The Real Deal Miami

One owner of Biltmore lease buying out the other

Gene Prescott agrees to buy Robert Kay's 50% ownership of the hotel's operating lease
June 25, 2016 09:00AM

Biltmore Hotel (Credit Jorge Royan)

Biltmore Hotel (Credit: Jorge Royan)

One of two owners of the operating lease for the 90-year-old Biltmore Hotel, a Coral Gables landmark, agreed to buy out the other.

Gene Prescott agreed to buy out business partner Robert Kay. Each had owned half of the hotel’s operating lease. They did not disclose the terms of the buyout.

Their deal makes Prescott the majority shareholder of Seaway Biltmore, which acquired the 99-year operating lease in 1992.

Their deal also settled litigation that Kay initiated last year to terminate his business partnership with Prescott.

Prescott told the Miami Herald that New York-based Merchants Hospitality made an unsolicited offer to purchase the operating lease for the 275-room Biltmore.

“We appreciate their interest but we have no interest in a sale of the operating lease agreement,” he told the Herald. “It’s business as usual at the Biltmore.”

The City of Coral Gables, which owns the Biltmore, has no intention of selling it, city attorney Craig Leen told the Herald. [Miami Herald]Mike Seemuth