The Best Western Gateway Hotel, located in Barboursville, West Virginia, was constructed in 1954 with 18-rooms 2 and expanded ten years later with a 250-room wing, which is when the property became affiliated with the Holiday Inn franchise.4 A conference center was added in the mid-1980’s. Despite $200,000 in renovations during the year, the Holiday Inn franchise was pulled on April 1, 1997 1 and the hotel became affiliated with Best Western on October 1 of that year.
On June 28, 2001, the 208-room Best Western Gateway Inn closed after years of financial troubles that dated back to October 27, 1997.1
The Gateway Motel and Restaurant, who owned the Gateway hotel, and the Booten Realty Company, who owned the conference center, filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors. The Booten family owned both companies under the Booten Reality Company 5 and the case was filed soon after receiving a note on the properties on October 1. Unable to pay, Booten filed for bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure. In 1999, the Booten family, which operated the Booten Reality Company, lost control of the hotel and conference center after two decades of ownership.5 A federal bankruptcy trustee on October 13 appointed John Todia of the Waterford Hotel Group as the trustee of the hotel and conference center after two years of the property being held up in bankruptcy court.
Mark Davis, a Barboursville chiropractor, purchased the hotel with plans to transform the property into another function.1 Davis stated that the hotel was four miles between interchanges on Interstate 64, and there were newer lodging options closer to the interstate. Davis had proposed a residential and retirement community. The conference center, which was on the western fringe of the hotel property, had been purchased a year prior by Fred Davis of Davis Chrysler-Jeep. The parking lot was being used to sell used automobiles.
A public auction was held on August 24 and 25, 2001 with more than 2,000 items up for bids.2 Items from cups to cash registers to carpets and ceiling tiles were sold. The largest item up for bid was the original 18-room hotel building that was constructed in 1954; 225-room expansion was sold separately.
Renovations on the former hotel site began in August 2001.3 The $15 million development included demolition of the front of the hotel complex into a 15-store shopping center. Two hotel buildings on the western and southern boundaries were to be converted into 66 one- and two-bedroom condos. An additional 12 to 14 units would be constructed above the indoor pool in the hotel’s colonial building. The shopping center and half of the retirement community was completed in August 2002 as part of Phase One. Phase two included the construction of the remainder of the retirement community and was completed in 2004.
As part of the project, a walking track, fishing dock, picnic area and shuffleboard platforms were constructed along the Guyandotte River.3 A courtyard surrounded by the condos include two tennis courts, putting greens, a picnic area and a garden.