Current owner Charles Williams Jr. has confirmed that he has a sales contract for the long vacant property and expects to close on the sale within the next two months.
Williams, who declined to identify the purchaser, said that it is a local hotel group that would bring a recognizable brand to the property, which has been empty since 2009.
Preliminary plans, according to Williams, are to reopen the facility as a hotel and conference center. He said the developers are aware of, and undeterred, by the city’s efforts to attract a full service hotel to the West Third Street area of downtown Rome.
Rome businessman David Doss leads the Samson Developers group that is seeking to bring a Courtyard by Marriott to the Oostanaula River levee location. Doss said he was not familiar with plans to re-open the Skytop site.
The hotel was built by Rome’s Dr. Walter Hackett and opened as a Holiday Inn in 1983 and was expanded several times through the years.
In 2006 the property was sold to YW Hospitality, which operated the property as a Ramada Inn in 2008. The hotel closed a year later.
The Garrison Investment Group AG in New York revealed plans in the spring of 2010 to re-open the hotel, but that never happened even though the New York group invested a large amount of money cleaning up the property.
Williams acquired the property through an online auction a year ago. He said renovations to the property would be substantial.
Lisa Smith, executive director of the Greater Rome Convention and Visitors Bureau, said one of the two buildings on the south side of the Skytop campus was essentially gutted of all furnishings and would not be usable without a major investment. She also said the last on-site owners, YW Hospitality, converted a number of guest rooms into suites for personal residential use at the time.
“We’re not sure how many rooms are actually left,” Smith said. “When that property closed it was a major loss of inventory and meeting space. It would be nice to be able to have it back in the capacity that Rome deserves for a meeting space and additional rooms.”