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Save, restore the Biltmore
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Editor:
The recent town hall meeting was as lively as ever when the subject was the Belleview Biltmore Hotel.

Since the Town Commission agreed to stay the zoning for another 6 months, the priority becomes to find a buyer who will restore the hotel. Restoration is possible, so letís put that item on the shelf. Whatís next?

Even some of the naysayers said they would be agreeable for restoration if the buyers had the money, and the credentials for marketing and managing the hotel after its restoration.

Until now, the town has passively waited for people to come forward with their ideas; hopes are raised and then dashed, because they canít raise the money. Recently, the Wall Street Journal reported the growth of boutique hotels (10 to 100 rooms). See article here: online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424127887324326504578465240387040304.

The major hotel chains also are involved in time-share and or condotels. Check out Clearwater Beach. Itís time to think about what to put in the box. The Belleview Biltmore would be a great collection of all three under one roof.

In order to make this happen, somebody on the Belleair Board of Commissioners needs to take the initiative. I would recommend Commissioner Fowler. His position on saving the hotel is unambiguous. If he or other commissioners do not think that their position is adequate enough to get the attention of top officers in the big three (Marriott, Hilton or Sheraton), then ask for assistance from the governor and his office.

When the next town meeting includes the Biltmore, and this is done, itís a safe bet that there will be fewer Preservationists ďteed offĒ.

Ken Keating
Belleair
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Tampa Bay Newspapers
9911 Seminole Blvd.,
Seminole, FL 33772
Phone: (727) 397-5563
Fax: (727) 397-5900
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