DURHAM — Owners of the downtown Marriott Hotel are suing the city and county for breach of contract over the terms of an "air lease."
Shaner Hotel Group claims it is entitled to use areas of the Durham Convention Center that were closed to it when the city and county decided against renewing Shaner's contract to manage the Durham Convention Center.
The Convention Center, which shares its building with the hotel, is jointly owned by the city and county. In 2011, the City Council and Board of County Commissioners hired Global Spectrum, a subsidiary of Comcast Corp., to run the center after several years of operating deficits in excess of $1 million.
Shaner claims that offices, a fitness center and some other spaces are contractually shared with the Convention Center and that its inability to use them has jeopardized its franchise with Marriott.
The dispute has gone on for more than a year. The city and county have claimed they are exercising their rights as the Convention Center's owners by taking control of their property.
Shaner, headquartered in State College, Pa., filed the suit in U.S. District Court. City Attorney Patrick Baker is reviewing the complaint and plans to brief City Council members on the suit in a closed meeting this week.