Updates on proposed Willis Park Hotel shared at Rotary Club

Published 3:49 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Tyler and Heather Thomas were guests of the Bainbridge Rotary Club this week as their plans for developing a new luxury downtown hotel and café’ were explained.

The two who opened a new restaurant, American, on the square nearly two years ago, have now ventured into another revitalization project.

Tyler explained how they saw so much potential in making Bainbridge a destination city that after they had the restaurant up and running successfully they decided to take on the hotel project.

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They purchased the upstairs of the building on the northeast corner of the intersection of Broad and Water Streets with the goal of creating a comfortable, luxurious downtown lodging.

The couple originally had expectations of opening in November; but their plans have been delayed somewhat by the hurricane that has tied up most contractors.

Tyler told Rotary he now has multiple contractors working on the building and he is hopeful of getting open in time for the holidays.

Plans are to have six units, some of them with more than one room. They want to be able to sleep between 22 and 28 people, and be accommodating for families and those with physical handicaps.

An elevator will be installed to provide access to the second floor. While the main entrance will be off Broad Street, there will also be a key-code entrance next to the museum for convenience of the lodgers.

The Café’ Sinclair will be open to the public and will provide hand made pastries and bagels. Thanks to the American, lodgers will also have access to room service.

The couple wants to restore the exterior of the building to the original character by adding a covered walkway all around the front, complete with an upstairs balcony.

Asked by a Rotarian if this would mean any changes to the Museum located below, Tyler answered they may need to relocate trees to install the covered walkway.

Also asked about parking, he said the city is working on developing a parking lot nearby.

As the couple plans to have the main entrance on Broad Street, they expressed thankfulness to all of those, including Doug Young who have jumped in to revitalize the buildings across the street.