O.Henry Owners Plan New Hotel
Amy Joyner, Staff Writer
Greensboro News & Record, October 1, 2004
The owners of the O.Henry Hotel, Green Valley Grill and Lucky 32 plan to open a string of boutique hotels in North Carolina over the next decade, with the first likely to open in Greensboro by 2006.For three years, Quaintance-Weaver Restaurants & Hotels searched for sites in Raleigh to build a second upscale O.Henry Hotel. But every deal fell apart, so chief executive Dennis Quaintance began crafting a different hotel business model. The plan he came up with honors Greensboro’s textile heritage, but with a modern twist. His company will spend $20 million to plan, design and build a 150-room, 128,200-square-foot prototype hotel in Greensboro. Named Proximity Hotel after the Cone Mills Proximity plant on Maple Street, it will look like a prewar cut-and-sew textile factory.
“This, if we do this right, will look like a textile mill that has been restored,” Quaintance said.
“We pretended with the Green Valley Grill that we had discovered this old building and put a restaurant in it,” he said.
The new hotel will have a small restaurant, which will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a “pretty feisty bar,” Quaintance said. Construction should start next year, with the hotel opening in 2006.
The company’s construction plans are yet another sign the economy is rebounding, said Dan Lynch, senior vice president of Greensboro Economic Development Partnership. “With the number of people we have traveling in and out of this town … I definitely think they’re going to have a market,” he said. “They’re kind of identifying a niche that needs to be served.”
The new hotel will employ at least 150 people. But through the construction phase, the hotel could provide jobs for even more people in the Triad, Lynch said.
“With any project, there’s direct, indirect and induced benefits,” he said.