Hilton terminates Pittsburgh flag, but hotel still using name

PITTSBURGH, PENNSYLVANIA Hilton Hotels & Resorts has terminated its franchise agreement with the owner of Hilton Pittsburgh, but the hotel says it will retain the name indefinitely.

The 712-key hotel has struggled with debt problems for several years, including a recent renovation project that was stalled for more than a year, leading to numerous creditor liens against owner Shubh Hotels Pittsburgh LLC.

In a statement, Hilton says Pittsburgh’s largest hotel violated the terms of its franchise license, but the company provided no further details. The termination takes effect immediately, and the property has already been removed from Hilton’s website.

However, a spokeswoman for the hotel tells Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that it will use the Hilton name indefinitely. “At this point in time, nothing has changed,” she says.

In response to Hilton’s action, Shubh issued a statement saying it has transferred control of the hotel to Dr. Kiran C. Patel, a Tampa cardiologist and philanthropist, who reportedly now owns 89% of the property, with Shubh owning the remaining stake. The hotel ownership says it is working with Hilton to resume the franchise.

Less than two weeks ago, Shubh fired management company Crescent Hotels & Resorts, claiming that Crescent had talked with Hilton about removing its name from the hotel, Post-Gazette reports.