Word of Eola Hotel project good news here

Published 8:28 pm Thursday, August 19, 2021

In the midst of a pandemic, Natchez has continued to make progressive steps to bring more businesses to the city.

Community leaders and members have also worked to revitalize and restore historic buildings in their economic development plan.

Thursday’s announcement of a planned reopening of the Eola Hotel, built in 1927, is one of the best examples of what Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson calls the “Natchez renewal.”

Towering above downtown, the Eola Hotel has sat vacant, a constant reminder of better days, since it ceased operation in 2014.

Now, developers plan to break ground on the restoration project within the first quarter of 2022.

A big thank you goes to the Fry family and Walter Davis, who donated their building to the city to create a parking garage for the development. There is no doubt they are a major factor in this project happening.

Gibson is also planning to meet with Gov. Tate Reeves and representatives of Velocys to discuss the company’s plan for a potential $1 billion investment in Natchez. It could be the “largest deal in our history,” he said.

Natchez has collected $500,000 in sales tax revenue each month since April with Fall Pilgrimage just around the corner. Business seems to be booming again and there is a forecast for more growth.

Eola’s development has been nicknamed project phoenix because the hotel is supposed to rise from the ashes. As a city, Natchez has undergone a project phoenix of its own.

“Our best days are yet upon us and better days still lie ahead,” Gibson said.

A spirit of growth is flowing in the city and that alone is a reason to celebrate.