Although the sale of the 79-year-old Clermont Hotel was recently finalized, its new owners say they plan to keep everything just as it is for the foreseeable future.
So, yes, Blondie still has a job, says Danny Glesman, vice president of marketing for Inman Park Properties, the Atlanta redevelopment firm that snapped up the Clermont when it went on the market about three months ago.
Because the company probably is best known for converting historic intown buildings into lofts and office space, Glesman says rumors are rampant that the Clermont is headed toward the same future. Not so, he says.
"Right now, we have no plans on changing it from a hotel," he explains.
In fact, he says, the company has even kept the same hotel staff in place, including manager Susan Blauvelt. Which may seem a tad odd, considering Blauvelt is the daughter of longtime Clermont owner Lillian Loudermilk and that the hotel is no longer a family business.
Glesman, however, concedes that his firm is hoping to introduce the hotel to a few modern accounting practices and even plans to change its practice of operating on a cash-only basis.
"One of our first initiatives will be to begin accepting credit cards -- for better or worse," he says. "We're still getting to know the beast."
As Inman Park Properties president Jeff Notrica becomes more familiar with his new acquisition, he'll decide when and how to renovate the property, Glesman says. But any immediate changes probably will be limited to replacing the carpets and mattresses, while retaining that unique, um, Clermont flavor.
Meanwhile, the popular lounge will stay right where it is.
"It's been on a month-to-month lease for 30 years," Glesman says. "That's how Miss Loudermilk kept it on a short leash."
The biggest surprise for the new owners were the building's two full floors below street level, which occurred decades ago when Ponce de Leon was widened and raised.
"We had wondered why a large hotel would have such a crummy lobby," Glesman says. "Now we think the lobby may originally have been on a different floor."
yeah, because Grant Park is miles away and isn't a park
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