Route 66 News

Historic Monrovia hotel embroiled in dispute

The historic Aztec Hotel along Route 66 in Monrovia, Calif., apparently no longer faces foreclosure, but its future remains up in the air, according to a well-sourced story by the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

The Monrovia Patch reported earlier this month that the architecturally distinctive hotel would be part of a foreclosure sale on May 16.

Owner Kathie Reece-McNeill prevented that from happening — at least temporarily — with a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing that postponed the auction. But she is now ensnared in disputes with her bank and receiver Joel Hiser, who’s been managing the 1924 property since January.

There’s a lot of he-said-he-said in the story. But what’s apparently beyond dispute is the Aztec Hotel desperately needs roof repairs:

In court documents, Hiser and the bank alleged they found the Aztec in “deplorable condition,” including rat infestations, faulty smoke detectors and fire alarms, filthy guest rooms and a roof in need of major repairs – leaks have already caused the ceiling to come down in some rooms. […]

And Glen Duncan of the Route 66 Preservation Foundation said:

“It really needs a totally new roof; that was the primary thing,” Duncan said, noting Reece-McNeill might need a partner to put funds into restoration. “There’s no money in anybody’s budget to do a reroofing.”

Reece-McNeill has owned the hotel for more than a decade, and has spent a lot of money on renovations, as recently as 2007.

Her wallet also was flattened by a dubious ADA lawsuit (that she won) and a settlement of a liquor-license suspension that came allegedly from trumped-up charges by local police.

One thought on “Historic Monrovia hotel embroiled in dispute

  1. Scott Piotrowski

    Kathie has done an outstanding job renovating and restoring this landmark. It would be a shame to see her efforts be wasted. I cannot comment on the specifics of the case, but what I have heard and seen would appear to indicate that some locals do not actually want the place to succeed. And that, ultimately, is extremely sad for everyone in the Route 66 family.

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