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Queen Mary in financial trouble again

January 17, 2009 |  9:48 am

The Queen Mary hit a financial iceberg a few years ago, and then it seemed that things were getting better. But it looks as if the recession is hitting the boat again, according to the Press-Telegram:

Save the Queen LLC, the development company that took over the Queen Mary's lease in November 2007, is facing financial difficulties and could be forced to relinquish its stake in the ship.

An advertisement for a sale of Save the Queen's interest in the iconic ship's lease was placed Friday in the Wall Street Journal by the company's primary partner, Garrison Investment Group. The sale is scheduled to take place Jan. 28 in New York City.

Save the Queen managing partner Jeff Klein said Friday that his company hadn't been able to hold up its end of the investment partnership because his partner in Save the Queen, Mountain Valley residential developer Tom Hix, had financial issues.

The situation is an internal matter among the companies that partnered to buy the Queen Mary's lease, primarily Save the Queen and Garrison, Klein said.

The Queen Mary was hailed as the answer to downtown Long Beach's problems when it arrived decades ago. But it struggled to survive as a tourist attraction (though "Titanic" helped). One idea has been to develop the land around the boat. The new financial woes could end up being another headache for city officials.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: L.A. Times file