The new owner of Hotel Morgan said renovation of the landmark hotel in Morgantown was delayed by three weeks because of business closures associated with the COVID-19 pandemic.
But Ike Thrash, founding partner and managing director of Thrash Group based in Hattiesburg, Miss., said he expects remodeling and updating will be completed by the end of the year.
“We are still planning on a year-end opening,” said Thrash, whose company paid $2.5 million for the building, which dates back to 1925.
“We’ll make the time (lost to business closures) up,” he said. “West Virginia hasn’t missed a beat.”
Thrash, who said he expects to spend five times the hotel’s purchase price on renovations, said all of the rooms have been gutted as well as the main common areas. Wiring inside the building’s walls have been replaced. There are plans to replace the hotel elevators as well.
“Everything has been demolished,” he said.
Thrash said the overall plan with the hotel is to return it to its former grandeur. The front door of the hotel facing High Street will be red. The lobby and check-in area will feature a mosaic-style floor and lots of dark wood. A bakery, bar, specialty coffee area, as well as a general store and sundries shop are planned for the first floor.
Other amenities planned for the hotel — named after city founder Zackquill Morgan — include meeting rooms, a barber shop, fitness room and yoga studio.
The hotel’s ballroom will be renovated and include a ceiling with fleur-de-lis designs, according to design plans.
There will be 83 rooms and two suites. Rooms will begin on the third floor of the building. Rooms will have walnut furniture and luxury linens. The hotel stairway will keep the 800-pound chandelier, as well as the three private phone booths and reading area.
An eighth floor rooftop bar will feature greenery and a casual outdoor vibe. Plans for the hotel restaurant are not yet available.
Thrash said the large Hotel Morgan sign on top of the building will be kept.
“I kind of like it,” he said.
During its nearly 100 years of existence, Hotel Morgan hosted Eleanor Roosevelt in 1934; President Harry Truman in 1954 and was a campaign stop for John Kennedy in 1960.
Thrash Group does hotel and mixed-use projects across the country. Thrash projects can be found Raleigh, N.C.; Lexington, Ky., Indianapolis, Atlanta and Phoenix to name a few cities.