Historic Eola Hotel cleared out, ready for new owners
Published 11:31 am Monday, December 8, 2014
NATCHEZ — The historic Eola Hotel in downtown Natchez has been cleared out and is awaiting its new owners.
All furnishings in the lobby, bar and other areas of the hotel were moved out Sunday evening.
Former Eola Manager Ron Brumfield said the new owners of the hotel were expected to arrive with new furnishings at 8 a.m. Monday, but hadn’t arrived as of the late morning.
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Virginia-based attorney Robert Lubin confirmed Monday he is purchasing the property.
Lubin declined to discuss exactly what he will do with the Eola, but said the building will no longer operate as a hotel. The restaurant and bar on the first floor will re-open in the future, he said.
“There are at least two other projects I have in mind for Natchez,” Lubin said. “This (purchase) is really all part of a plan for the next 15 to 18 months I have for Natchez where I have looked at apartments, looked at senior living and want to increase hotel rooms in Natchez.
Lubin said work to improve the building’s interior functions while preserving its historic nature will begin early next year.
Messages left with former owner Bob Dean’s office was not returned Monday.
Lubin is no stranger to Natchez or the Eola.
Lubin owned the hotel approximately two decades ago, purchasing it from current Mayor Butch Brown and other partners in 1994. Lubin later sold the hotel to Dean.
Most recently, Lubin was involved in bringing Magnolia Bluffs Casino to Natchez. He’s listed as executive director of Casino Holding Investment Partners LLC, the holding company for Natchez Casino OpC LLC, which went before the Mississippi Gaming Commission in 2012 to gain permission to open Magnolia Bluffs on Roth Hill.
Sources say Lubin plans for extensive renovations to the Pearl Street hotel, including potentially turning more than half the hotel into luxury condominiums.
Sources said Lubin expects to take over the hotel at the beginning of the year with construction set to be complete by January 2016.
Brumfield said he’ll move over to managing the Eola Guest House, which Dean owns along with the Prentiss Club building on Pearl Street.
Dean restored the Eola Hotel back to its original elegance after purchasing the historic hotel.