Hotel Mona Lisa says that the shutdown is temporary

Tax officials closed down a luxury San José hotel Wednesday, but a spokesman for the management said that the business will reopen in five days.

The hotel is the Mona Lisa in Barrio Otoya. The property seems to get a close eye from the Dirección General de Tributación.

When it was called the Clarion, tax investigator shut is down for more than a year.

The  current owner, Tom Lustgraaf. of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, acquired the property in the wake of the Clarion’s tax problems. His crews spent a year fixing up the structure for a reopening under the Mona Lisa name last January.

Guy Grand, who occupies a management role at the hotel, said via email that the problem with taxes stems from 2009. He said he was in California and had contacted  Lustgraaf about the problem.

The property with 93 guest rooms is at the corner of  Avenida 11 and Calle 3 Bis. It is characterized as a gentlemen friendly operation and has become known for the poker operations there. There also is a casino and restaurant.

Spanish-language television made much of the tax agency’s action. Some may consider such actions very close to tax deadline as coincidences. But Tributación periodically staged highly publicized sweeps. Annual tax returns are due Monday in Costa Rica for the period from October 2012 to September 2013.

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