Pantall Hotel advertised for sale after mortgage foreclosure

By Larry McGuire, Of The Spirit

PUNXSUTAWNEY — The mortgage foreclosure of the Pantall Hotel in Punxsutawney is now being advertised in area newspapers and the Legal Journal for the purpose of selling the property. Jefferson County Sheriff Carl Gotwald said the foreclosure came as a result of the Abandoned and Blighted Buildings Act. Gotwald pointed out that it's something that the state legislators wrote and was updated. "It doesn't actually specify what goes on in the sale; it says what has to be done (for one) to become the conveyor, which goes to the judge," he said.

"We served Mike Weaver (the owner of the Pantall Hotel). We had to give him a date for him to vacate the hotel and to take whatever he wanted out of there," Gotwald also said the lien holder, Dennis Rodriguez, took possession of the building, and under the rules, he had to make it non-accessible because it was broken into. "That is why all the windows and doors have plywood over them and the door locks were changed and the inside of the building is cleaned right now," he said.

"From the time that the writ was signed we have to hold the sale within 60 days," Gotwald said. "We had set a date of Feb. 14 to sell it, but we've changed that, because we had to advertise it and changed it to March 5, 2020, for a sheriff's sale." He added that they're going to advertise it for three consecutive weeks, and the attorney overseeing the process decides which publications it’s advertised in, not the Sheriff's Department, and that they'll discuss advertising in other publications in addition to the Legal Journal. "The reason that Rodriguez never foreclosed on the owner before was because he never wanted to put it up for sale without having a buyer," he said.

Gotwald pointed out that they are doing a quick sale because there's a buyer, and he added that this type of foreclosure is all new to him. "We might be overdoing it, but I'd rather overdo it than have it come back against me. ... Following the quick sale, it will become property of a new owner, who could possibly renovate it and do something with it," Gotwald said.

Weaver did not answer a phone call from The Spirit, and no voicemail option was available.