VERSAILLES, Ohio (WDTN) — It’s the end of an era in Darke County as demolition on the Inn at Versailles has begun. Nearly a year ago a massive fire damaged parts of the inn forcing it to close. On Wednesday morning, people watched as crews began knocking it down.
“You feel the emptiness without the inn. But the fact that it’s going to come back bigger, brighter, is…I’m looking forward to it,” said Kathy Magoto-Monnin, the former owner of House of Flowers. “The inn has been the center of town located right across from Fountain Square, which a lot of ribbon cuttings and a lot of social events have gone on there. The inn has been there for all of it,” she said.
Its parent company, Midmark Corporation, is planning to build a new hotel and restaurant in its place.
“It’s acknowledging all the local customers and community that we have and it’s being able to provide something better for them for the future,” Monique McGlinch, the vice-president of customer engagement for Midmark Corporation.
Local business owners were there to watch the historic event.
“We have been renters at the inn for 42 years, we’ve seen lots of changes over the years but not nearly as many as when the inn started,” said Rose Lucas owner of A Cut Above.
Some said it has kept their small businesses alive.
“I’ve owned my shop Swift Gilly Boutique for three years here in Versailles and so I’ve seen when the inn was open, it would bring tons of people to town,” Karen Wietholter, owner of Swift Gilly Boutique said.