+ The Colony bankruptcy case receives new ruling
A federal bankruptcy judge ruled Thursday, Jan. 8 that The Colony Beach & Tennis Resort must give its unit owners access to their units if it’s open for business again as a hotel.
The resort’s hotel operating entity filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Oct. 5, in the Tampa-based U.S. Bankruptcy Court’s Middle District of Florida, and is working to submit a reorganization plan by the end of the month.
The judge also ruled the hotel is permitted to allow guests who made room deposits prior to the bankruptcy filing to use the money for hotel stays.
Colony President and General Manager Katie Moulton said the judge’s ruling on the use of deposits was important to her because she felt horrible about guests who lost their deposits and had become creditors in the bankruptcy case.
“Allowing guests to use their deposits now rather than having them wait to receive payments from the court was a relief for us,” Moulton said.
Moulton, however, expressed regret about the judge’s ruling to reactivate the owners’ 30-day usage rights per year.
“We would have liked to get through the peak earning season without dedicating rooms to free use by owners,” said Moulton, who explained a phasing plan would be submitted to the judge later this week that will allow a limited number of rooms available to owners. “We only have 100 rooms available now, so more than 230 unit owners can’t all show up at once, and the judge understands that.”
Moulton said that the resort will submit a re-organization plan Friday, Jan. 29.
+ Early voting begins Friday
The town of Longboat Key will hold a town-wide preliminary election for District 1 candidates Lynn Larson, Lee Pokoik and incumbent Mayor Lee Rothenberg Friday, Jan. 15 through Friday, Jan. 22 at Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.
Early voting hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday; and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Early voting will not be held Monday, Jan. 18 in observance of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. Remember to bring your picture ID with signature in order to vote.
• Town Commission District 1 candidates Lee Pokoik did not scratch out anything on his campaign signs that are placed on properties throughout the town. He only added words to the signs to make them compliant with state regulations.
• The Longboat Key Town Commission will make a decision on Moore’s Stone Crab Restaurant’s Comprehensive Plan amendment and zoning-request change at its 7 p.m. Monday, Feb. 1 regular meeting.
+ Meetings & Agendas
• Key Club Islandside Project Hearings — 9 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13 and Friday, Jan. 15, Temple Beth Israel, 575 Bay Isles Road.
• Code Enforcement Board Meeting — 10 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 13, Town Hall, 501 Bay Isles Road.
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Hat's off to Dee Pelton, volunteers
Dee Pelton held a luncheon that will be tough to top.
Youth sailors descend on City Island
Approximately 250 people hit the water Saturday, April 20 through Sunday, April 21, for Sailfest. The regatta, Sarasota Youth Sailing's biggest fundraiser of the year, included four classes of competition — Optimus, 420, Laser and Multi-hull — and a barbecue feast.
Book club sunsets for the season
The Sunset Beach Book Club, in its 10th year, ended this season with a luncheon and discussion of the book “Gone Girl,” by Gillian Flynn, April 18, at Lazy Lobster. Discussion moderator was Ricki Carroll. Together, the group read five books this season.