This seemed to be welcome news to alumni, who promptly took to social media and TheDEN news site to applaud the decision—some for the for-profit venture (“Tremendous strategic move,” read one comment); some for saving a Granville landmark (“Love that porch”); and some for preserving the site of personal nostalgia (“It’s where I got my Figi pin”). A few even offered some interesting promotional strategies: “So iced teas in Denison mugs?” And one alumnus crossed his fingers: “Superb!! New senior housing options.”
The board of trustees had actually been researching options related to the historic property since it was listed for sale and then placed in receivership last year. The board’s goal was not necessarily to procure the inn for Denison, but instead to make sure that this local property would be saved and revived. To that end, the college worked with other prospective buyers along the way. Urban Restorations LLC, a Columbus-based business, was seriously considering the purchase of the inn, and when that firm bowed out, Denison stepped up to commit to the purchase.
“The Granville Inn’s facilities and functions are vital both to the village and to the college,” said Seth Patton, vice president for finance and management at Denison. “We feel fortunate to be able to act on this opportunity to invest in our remarkable community and in this iconic property.”
The inn will remain on the village tax rolls and will continue to be operated in its current use. It will be managed by a separate entity hired by Denison.
“Denison certainly did not plan to become an innkeeper,” said Patton, “but because of the strong ties and shared interests between Denison and Granville, we are committed to this project. The goal is to enhance the Granville Inn, making it a vital and successful business. Weighed against all others, there may be more attractive investment opportunities from a purely financial perspective, but few that are more important to Granville and Denison.”
As for senior housing options? Sorry, Ankur Gupta ’05, That’s not in the grand plan.