The Pine Mountain, Ga., resort has acquired the 149-unit property for an undisclosed price, with plans for a 10-month, $2.5 million renovation starting “almost immediately” that will touch all guest rooms, meeting rooms, public areas, restaurants and spa.
Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Ga., has purchased The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens, with plans for a $2.5 million renovation starting “almost immediately,” the Columbus, Ga., Ledger-Enquirer reported.
The resort did not disclose the price of the 149-unit property. President and CEO William R. Doyle III called the purchase a “historic moment” for Callaway Gardens, which has been struggling in recent years to get back on its feet financially due to debt it took on during the Great Recession, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
“Our founder, Cason J. Callaway, built the first hotel rooms in the 1950s to provide Gardens guests a place to stay with after-tax proceeds used to support the Gardens and its endeavors,” Doyle said. “The addition of The Lodge and Spa is a strategic move to further enhance the Gardens’ experience and solidify its future.”
The upscale lodging property was constructed through a partnership between Callaway Gardens and Atlanta-based Noble Investment Group, which financed the project, with the hotel opening in November 2006 under management by Noble. Rachel Crumbley, director of marketing and public relations, said the hotel will not entirely close at any time for renovation, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
“The planning stages of a 10-month renovation will begin almost immediately to include all guest rooms, meeting rooms, public areas, restaurants and spa,” Doyle said of the hotel, which includes suites, outdoor fireplaces, a restaurant and lounge, a swimming pool and a 13,000-sq. ft. facility dubbed “Spa Prunifolia.” The Lodge and Spa is certified as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Doyle, who succeeded Edward Callaway as CEO, was brought on board to turn Callaway Gardens around financially by restructuring elements of it and getting more people to visit the resort and stay in its lodging properties, which include Mountain Creek Inn, Southern Pine Cottages and Mountain Creek Villages. His first major moves included closing two of its signature attractions, the John A. Sibley Horticultural Center and Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden, last fall, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.
Founded in 1952, Callaway Gardens is a nature preserve-style resort with bicycling and walking trails, golf courses, a butterfly center, a large man-made beach on a lake, an educational visitor center, zip lines and obstacle courses. At its peak, prior to the recession’s start in 2007, the gardens drew about 1 million visitors a year, the Ledger-Enquirer reported.