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Willis Park Hotel hosts grand opening, live auction benefit

The Willis Park Hotel hosted their grand opening on Thursday night, where a live auction was held with proceeds benefiting Bainbridge High School senior Amelia McCullough, who suffered a spinal cord injury during a car accident last spring.

Willis Park Hotel owners Heather and Tyler Thomas were thrilled with the turnout to not only support their boutique hotel venture, but also a good cause.

“We raised around $13,000 and the equipment McCullough needed was approximately $15,000, so she will be able to purchase that now,” Heather said. “We were really happy with that.”

Heather was thankful for the people who donated items out of the goodness of the heart and the people in the community who came to bid on the live auction items, along with several people who attended from out of town.

“We knew we were going to have a lot of people, so we wanted to use that opportunity for good,” she said.

The opportunity for good resonated with many locals and visitors, who turned out in the masses, leaving Heather speechless.

“I thought it went really well,” Heather said. “We announced the grand opening date a week prior and we had a great turnout; it’s awesome, we never anticipated that many people showing up.”

The hotel project marks the end of a three-year long journey for Heather and Tyler.

However, it was all worthwhile, as guests could see all the intricate details and craftsmanship put in to restore the historic building.

“It’s everything I imagined it would be and more,” Heather said. “I think it really took a countless number of people to make this come to fruition.”

Heather said the space couldn’t have been made complete without the help of all the vendors and artisans who used their talents to envision something and bring it to life.

“We saw the space and imagined its potential, but I think it’s more beautiful than we even thought it could be,” she said.

Guests also noticed the hotel’s beauty and believe it makes others feel as if they are not in Bainbridge anymore.

“A lot of travelers nowadays, especially post COVID-19 are doing more staycations and just weekend travels,” Heather said. “We wanted people who may not travel as far, but are staying here, to feel like they had gone somewhere.”

The hotel also offers a number of experiences that make guests feel like they are living the life of luxury.

“We can cater to you,” Heather said. “We have hair masks, face masks, shower infusions, body scrubs, so even if you wanted a staycation, you can come here and have this experience and feel like you are elsewhere.”

The first group of guests, who checked in Monday night, are already enjoying the experience.

The group, who is from all corners of the United States met up as a group and rented the entire hotel for three nights.

Heather said the first evening they had a catered meal by The American in the board room, which seemed to be enjoyed by all.

Heather said she loves the fact the rooms were all booked by a group, because it creates for a more intimate experience and allows everyone to hang out together on the balcony or in the board room.

“They said they really loved the space and everything is very beautiful, which made us feel really good,” Heather said.

For those who are interested in also booking a stay at the Willis Park Hotel, visit the Willis Park Hotel’s booking website  https://hotels.cloudbeds.com/reservation/B512KS?fbclid=IwAR2-p9dy-LCNkcc–oefRgzpa-IOFEwLj32w1cSPcLQP2hgTO9-C7FU7xY0#checkin=2021-08-11&checkout=2021-08-12

Heather said the hotel currently has bookings through March, with several weekends still available.