Wisconsin Rapids hotel has new owners - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wisconsin Rapids hotel has new owners


A historic Wisconsin Rapids hotel now has new owners. This comes more than a year after it went into foreclosure and was sold at auction by the county.

Hotel Mead and Conference Center is more than 60 years old. For the past year and a half, it's been open, but the ownership has been uncertain. That's until now—new owners bought the hotel.

"Gives us assurance that the property isn't going to go dark—that's been on people's minds for the last few years," Wisconsin Rapids Mayor Zach Vruwink said.

The hotel went into foreclosure back in 2011. Then, Wood County sold it to WoodTrust Bank at auction, who in turn sold it to a newly formed company called SKD Hospitality Management.

"We're excited at the prospect of being part of the community and being involved in Rapids," SKD Hospitality Management Executive VP Al DeBerry said.

And the new owners say it's very early in the process. But they anticipate few changes when it comes to jobs at the hotel.

"The jobs appear to be pretty consistent with what we're looking for to move forward," DeBerry said.

"My hope is that they will be able to retain the jobs that they have. That was a fear I had," Vruwink said.

Hotel Mead has a history in Wisconsin Rapids. That's why the new owners say they have no plans to change the name.

"It's not that we're going to make an enormous amount of changes—just redirect some situations in place and guide them moving forward," DeBerry said.

The new owners say their team comes with a lot of experience. DeBerry says the four owners each has more than 25 years in the hospitality business.

"We're going to be her consistently, running the hotel, no outside management," DeBerry said.

The new owners are from outside the area, but they say they're still ready to use their expertise.

Chamber of commerce leaders say they think the sale will positively impact the area, by hopefully bringing in more business.

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