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Op-ed: Regarding the Historic Park Inn (by Peter Children)

This news story was published on January 7, 2012.
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An interesting point was recently brought up concerning the Historic Park Inn Hotel. Considering the fact that it is publicly funded, all aspects of its operating aspects should become public.  In other words the public should by all measures be informed on a regular basis, say quarterly, of their operating costs and gross intake.

I have long said it will never cash flow, it is impossible to show a profit with 27 rooms no matter how much they charge for them.  By the time they pay the utilities they would be lucky to make payroll.

It is rumored that they have a operator for the alleged 5-star restaurant but even if it is true, the tenant won’t last long enough for the cream to turn sour; why? The rent is too high.  Whoever is running that show has no idea of reality. On top of the rent I was told the hotel expects percentage of the gross…but I can’t verify that.  The figure I heard on the rent was $8,000.00 per month.  Somebody is smoking dope.  How can you allude to 5-star food on a facility that isn’t even open yet?

That said it is very beautiful from the outside. I hope it remains open as it is a tremendous draw for this city.  In my opinion we should stop giving the museum $265,000.00 year and give that money to the hotel….they are going to need it…and more.

Peter Children

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17 Responses to Op-ed: Regarding the Historic Park Inn (by Peter Children)

  1. Avatar

    manager Reply Report comment

    January 18, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    the historic park inn is doing awesome we are booked solid 95 percent of the time our restaurant is booked on weekends we have a wonderful ballroom we are doing amazing. this is Mason city’s history right here a little part that they can never tear down if we have our say so come stay with us or eat at our five star hotel and go visit our billards lounge. I promise you’ll love it now let’s stop complaining about this and let’s enjoy the little piece of history we have left.

    • NIT Publisher

      NIT Publisher Reply Report comment

      January 18, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Everyone wants the hotel to succeed.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        January 19, 2015 at 8:42 am

        @NIT-You are correct, we all would like to see it succeed. I just can not find it in me to believe what they say. Everytime I go by there the place looks empty and you can see inside very clearly. We spent a ton of tax money on the old whorehouse so I would like it to be successful.

    • Polio Loco

      Polio Loco Reply Report comment

      January 19, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Like the “manager” would admit if it is failing.

      • Avatar

        LVS Reply Report comment

        January 19, 2015 at 9:13 am

        @Polio=It is kind of strange that about two weeks ago I saw on the Workforce Web Site where they we looking for desk clerks, manager’s, cooks and all kinds of other help. If they are doing so well why would they be looking for all that staff?

  2. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 11, 2012 at 11:12 pm

    It’s amazing how people can write an article with little to know truth of the facts and just start making stuff up…the Park Inn Hotel has been a huge success, it is bringing people to Mason City, and from what I have seen it has been pretty busy! Looks like the only problem is people trying to pass it off as a failure before it even finishes taking off! Can’t people just be happy we have something to be proud of here in Mason City!

  3. Avatar

    Peter Children Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 10:27 pm


    I knew of Corabell’s but other than the two I mentioned I was in the dark about the others. The old Park Inn was a rough place but I was unaware that they had “in house” service.

    This new hotel is a wonderful gift to this city by those who got behind it and toiled so hard. It might not turn a profit from within but on the outside it will bear fruit for many years to come. It needs more time to mature.

  4. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm

    Peter-all I can tell you is when I was growing up it was a well known whore house. My brother in law drove a cab and used to deliver the girls there when they flew into Mason City. There was also another house on 8th street called Corabell’s that doubled as a bootlegger and whore house. After that minister got the Greystone to close there were approximately 13 whore houses operating in the city. You must have lived a pretty sheltered life.

  5. Avatar

    Sandy Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    To Anonymous

    It is true that the Chamber back the Hotel. The City is not responsible but I did ask someone on the council if the city is a member of the chamber what does that mean if the hotel does go under? His answer was he didn’t know and it concerned him as well. I personal feel that the city should not be a member just for this reason. How responsible are we when things go wrong not with just the hotel but any business that has dealing with the chamber.

  6. Avatar

    Just curious Reply Report comment

    January 8, 2012 at 10:15 am

    Totally agree with the transparency issue and think all the 500 or so other non profits in town should have to do this too. Rumors are that the hotel is losing money daily and if this is true what happens if we don’t meet our obligation with Vision Iowa? Do we have any kind of backup plan? Can we try and sell the hotel to pay back the loan? I think the hotel is beautiful and would like to see it do well but I’m Just curious what our options will be if things don’t work out?

  7. Avatar

    Peter Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    The whole thing was ridiculous from the start. It should have been handled with private labor and donations exclusively…like the Englert Theatre in Iowa City was. More bad decisions and abuse of taxpayer money, like all of those streetscape remodels, which made everyone but the people of Mason City richer.

  8. Avatar

    BIKER Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 8:39 pm


  9. Avatar

    sijr Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    The numbers I heard was $1,500 rent and 25 percent of gross. No one in their right mind would walk into a deal like that. 20 percent net is a good number for any restaurant and only a few can reach that number.

  10. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 4:03 pm

    The Quarry was smart enough to see the deal was only good for the hotel and was the first to back out. Remember the person overseeing the hotels operations too well from the not in my neighbor hood pebble creek incident.

  11. Avatar

    Anonymous Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Seems to me the chamber had to sign backing the note. I remember at one council meeting that was brought up because the city is a chamber member and some council members wanted them off so the citizens wouldn’t be responsible if it the hotel failed and had to pay back the vision iowa money. Anyone with any imfo if this is correct or how that ended up. Thank you.

  12. Avatar

    Peter Children Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

    Larry, in that aspect every hotel in the world is a whore house. There were two operating whore houses in this city and the Patk Inn was not one of them. One was the Graystone on south Federal and directly across the street was the Arina Hotel.

    This hotel is a big asset for this city, it is already bringing in tons of people to see it and as time moves forward those numbers will increase many times. I think it is spectacular. I did have a friend who stayed there one even and he was unhappy with it, said the windows rattled all night. A couple glasses of wine before bed would have fixed that. Right now it is the biggest draw this city has….but it still won’t cash flow.

  13. Avatar

    Larry Reply Report comment

    January 7, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Bull Crap-we have already given enough in state tax funding to this rich people’s fiasco. If it can’t make it on it’s own or with private donations let it fail. What a stupid idea anyway. Why do they think it closed in the first place?? It couldn’t support itself even wqhen it was a whore house.