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Heller NOT Purchasing The Delta Queen

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Old 12-11-2012, 12:56 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Southern New Jersey
Posts: 26
Default Heller NOT Purchasing The Delta Queen

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Wayne Heller “has pulled out of negotiations to buy the Delta Queen riverboat and abandoned plans to bring the historic vessel to New Smyrna Beach as a floating hotel.”

Deal for Dixie Queen riverboat hotel in New Smyrna Beach sinks |

The article describes Heller attributing his change of plans to difficulties in negotiating a lease agreement with New Smyrna Beach:

“He claimed he had gotten support from the project from state and federal officials that he talked to, but gathered from his discussions with city officials they didn’t want the riverboat to come there. He said the biggest ‘impediment’ to bringing the boat to New Smyrna Beach was not the purchase price, but his dealings with the city.”

A different perspective is offered by one of the New Smyrna Beach officials involved:

“City Manager Pam Brangaccio, one of the officials who sat down at the table with Heller, believes his decision not to go through with the purchase of the riverboat was based on economics — but didn’t involve the city.

‘My personal opinion, my professional opinion — he’s not buying the boat because of the cost involved with renovating the boat, which is totally separate from the city,’ she said… Brangaccio said if Heller’s issue was with the city’s terms on the lease, he could have purchased the boat and kept it operating in Chattanooga.

‘It was a business decision on his part to not purchase the boat,’ she said.”

Before the New Smyrna Beach City Council voted in favor of Heller’s proposal, he was quoted as saying he would look into taking the DQ to other cities if New Smyrna Beach didn’t move forward with him. Now, he is passing on purchasing the boat at all.

“I think this whole thing has put a bitter taste in my mouth” - Wayne Heller
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