The Biltmore Owes $2.4 Million in Back Rent to Coral Gables

Are there any iconic Miami hotels that aren't having some sort of financial trouble at the moment? How about the historic Biltmore in Coral Gables? That's probably doing good, right? Oh, wait, the management companys owes the city of Coral Gables $2.4 million in back rent according to The Miami Herald and USA Today.  

The famed hotel opened in 1926 and at the time was the tallest building in all of Florida. It was converted to a hospital during World War II, eventually was used as the University of Miami's medical campus, and was reopened as a hotel in 1987. The hotel is owned by the city, but in 1992 Seaway Hotels Corporation signed a 99-year lease to operate the property.

Seaway is supposed to pay the city 3.5 percent of its annual revenue for the lease, but as revenue has dropped tens of millions of dollars in the past years, it's struggled to cough up the dough. 

Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the resort also includes a full service luxury spa and an 18 hole golf course. 

The city and the hotel are at a point of co-dependence. City Hall, which has seen its tax base fall drastically, needs revenue from the hotel to fill its coffers. However, the hotel group says the resort may not survive if it is force to pay the current 3.5 percent annually, and wants to negotiate a lower rate. 

"They have been good corporate citizens for the last 17 years," Mayor Don Slesnick

told the Herald

. "We don't want to drive them out of business. We have to work out a productive resolution. We are supposed to be partners with them, not litigants with them."

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