City Tropics owner Anthony Ruccatano tells TMZ, Patricia Krentcil's extremely dark tan is more likely from a special sponge-on tan used by bodybuilders -- and it was NOT provided by City Tropics.
Anthony claims, "On stage [bodybuilders] look normal because the lights are so bright, but when they come outside it looks like tree bark." He adds, Patricia looks like she was "dipped in chocolate."
Anthony says Patricia paid $99 a month for unlimited tanning treatments at his facility -- tanning approximately 20-25 times a month.
Anthony also tells us, to the best of his knowledge ... Patricia's 5-year-old daughter was sitting in a car with her father the day she was allegedly burned on a tanning bed. Anthony previously told other media outlets the girl was in the building, just not in the tanning room.
As far as a Tanning Mom ban goes -- Anthony says, "I don't know if that's legal to do. So I wouldn't do it."