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At the Pere Marquette, everything must go

Published: Friday, April 13, 2012 1:21 p.m. CDT

PEORIA (MCT) — When officials with the Hotel Pere Marquette said everything's for sale, they pretty much meant everything.

Want an escalator and have a way to get it out of the shuttered hotel? Monte Brannan, a partner with EM Properties, quipped on Thursday it could be yours for a cool $50,000. If that is too rich for your tastes, then consider couches, sofas, TVs, plates and even toilet seats.

It's all on the market as EM Properties and Mid American Salvage LLC throws a liquidation sale that starts at 10 a.m. Friday and will run to 6 p.m. every day until all the items are gone, said Jane Pushee, of Mid American Salvage.

Cash or cashier's check is the only way to pay, and items must be removed immediately, unless it is very large. Then a person has a day or so to get it out. Those seeking bargains can enter the hotel through the parking deck on Madison Avenue.

"I am really excited for this sale," Pushee said, whose company has held similar sales across the country. "Look at those pictures and mirrors. You could not buy the frames for what we are pricing the pictures at."

The hotel's ballrooms and meeting rooms are packed with furniture and other items. One room, tucked off in a corner, has dozens of televisions. Another offers up ash trays, toilet seats, new smoke alarms and even a mop bucket. On the first floor, where the bar and restaurant were, dozens upon dozens of linens, towels and comforters are stacked and ready for sale.

There also will be a silent auction for things in the Cheminee Room located near the hotel's front desk. In that room are several pieces of furniture, a few pieces of art and what Pushee said could be the last original door from the Pere Marquette. Bids will be taken through Sunday evening, and winners will be notified, Pushee said.

"We found this door in the basement. It was still hanging at the engineering office," she said, admiring the ornate door knob.

Developer Gary Matthews, EM's president, said most of the historic items will remain, including some of the fixtures and paintings in the ballrooms, but everything else must go.

"Marriott is the 900-pound gorilla and they don't like to use used furniture," he said.

The sale could bring in about $300,000, officials say, but most of that will to go cover the cost of the sale as well as pay for Mid-America Salvage.

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©2012 the Journal Star (Peoria, Ill.)

Visit the Journal Star (Peoria, Ill.) at www.PJStar.com

Distributed by MCT Information Services

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