Holiday inn

The owner of the former Holiday Inn will appear in court on Monday

After failing to deliver on his promise to demolish his abandoned hotel by the end of July, the owner of the former Holiday Inn on West Wackerly Street in Midland, Jeff Kern, is appearing in court again on Monday.

At approximately 3:15 p.m. on Monday, August 2, Kern, after flying in from his home state of California, will appear in the Midland County Courthouse for a review hearing regarding the abandoned hotel.

Midland City attorney Jim Branson said that even if Kern won’t meet the July deadline, he will begin the demolition process immediately.

So far, Kern has only removed copper from the building’s roof to expose areas of asbestos removal, Branson said. However, Kern received demolition permits on Tuesday, July 27 for the asbestos removal and demolition of the east portion of the building. It can start immediately, with the installation of demolition equipment at the site, Branson said.

Kern has yet to give a reason why he missed his July deadline, but will do so during the hearing, Branson said.

The city sued Kern in October 2020. Currently, he is being fined $1,000 for each day the building is not yet fully demolished, which has been accumulating for several months now. Branson said any change in sentencing is at the discretion of the judge.

The 142,500 square foot property became a Holiday Inn in January 1967 and remained so until 2009, when the hotel chain moved to a new building to the north, just across US-10.

Wackerly’s hotel eventually changed its name to Midland Resort and Convention Center and later to Midland Hotel. Kern purchased the property in January 2015, Branson said.

The property was in poor condition under Kern’s ownership in 2018, so the building was condemned for occupancy and use. Branson said the building lacked adequate fire suppression, security and sanitation. The interior of the building was also in poor condition, so Kern agreed to demolish the building, Branson said.

The Daily News reached out to Kern’s attorney for a statement about his building, but had not yet received a response by late Thursday afternoon.

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