Oakhurst Lodge under new ownership

The Oakhurst Lodge is under new ownership and is in the beginning stages of evaluation following the May 23 fire that destroyed 26 of the 62 rooms.

The hotel, located in the center of Oakhurst, has made few improvement following the fire but now under the ownership of First Citizens Bank is seeing a slew of changes.

First Citizen Bank obtained the property on a foreclosure and has hired a hands-on, marketing focused hotel operator and managing firm, Providence Hospitality Partners (PHP).

Based out of Colorado, PHP has handled numerous real estate owned properties and has extensive experience in managing and remodeling hotels in need of improvements.

David Storm, of PHP, said that they are excited about the opportunity to bring back to life a hotel that is such a integral part of the community.

“We want to be as transparent as possible.......and want to use as many local contractors as we can,” Storm said.“We are going to embrace the community and our goal is to be a respected citizen in the business community.”

To date, PHP has completed inventory of all the rooms at the Oakhurst Lodge and is analyzing the costs and improvements necessary to get the hotel up and running.

Improvements to the hotel include plumbing, landscaping, carpets cleaning, painting and numerous cosmetic works to the building itself.

After obtaining the contract at 11 a.m. Thursday Sept. 5, PHP got right to work and is already making changes.Providence Hospitality Partners has worked on REO projects all over the nation including projects as far east as New York and feels confident in restoring the hotel to operating form.

“In the last 12 years PHP has worked on 60 bank assignments.......we are coming in and have done this all over the country.”

”According to Storm the bank intends to sell the hotel after construction is complete and they can find a reasonable buyer.

Improvements to the hotel include plumbing, landscaping, room improvements carpets cleaning, painting and numerous cosmetic works to the building itself.

“We are in a way doing an assessment for the bank.....we are here to enhance to value of the assets”

Storm said he the company likes to take the approach of Secure, stabilize and promote and said although the hotel will not be completely finished he hopes to have a basis and enough completed to re-open in two to three weeks.