and now we believe we can,” plus creating a wedding venue on property.

“We just redid our whole beach, put up a new arbor and gazebo,” he said. “We’re building a little chapel back there, and in our new facility that we’re building, there’s going to be a chapel, dining, room, and everything else [needed to host a wedding].”

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