Hotel seeks money from Groove

A local hotel has taken legal action against the Augusta Groove for unpaid bills.

The Quality Inn and Suites on Claussen Road in Augusta filed the claim against Groove co-owner Gary Perry and the team in Richmond County Magistrate Court on Feb. 12 for $15,000, according to court records.

Linda Gregory, the hotel's general manager, said she received two separate payments from the Groove to cover portions of the outstanding bill, but both checks bounced.

"He has written us two worthless checks for $7,500 each for his team's stay in rooms at our motel," Gregory said. "He's going around and using everybody in town and taking advantage of them."

Perry denied that the checks bounced.

"That's not true," he said. "The check was stopped because of what happened at the hotel. I know they're going to have their side of it, but it was unsafe for our players to stay there, so we left.

"They were upset about certain things, and we were upset about certain things. We'll take care of it."

Members of the team stayed at the hotel from Dec. 13 through Jan. 21, according to the hotel's assistant general manager, Margaret Broadwater.

Those players and staff are now staying at the Partridge Inn, and Gregory said her hotel is done accommodating local sports teams.

"No more sports groups," she said. "I'm tired of it."

The suit was filed two days after multiple Groove players acknowledged signs of financial trouble within the team, including the fact that they had not received full payment for games played this season.

The same offense resulted in the Premier Basketball League revoking the membership of the Montreal Sasquatch on Feb. 5.

Carrie Ann May, director of league operations for the PBL, said the recent reports of financial problems within the Augusta Groove have prompted an investigation by the league.

"They're planning a conference call (today) to go over what's been coming into the league office," May said Tuesday.

Reach Billy Byler at (706) 823-3216 or billy.byler@augustachronicle.com.

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