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Wed., Sept. 14, 2011

Red Lion gains flexibility through new financing

Spokane’s Red Lion Hotels paid off two secured loans totaling $17.3 million by obtaining $18 million in financing from Wells Fargo Bank, the company announced Tuesday.

The two loans, dating from 2005, were secured against the Spokane Red Lion Hotel at the Park and the Red Lion Olympia Hotel.

Both loans were collateralized mortgage-backed securities, said Julie Shiflett, Red Lion’s executive vice president and chief financial officer. By paying off those loans Red Lion gains more flexibility in how and when it prepays its debt.

By contrast, the collateralized loans could not be prepaid until maturity, she said.

With another $10 million in a new credit line, Red Lion will also pay off a third loan maturing Oct. 1 secured by the Red Lion Colonial Hotel in Helena. The plan is to sell that 149-room hotel and then brand it through a franchise.

The new financing gives Red Lion flexibility in using its cash for hotel improvements, retirement of lease obligations and reduction of debt, Shiflett said.

Tom Sowa

Missoni line a hit with Target shoppers

NEW YORK – In a scene that was reminiscent of the shopping frenzy that typically comes on the day after Thanksgiving, Target’s website crashed several times throughout the day and shoppers lined up at many of its stores early in the morning on Tuesday for a sale of limited offerings of its Missoni for Target collection of bikes, luggage, clothes and housewares.

The 400-piece line made by the Italian luxury knitwear designer Missoni exclusively for Target features its trademark zigzag patterns for between $2.99 for stationery and $599.99 for patio furniture – a fraction of the price of the designer’s real duds that can go for $595 to $1,500.

So-called limited partnerships, in which high-end designers create cheaper versions of their fashions for lower-end stores, have become popular in recent years because they appeal to cost-conscious customers.

Associated Press

Listeria outbreak linked to Colorado cantaloupes

DENVER – Health officials have issued a warning for cantaloupes from a revered melon-producing area of Colorado amid a bacteria outbreak blamed for four deaths in the state and New Mexico.

The warning from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came after 16 cases of a strain of Listeria were reported in five states, including 11 from Colorado, two from Texas, and one each from Indiana, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The agency said it was the first Listeria outbreak linked to cantaloupe in the United States. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration said it had not recalled the melons while it worked to locate the source.

Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

Associated Press


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