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tombarnes

Walthall Hotel

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Walthall Files Chapter 11- Sale Possible

Earl Gaylor, who has owned the Edison Walthall since 1990, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. This isn't necessarily the end, but probably spells a sale in the near future. The bankruptcy itself is hardly a good thing, but the hotel needs some attention. There are a few issues created by the building's 1960s transmogrification into the Downtowner Motor Inn which have never been addressed- namely reconfiguring the rooms and getting rid of the remaining exterior corridors. This is partly due to a downturn in business, but more to the building itself. THe neighboring Marriott has done fairly well with its occupancy rates.

The Clarion Ledger

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2554780861_b99d0cfc88.jpg

The Walthall Hotel today..

The transformation of the building is painfully evident in this photograph. I'm not sure if it is possible for it to regain its true form. I'll try to find a photograph with the original facade. The little building with the blue tile roof is kind of neat though.

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Walthall's A/C Problems and Possible Sale....

The recent article detailing the air conditioning problems at the Walthall also mentioned the possibility of a sale. While this is not exactly news, it contradicts what I had heard last month when I was in Jackson. At that time, it was said that the hotel might be taken over by Earl gaylor's son, but the article distinctly mentions the possibility of a sale. The buyer will have a lot of work to do. I can't imagine staying in a hotel room in Jackson in July without air conditioning. To their credit, the hotel is nor selling rooms which have been affected by the cooling problems. Mare than anything, the need to undo the travesty of the 1960's remodeling presents a Herculean task for any new buyer. A proper restoration may be well beyond the abilities or funds of most prospective buyers. I'd still like to see something clever done with the place. Its location is excellent, and it's a good size for a project of this nature. All it will take is $$$....

The Clarion-Ledger

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Walthall Hotell SOLD!

The Robert Brothers have purchased the hotel and plans to spend 10 million in upgrades. The name of the hotel will change to Roberts Vista Hotel. The name sucks but atleast all employess gets to keep their jobs!

The Clarion Ledger

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I'm pleased to hear that the staff will get to keep their jobs (though they will have to reapply for them), but I wonder how far they honestly think they can go with just $10m. The building needs a major overhaul and more in order to work. Bright new furniture and a funny new name are not necessarily going to work. I have no doubt that the Roberts brothers have sound business acumen, but the building needs a lot of work even to be brought up to 3 star standards.

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The latest news I've herad regarding this project is that they Roberts brothers are seeking a national chain to run the hotel. This is probably a good thing, though I wonder what flag it could be. I could possibly see it become a Marriott Courtyard, especially with the Marriott around the corner. I also noticed this listing on BidClerk...

BidClerk

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Walthall to Receive $12m Renovation- Roberts Walthall

The Walthall Hotel will receive a $12m renovation and will be renamed the Roberts Walthall Hotel. The hotel is expected to be affiliated with Clarion Hotels. I'm not entirely sure that the choice of Clarion was a great one, but the renovation is surely needed. the hotel may, however, be part of the new Ascend group of historic hotels. This might work better. This can only be an improvement after years of deferred maintenance. The previous owners made a good stab at keeping the hotel in order but the building caught up with them. I hope that $12m is enough to bring it up to a better standard.

The Clarion-Ledger

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