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Former congressional candidate Jim Graves sells St. Cloud hotel

Jim Graves, the hotel magnate who came close to beating Congresswoman Michele Bachmann in the 6th District race earlier this month, says his company has sold the Le St. Germain Hotel in St. Cloud.

The St. Cloud Times report that Graves Hospitality Corp. sold the eight-story building for $6.2 million to a company controlled by Jeff Lamont, whose Lamont Cos. owns two other St. Cloud area hotels.

The sale closed within the last week, and the hotel will become a Courtyard Suites by Marriott, the paper said. The new owner has applied for a liquor license.

Graves lost to Bachmann by just more than 4,000 votes and put in more than $500,000 of his own money into the campaign. His fundraising total of about $1.5 million, while Bachmann spent more than $19 million on the race.

He said after the election that he didn’t regret not putting more of his money into the race:

“I made a commitment not to self fund. We knew we were neck and neck and maybe some more money could have pushed us over the edge. But I felt like I needed to stick to my promise.”

Graves told the St. Cloud paper that the hotel sale was a business decision:

“They approached us awhile back and were interested in doing an upgrade to the property. We weren’t concerned with selling one way or the other but, in business, you do things from time to time. There are tax implications if you hold an asset for a long period of time and that figured in.”

Graves grew up in St. Cloud and founded the AmericInn hotel chain, before starting Graves Hospitality, which runs luxury hotels including the Graves 601 Hotel in Minneapolis.

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