The Autoport’s owners have been fighting off foreclosure and auction since last year, declaring bankruptcy in April to have a fighting chance to save Pennsylvania’s oldest motel.
Eight months later, Gregory and Lynda Mussi have sold the motel nearly a decade after they purchased the landmark business in 2006.
Pennsylvania’s oldest motel was sold to South Atherton Real Estate 1 for $2.1 million, according to documents filed with the United States Bankruptcy Court of the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
That company has an address listed as 356 Laurens Road in Montoursville, Pa., which is the location of Gregory Welteroth Advertising. The company was not able to comment on the sale, but court documents do show that they purchased all physical property — including food equipment, furnishings, and the liquor license — as well as the “Autoport” name, so it stands to reason that the motel might just remain a motel under the new ownership.
“I can confirm that the Autoport is closed and secured as of today,” said Kevin Kassab, health officer with the borough. “As to when it might reopen or if it will reopen, I’m not sure.”
On Monday, people could be seen tearing items off the walls within the motel, which now appears to be closed for business — including the attached restaurant, Clem’s, and the attached bar, Toast.
The sale agreement states that “closing and settlement shall take place on or before April 30, 2016,” leaving some ambiguity as to the timing of the Autoport’s potential reopening.
The Autoport appeared on reality television show “Hotel Impossible” in 2014, a show that attempts to assist hotels that are struggling to keep them afloat. The Mussis receive some relief from their bank after the show aired, getting an extra few months to turn things around, but they were unable to do so, leading to the initial bankruptcy filing.
The owners had racked up $1.4 million in debt and were facing foreclosure at the time, nearing a sheriff’s sale that would have auctioned off the property before the bankruptcy filing provided some extra time.
Greg Mussi said in April that at least two investors had expressed interest in buying into the Autoport. Whether or not either of those investors were Gregory Welteroth Advertising, which purchased the business this week, is an unknown.
Greg and Lynda Mussi were unable to be reached for comment on the sale.