Hotel damaged by tornado set to reopen years later

Georgia
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WARM SPRINGS, Ga. – A hotel in Warm Springs damaged by a tornado a few years ago is set to reopen.  The Best Western White House Inn was hit by a tornado in 2011 and empty ever since.

Now, the hotel is being fixed and expected to open in less than a year.

Gerrie Thompson is in her 29th year of owning the Hotel Warm Springs located in the town square.  She even opened an ice cream parlor, which she says will benefit from the hotel’s reopening.

“Anytime you can bring more people in town, it’s going to benefit the gift shops the restaurants, the ice cream parlor as a whole.  It will benefit everyone,” she said.

Warm Springs Mayor Bob Prater says the hotel will have a huge impact on the community.

“It’ll be jobs and we are very tourism oriented in the county and this will be a destination so that people rather than just coming in for a day, hopefully we can get them to stay for several days,” he said.

Thompson is not worried about the Best Western taking away business from her bed and breakfast.

“I’m a historic 1907 hotel.  All antiques.  I even have some furniture that was made in Eleanor Roosevelt’s furniture factory in Val-Kill Shop Furniture, New York so, when people come here they’re looking for a different atmosphere,” she explained.

Thompson says new business creates excitement.

“The more different entities you have, the more places you have for people to stay, the better it’s going to be,” Thompson said.

Mayor Prater says they plan to have the hotel open by May in time for the Cotton Pickin’ Fair.

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