Changes at Jackson Park Inn are announced

The Jackson Park Inn (JPI) in Pulaski today announced plans to renovate and upgrade its hotel facilities.

JPI opened in 2015 as an independent boutique hotel, an artful renovation of an historic building located at 68 First Street NW in downtown Pulaski.  Locally known as the Dunnivant Building and originally constructed in the 1920’s, the building was originally a cannery and grocery warehouse.

The hotel currently has 32 rooms and suites located on the second and third floors of the building, with the first floor housing the lobby area, restaurant and meeting areas.

In 2021, JPI joined the Choice Hotels franchise family as part of the Ascend Hotel Collection.  As the luxury segment of the Choice brands (which include Comfort Inn, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn, Clarion and MainStay Suites), Ascend members are hotels of historic or local distinction with unique character and architecture, but still able to participate in the popular Choice Rewards and other franchise programs to promote local gem hotels as part of a national chain.

Recognized for its massive interior beams and exposed brick walls, Jackson Park Inn was an ideal fit for the Ascend Collection.  Booking demand has been overwhelming since joining the Choice chain in November, leading hotel ownership to look at new ways to improve the hotel’s offerings.

“With limited space and no area to expand the building’s overall footprint, the tough decision has been made to shrink restaurant operations and dedicate much of the building’s first floor to additional hotel rooms” announced Shelor Companies’ CFO Missy Gentry.

“There has always been some conflict operating a busy restaurant and a hotel in the same small space.  We found ourselves always making some sort of compromise … primarily limiting the restaurant’s hours and events to control the noise level for the rooms above.  As the hotel has become much busier, with most guests checking in around the dinner hour, parking has become a real problem too.  Unfortunately it is simply time to choose which part of the operations to prioritize and the hotel wins out.  We feel it is important for every town to have a quality hotel for both corporate and leisure travel, and we want to be the most unique and outstanding hotel in the New River Valley region.  Earlier this summer the restaurant operated for a limited time in the front bar/lounge area and the experiment went very well.  We were able to serve our hotel guests and still accommodate a lot of local traffic for dinner.  We will make this the permanent arrangement, with the same great food and beverage quality we have provided since 2015 just a smaller version.”

Management does not intend to eliminate any jobs, instead will likely expand its workforce as the hotel continues to grow in popularity.

Full details of the renovation will be shared upon completion of the architectural plans, but the scope of work includes an expanded lobby, modern breakfast service area, fitness center, outdoor lounge area and potentially a swimming pool.  Existing rooms are also slated for a facelift with new floorcoverings, furnishings and décor.

Changes to the restaurant format will take place immediately, with building renovations scheduled to begin later this year.

-J.W. Martin