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Giannaris sells Four Points for $7.4 million

November 16, 2006|by ERIN JULIUS

HAGERSTOWN - Longtime local philanthropist Nicholas Giannaris sold Four Points By Sheraton Hagerstown to Watchwood LLC for $7.4 million this month, according to documents from the Donohoe Hotel Advisory Group/Corfac International, the firm that brokered the deal.

Giannaris, known by some as "Saint Nicholas," was president and owner of the hotel, where he hosted "Christmas with Nick" for 17 years. He ended the annual holiday dinner after the 2002 event because of his failing health due to Parkinson's disease.

Giannaris and his wife, Tina, took on the hotel in 1980.

Giannaris also is co-owner of Nick's Airport Inn, which he opened after buying the restaurant property in 1961.

There are no plans to sell the popular restaurant, said Nick Giannaris' son, Paul Giannaris.

The Sheraton's new owners plan to renovate its public areas and upgrade the restaurant and lounge, and Guests Inc. will professionally manage the hotel, according to the brokerage firm.

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The hotel's 108 rooms recently were renovated.

Mike Callas is staying on as the Sheraton's general manager, according to Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The Sheraton is a "top hotel in our area," Riford said.

It is the host hotel for Saturday's 44th annual JFK Ultramarathon and ESPN2 crews are staying there this week while covering the race, Riford said.

The sale has been in negotiations since April, said Charlotte Seale, spokeswoman for the brokerage firm.

"Nick was offered a purchase price that made sense," said Charles Tiches, his son-in-law.

"Nick has always run the Sheraton as community-minded as anyone could possibly run a business," Tiches said.

Giannaris enjoyed hosting "Christmas with Nick," where he served as many as 1,500 people who could not afford Christmas dinner at the Sheraton, as much as anything, said George Turner, who helped organize the annual meal.

Giannaris also hosted the annual fundraiser, "An Evening with Nick," which has raised more than $500,000 for local nonprofits.

The Sheraton opened in 1970.

"Nick has been able to sell the hotel to a good ownership team," Riford said. "The high quality that the hotel has been known for will continue."

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