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EARLIER: Hotel loses Holiday Inn franchise

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By Josh Moore

The former Holiday Inn Express in Shelbyville no longer bears that familiar name. Instead, it's temporarily going by the Ritz Inn and Suites.

Holiday Inn pulled the franchise from Shelby County's largest hotel because its owners hadn't been paying their franchise fees, said Charlie Kramer, executive director of the Shelbyville-Shelby County Tourism Commission.

“To my knowledge, there has been no change in ownership,” said Kramer, who met with the hotel's general manager earlier this week.

Hotel employees said the general manager was unavailable for the rest of the week. A call to DMC Hotels, who purchased the hotel about four months ago, went unanswered.

Holiday Inn Media Relations Manager Sarah-Ann Soffer confirmed that the Shelbyville hotel was removed from the Holiday Inn system in March.

Passers-by of the hotel notice that the Holiday Inn logo has been taken off the sign and the building.

A written letter was sent May 26 demanding all Holiday Inn Express trademarks be removed, Soffer said.

She said hotels that leave the system are required to remove immediately anything that identifies the hotel with Holiday Inn.

Kramer said the hotel would be operated as the Ritz Inn and Suites until it's able to resolve the financial issues.

The hotel was closed for a period in March because JMG LLC of Modesto, Calif., its former owner, owed the state $58,388.83 in unpaid taxes.

When it reopened about two weeks later, DMC officials said they had resolved the tax issue with the state.