- Wikimedia Commons Stephen Marks
- Downtown Ketchum.
U.S. Bank became the unintended owner of a Sun Valley-area hotel last fall when the Bellemont Hotel (formerly the Clarion Inn) in Ketchum defaulted on a $3.6 million loan.
This week's Idaho Mountain Express reports hotel owner Peter Lewis, who opened the hotel in the 1990s, declared bankruptcy in 2011 and lost control of the property to U.S. Bank as the lender tried to recoup its debts.
Now the bank also wants the court to cut off a $119,000 annual salary being paid to the former owner, arguing Lewis' salary is draining the hotel's assets. Additionally, attorneys for U.S. Bank allege Lewis has "obstructed" the current operation of the hotel, going as far as alleging he took a hotel-owned snowplow from the premises, leaving the current operators to deal with the area's significant snowfall with nothing but shovels.
The Mountain Express also reports that bank attorneys allege Lewis has blocked access to credit-card processing software and taken other hotel property without permission.
Lewis wouldn't comment on the allegations to the Mountain Express, other than to say he might have "new information about this case in a few weeks."