For Whom The Belle Tolls

The Philadelphia Belle

Once again, the power of the press has prompted a wealthy company to do right by the little people who trusted their money to it.

And once again, that wealthy company is CI Travel. Last December, the Norfolk, Va.-based outfit brought to Philly the Philadelphia Belle, a restaurant/catering paddleboat operation, docked at Penn's Landing, that went belly-up within six months.

The closing left many customers high and dry, none of whom could get answers from CI Travel about if or when they'd be reimbursed the thousands of dollars they'd paid in advance for events (weddings, fundraisers, group outings) aboard the Belle. Once I wrote about the fiasco in the Daily News, however (click here and here),  customers got their money back. Which begs the question: Why does it take the intervention of the media for fat-cats to do right by the little people whose money they've taken?

Anyway, I thought I was done writing about the Belle, until the good people at The Center in the Park asked for help in getting a $1,640 refund from CI Travel for the fees paid by elderly Center members on fixed incomes. Lo and behold, after my story appeared, the Center was reimbursed.

Thank heavens the Daily News uses this magic wand only for good.

Alas, I can do nothing for the Belle's vendors, including Linens of the Week, which is owed ten grand, spokesman Shelton Marchman tells me. Last week, the company received this form letter (PDF), sharing the news that the Belle was out of money and would not be paying any of its creditors. It directed vendors to contact Norfolk attorney Lawrence Glanzer with any questions but included only a P.O. address for them to do so. 

Gosh, CI Travel, could you make it any harder for those you've screwed to find you?

So, for what it's worth, below is contact info for Glanzer. I provide it not just for vendors who want answers but for customers who've not yet contacted me about their financial losses. I'm getting weary of doing CI Travel's work for them. At least, I presume, Glanzer's firm is getting paid. 

Glanzer can be reached at 757-383-7937 and