Turmoil checks in at the Eden Roc
By Scott Blake
When there's a late-night disturbance at a Miami Beach hotel, it normally doesn't involve management and owners.
But the situation at the Eden Roc seems anything but normal, as two business groups tussle for control of the famed oceanfront hotel once known for hosting movie stars and mobsters.
The owners tried to seize control of operations at their own hotel last weekend, but management got a court order to continue to occupy the property.
Tuesday, the 631-room art deco hotel at 4525 Collins Ave. was continuing to operate under the same management, David Sigauw, director of sales and marketing, told Miami Today.
A group representing the owners, Eden Roc LLLP, showed up at the hotel in the wee hours Sunday morning to oust the hotel's management firm, Renaissance Hotel Management Co., a unit of hotel chain giant Marriott International Inc.
Police were called and the group was turned away, according to reports.
Despite that, Eden Roc LLLP announced Sunday it had brought in new management at the hotel, saying it had terminated its management agreement with Marriott and its Renaissance subsidiary months ago after years of "mismanagement of the property and a failure to maximize the Eden Roc brand."
Monday, Marriott countered by filing a lawsuit in New York against the owners, accusing them of attempting "a hostile takeover" of the hotel during "an egregious raid in the pre-dawn hours" Sunday, the Bloomberg news service reported.
Marriott succeeded in getting a court injunction preventing the ownership from removing Renaissance as manager.
Also Monday, Eden Roc LLLP issued a statement, acknowledging the court had issued a temporary restraining order permitting Renaissance to continue to manage the hotel while the case is pending.
"While Eden Roc disagrees with the court's order," the group said, "it will abide by it pending further court order."
Mr. Sigauw, part of Renaissance's management team, disputed ownership's claim that Renaissance has done a bad job running the hotel.
Mr. Sigauw said the hotel's roughly 600 employees have done an "amazing job" to keep the business running as usual and "ensure the safety and comfort of our guests" despite the weekend's incident.
"We're sold out," he added. "The fact is, we have a lot of high-profile people staying here."
Ownership said the late-night attempt to take control of the hotel came after "multiple written notifications to Marriott" beginning in January. The Marriott's contract to manage the hotel reportedly extends into 2030.
After buying the hotel in 2005, Eden Roc LLLP invested $250 million for renovations and an expansion, said Diego Ardid, the group's vice president.
"Under Marriott's management," Mr. Ardid said in a statement, "Eden Roc lost market share despite its exceptional amenities and legendary reputation.
"Our exhaustive efforts to encourage Marriott to correct its numerous management defaults, and to preserve our partnership, proved fruitless, leaving us with no option but to regain control and to put this property on the path to success."
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