Time to put faith in new Eola owner?

Published 12:05 am Wednesday, December 10, 2014

For longtime Natchezians, the news of the closing of The Eola stings a bit.

The iconic building in downtown Natchez, in addition to being a favorite among tourists, has been the setting for many holiday dinners, wedding receptions and community gatherings.

Many Natchez natives have fond memories of time spent with family and friends at The Eola. Just the mention of the former River Roads Lounge, which operated for many years in The Eola, brings a smile to the face of many older Natchezians.

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As a community, we have no choice but to trust that new owner, Virginia-based attorney Robert Lubin, has the best interest of our old hotel at heart.

While Lubin’s plans seem incomplete now, he said on Monday The Eola will no longer function as a hotel. That’s bittersweet news for many.

Instead, it seems Lubin is considering transforming The Eola into luxury condominiums or senior citizen housing.

Lubin did say he plans to reopen The Eola’s restaurant and bar, and that’s welcome news.

Now is not the first time The Eola closed its doors. The hotel, which opened here in 1927, closed for about four years beginning in 1974 before it was purchased and renovated, opening again as a luxury hotel.

The building suffered extensive damage from a tornado in 1998, but was renovated again to its original splendor.

New Eola owner Lubin said this week, “I love Natchez.”

We hope he remembers that as he makes decisions that affect the crown jewel of downtown Natchez.