Money troubles also rampant for Hotel Hot Springs sister property

Financial troubles previously exposed by Channel 7 at the Hotel Hot Springs appear to be an issue as well at their sister-hotel in Desha County. (Photo: KATV)

It appears money troubles being experienced at a Hot Springs hotel are also being felt at a sister hotel located more than a hundred miles away in southeast Arkansas - all allegedly stemming from the owner's inability to meet his financial obligations.

Last week, KATV exposed issues at the Hotel Hot Springs, noting an overdue water bill, delays in paying advertising & promotions taxes and trouble paying its employees on time, according to a former employee and city officials. But a Channel 7 investigation has revealed there are even more people seeking money from Hotel Hot Springs owner Gary Gibbs.

According to a lawsuit filed in February, food-supplier Sysco, claims Gibbs and one of his dozens of LLC's owes the company nearly $30,000.

Another complaint filed in Garland County Circuit Court in November 2017 shows that elevator company ThyssenKrupp has placed a nearly $190,000 lien on HHS and Gibbs' LLC for failure to pay for parts and labor in renovations of the hotel's three elevator shafts.

But HHS isn't the only hotel Gibbs owns in Arkansas. Miles away in Tillar is the Delta Resort and Spa. According to Vaughta Glover, Desha County Tax Collector, Gibbs owes roughly $100,000 in delinquent property taxes on the land Delta Resort is on.

"It's been several years - 2015 since we collected some taxes on some of the property," said Glover.

Glover said several parcels, including the hotel and Gibbs personal residence at Delta Resort, have been certified with the Commissioner of State Lands office and are set to be put up for auction in April 2020 if payments aren't made - payments Glover said are crucial.

"That does go to our schools, our cities and county," said Glover.

According to Glover, the Arkansas Tax Collectors Association has planned to hold their annual meeting at Delta Resort in April 2017, but claims she urged the association to cancel their reservation. Glover said it wasn't fair to give them business considering the amount the owner owes in back taxes.

Upstairs from Glover's office, Gibbs faces a 2017 lawsuit filed in Desha County Circuit Court. The suit filed by Pawlawski Sports alleges a breach of contract in the amount of $30,000 for sponsorship and advertising on a outdoor sporting show.

"This is a person whose businesses are upside down and who is in danger of not being able to meet his obligations," said John Bell, deputy prosecuting attorney for Woodruff County.

Bell said Gibbs' business dealings may be one thing, but he's gone as far as calling the hotelier a "scam artist" and alleges elder abuse in a letter he sent to the attention of the Arkansas Attorney General and officials in Tennessee.

Bell was contacted by relatives of a former Woodruff County resident who now resides in Brentwood, Tennessee, alleging Gibbs took advantage of their elderly aunt. According to the letter Bell sent to officials in Arkansas and Tennessee, the 83-year-old woman with dementia apparently met Gibbs in church and forged a relationship where she felt comfortable loaning him money.

At the time the letter was sent in May, Gibbs had secured $175,000 in loans from the retired real-estate agent. Bell claims the amount of money loaned has approached close to $290,000 now.

"He signed loan papers that indicated that he would repay her the money she loaned him," said Bell. "But as far as we all know, a long is only as good as the borrower's ability to repay."

"And as far as we can tell, Mr. Gibbs is absolvent and has no ability to repay."

Bell said the Arkansas Attorney General's office has launched an investigation and has notified the FBI to the elder abuse allegations.

KATV reached out to Gary Gibbs multiple times for comment, leaving voicemails that have gone unreturned.

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