Spokane developer Jerry Dicker, who also owns the downtown Hotel Ruby, has purchased the former Ramada Express hotel at 123 S. Post St.
His firm, GVD Commercial Properties, paid $2.4 million to previous owners Jae Yu Hwang and Hak Sook Hwang.
Dicker is converting the 50-room downtown hotel into a Howard Johnson hotel franchise operated by GVD Hospitality Management Services, the same firm that operates the Hotel Ruby.
The hotel will go through a full remodel, including new beds, carpets and furnishings. Dicker estimated that renovation will cost around $750,000. The outside will be repainted.
“We’re doing this because we feel the building can be improved, and that we have the right hotel management people to run it,” Dicker said.
“We also think the new Howard Johnson hotel will complement what we’re doing at the Hotel Ruby,” he said.
The original hotel building at that address was constructed in 1959, according to Spokane County records. It was converted to a Ramada Inn in 1998.
Rules on large banks stem from 2008 crisis
WASHINGTON – Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday that the Federal Reserve is drafting rules to close large insolvent banks without bringing down the broader financial system, one of many steps regulators must take to prevent another financial crisis.
Bernanke said the absence of a process to deal with systemically important institutions in 2008 left regulators facing the “terrible choices of a bailout or allowing a potentially destabilizing collapse.” His comments were made at a conference sponsored by the International Monetary Fund.
Index detects slide in consumer confidence
WASHINGTON – Consumer confidence fell this month to its lowest level in nearly two years, surprising analysts who had expected a rebound from the recent shutdown-induced downturn in Americans’ view of the economy.
The preliminary consumer sentiment index for November from the University of Michigan and Thomson Reuters dropped to 72 from 73.2 at the end of October.
Analysts had expected the index to rise to 75 after it had plunged in October. Instead, the index fell to its lowest point since December 2011.
Guilty plea entered in record fraud deal
NEW YORK – As promised, SAC Capital Advisors has pleaded guilty to criminal fraud charges in a record $1.8 billion deal with the government.
The company’s longtime general counsel, Peter Nussbaum, entered the plea to wire fraud and securities fraud Friday in Manhattan. But a federal judge didn’t immediately accept the plea, saying she’d wait until a probation report is made.
The plea comes four days after the federal government announced a deal requiring the largest penalty ever for insider trading.
Steep slide eases a bit for Tesla investors
DETROIT – Investors in the Tesla electric car company stemmed the bleeding a bit Friday. But it was still an abysmal few days, marred by another fire in a Model S and earnings results that many found disappointing.
Tesla’s shares dropped a total of $37 on Wednesday and Thursday and were down another $7 by noon Friday before recovering to finish with a loss of $1.82 at $137.95. Twenty-two million shares traded Friday, almost double the average daily volume.
In three days, Tesla shareholders lost $4.7 billion, or nearly 22 percent of their investment.