According to LINK CEO, Joe Max Higgins, the dream of turning The Gilmer Inn into a “boutique hotel” will have to wait a little longer to become a reality. In a meeting between LINK board members and the mayor and city council, Higgins revealed that the LINK’s option on the property had expired.
Higgins said several chain hotels came and viewed the infamous local landmark but deemed the location less than ideal for a hotel of more than 20-30 rooms. Higgins estimated that a project of such magnitude would cost over 15 million dollars to get off the ground and any hotel would need a minimum of “88 to 90 rooms” to be financially successful. With one new hotel in Columbus and two more on the way, that simply wasn’t ideal for potential investors. The limited parking The Gilmer offers further lessened the appeal. He was quick to stress though that the hotel chains were “interested in the community but not the location.”
Higgins made the announcement said the LINK invested $30,000 for an option to buy the hotel at the LINK’s Quarterly Luncheon back in September. When the time expired without an investor committed to the project, Higgins said risking another $30,000 to extend the time line was too much of a gamble. According to Higgins, “The Gilmer project probably isn’t going to happen.”