- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

NATCHEZ, Miss. (AP) - The Natchez Eola Hotel has been sold and the new owner says he will no longer operate it as a hotel.

Virginiabased attorney Robert Lubin told The Natchez Democrat (https://bit.ly/1BwPFjl) that long-term plans include the continued operation of its first-floor restaurant and bar.

Lubin said the Eola purchase is part of a larger development plan he has for the area over the next 15 to 18 months.

“My experience with the hotel was I loved the hotel, and it is a beautiful building and a time piece and a classic,” Lubin said. “But the rooms were very small, the bathrooms were very hard to work with and no matter how many times you start over, it just doesn’t work very well for what people expect when they walk into a hotel and see how magnificent it is. They’re not as excited walking out as they were walking in.”

He said work to improve the building’s interior functions will begin early next year.

The restaurant and bar on the first floor will reopen in the future, he said.

“We definitely want to keep the bar and restaurant, because that is timeless,” Lubin said. “We don’t want to do anything that is going to be a negative impact on the area, and it is a great spot and we don’t want to change that.

“If you look at the building, you won’t notice the difference other than the interior is greatly improved,” he said. “We are making sure this building is there for the next 200 years, and that it remains the classic building of the South.”

The Eola has operated as a hotel under the same name since opening in 1927. It was named for the developer’s daughter.

A tornado in 1998 tore off the roof and most of the top floor of the seven-story building.

Former owner Bob Dean of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, restored the 131-room hotel after purchasing it in 1998.


Information from: The Natchez Democrat, https://www.natchezdemocrat.com/

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