CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Lawyers for a company that owns defaulting hotels in Clarksburg and Elkins have filed notice of a federal appeal over the forced sale of the properties, which is scheduled for Thursday.

Mountain West Hospitality LLC has asked for a stay in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.

The hotel ownership group says it intends to appeal this week’s order by U.S. District Judge Irene Keeley, denying permanent and temporary injunction over the sale of the properties.

Mountain West’s lawyers say they intend to take their case to the U.S. Fourth District Court of Appeals.

Mountain West is owned by a group of investors headed by developer William Abruzzino, a Shinnston native who now lives in Florida. Sen. Joe Manchin and longtime aide Larry Puccio were listed as investors in the hotels, and that matter has never been clarified in this case.

Abruzzino and his fellow investors have been involved in multiple bankruptcies and lawsuits over hotels in Elkins, Clarksburg, Morgantown and Charleston. Abruzzino’s Crossings Mall property in Elkview is also subject to both bankruptcy and civil suits.

Mountain West filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year when faced with the forced sale of the hotels. The bankruptcy case was dismissed because Mountain Blue failed to meet a deadline to provide its required financial information.

Local and state governments say each of the hotels has failed to pass on thousands of dollars in taxes that were collected from guests.

The State Tax Department has been asking to join the federal lawsuit against Mountain Blue by its lender for the Hilton Garden Inn in Clarksburg and the Hampton Inn in Elkins. The state says it is owed  $720,000 from those two hotels.

Lawyers for the original lender filed suit earlier this year over default conditions with the hotels’ finances. The lender says Mountain West owes $19 million.

Now they want to sell the properties.

The Hampton Inn in Elkins is set for sale at noon Thursday. The Hilton Garden Inn in Clarksburg is to be sold at 3:30 p.m. the same day.


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