Luxury hotel group returns $59 million in the relief fund

Three publicly traded Texas-based hospitality firms, which collectively receive about $ 59 million in coronavirus relief funds, had announced Saturday that they would accept the fund. A final statement from the firm today said the funds would be returned.

Ashford Inc., Ashford Hospitality Trust and Braemar Hotels & Resorts which tied to hotelier Monty Bennet, issued a statement saying the return of Paycheck Protection Program loans under the coronavirus economic assistance package was due to “the agency’s recently changed rules and inconsistent federal guidance that put the companies at compliance risk.” Among the 130 hotels in Ashford’s portfolio are Ritz Carltons and Embassy Suites. A trio of luxury hotel property firms had reported that they would keep the fund on Friday when thousands of small businesses could not receive state aid. The U.S.  After the proposal of Travel Association and the American Hotel and Hospitality Association that prevented companies not affected by the outbreak from applying for credit and the reaction of their small businesses, the group said they would return the loan by May 7. Douglas Kessler, Chairman and Chief Executive of Ashford Hospitality Trust, resigned voluntarily this week amid scrutiny over the funding but no details about the executive change have been made public.