Local group buys boutique hotel

Local group buys boutique hotel

The highly-rated downtown East Davis boutique hotel, Suites at 249, has been sold to another local group.

The Suites at 249 owned by GEM Yates, LLC, headed by local commercial real estate developer Greg Yates, sold the property to Culpeper Center, LLC on July 22 for $780,000.

Yates brought the property in Sept. 2003, according to the county assessorâ??s records, for $402,485. The local entrepreneur spent a significant amount of money and time renovating the run down and vacant building. His wife Liz decorated the six distinctive suites, five of which have gas fireplaces. All the suites boast free Wi-Fi, HD satellite TV and numerous other amenities.

The renovations proved so successful that Trip Advisor reviewers have ranked the Suites at 249 the number one bed and breakfast in Culpeper.

â??Keeping a rating that high is a lot of work,â? said Yates, who admitted running a hotel was not his main focus.

Yates said selling the business to Culpeper Center, LLC, which counts John Yarnall and David Young among its partners, was a positive move for all concerned. He also pointed out that the hotel remains locally owned. Yates also noted that Yarnall and Young already own and manage other downtown overnight and executive suites.

â??It makes sense,â? said Culpeper Chamber of Commerce CEO Jim Charapich after learning about the sale. â??It takes a lot of effort to run a small hotel and Yarnall has already been doing this.â?

Through the years, Yarnall has been one of the strongest proponents for a revitalized downtown. Either alone or with other partners, Yarnall has helped downtown grow and prosper.

In 1995, when much of East Davis Street consisted of boarded up and vacant buildings, he opened Itâ??s About Thyme, a popular downtown restaurant. In the years since, Thyme Market opened in 2007. Three years later, Young and Yarnall opened Copper Fish seafood market and raw bar. The second floor of those businesses now contains individually decorated suites, much like those at Suites at 249.

One of the biggest renovation projects occurred in the building at the corner of South Main and East Culpeper streets. The beautifully appointed Culpeper Center opened in August 2013 with a wedding reception. Since then, the facility has hosted dozens of events.

Culpeper Center isnâ??t just a large banquet facility, upstairs has apartments and rental overnight suites.

The Suites at 249 simply adds boutique suite inventory to a company familiar with running boutique hotels.

The Suites at 249 have been featured, with articles in Travel + Leisure, Washington Post and on television on CNN and the Today Show.

A vast majority of Trip Advisor reviewers rated their stay at Suites at 249 as excellent, giving the boutique hotel a five star rating for bed and breakfasts in Culpeper.

Yates has no doubt that Yarnall and Young will maintain that rating given their experience.

â??We were happy to sell to Dave Young,â? said Yates. â??It was a great six year run.â?

Wally Bunker is a freelance contributor with the Culpeper Times. You may reach him at wallybunker@outlook.com