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Friday, Aug 17, 2018
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Red Rose Inn owners vow to repay their debts

PLANT CITY - The owners of the Red Rose Inn and Suites say their farms will remain in operation while they work their way through bankruptcy proceedings and repay their debts. Evelyn and Batista Madonia Sr. said in a written statement that they filed for protection to gain time to replant and rebuild. The statement was released through East Coast Brokers and Packers, a company they own. The statement blames their troubles on “environmental events, causing huge crop and financial losses.” “The Madonia Family will be 100 percent up and running over the next 24 months to continue our family tradition of providing America's finest produce products and clearing up our debts to our creditors. We are not dumping our property, our company, our processing plants, or our incredible labor force or our family traditions -- now or ever.”
The Madonias filed last week for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection for themselves and three companies they own, including one that formerly operated the Red Rose. Their statement didn't mention the fate of the shuttered hotel and a family spokesman couldn't be immediately reached for comment. The Madonias are best known for their ownership of the Red Rose, which closed in May. Television commercials for the Red Rose featuring the red-haired Evelyn Madonia dressed in elbow-length gloves and sequined dresses made her a celebrity around the Tampa Bay area. The couple also owns a multimillion dollar farming business in Florida and other states. The bankruptcy petitions listed total liabilities between more than $53 million and $130 million, and assets in the same range. They listed hundreds of creditors. Their statement said the family intends to “carry forth a 50-year family farming tradition as well as pay our financial obligations. Period.” [email protected] (813) 394-5103 Twitter: @dnicholsonTrib
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