The Elgin Hotel will begin a new chapter in its storied history this summer with new owners and a refreshed vision that includes expansion, enhancements, and collaboration.
Jeremy and Tammy Ensey reached an agreement to purchase the Elgin from Jim and Nancy Cloutier. The Enseys envision a destination hotel and plan to incorporate special touches to make the Elgin a place people near and far want to visit time and again.
Tammy Ensey said the couple had been considering the purchase for about two years.
Currently the hotel has a large unfinished area on the first floor where the Enseys hope to either attract a restaurateur to open a high-end dining establishment or to create venue space for weddings, events and meetings.
Six additional guest rooms will be added for a total of 11 unique, themed rooms, Ensey said.
“We want to make weddings special, as they have been over the past several years, but we would also like to host intimate weddings and elopements, family reunions, special celebrations, concerts, and meetings or retreats for businesses, organizations and hobby groups,” Ensey said. “We want to be known as a special place where people come and make special memories.”
The Elgin was built in 1886 and was a monument to Marion’s pride and aspirations. It was once called the “finest in Kansas” and one of the state’s “handsomest, costliest, best equipped and best-kept hotels,” she said. Slated for demolition in the 1970s, it was saved from being torn down and then reconstructed. Since then it has been apartments and a bed and breakfast.
The Cloutiers purchased the Elgin in 2006 and invested about $1.9 million in extensive renovations completed in 2009.
The Enseys have in mind reaching out to other area businesses to offer add-ons such as wine and cheese or fresh flowers in suites, area tours such as hunting, fishing and boating excursions, horseback riding, cattle drive experiences, and historical tours.
“We want to partner with those in our community to highlight the assets of this region and everything we have to offer,” Ensey said. “This will all be key in creating the type of experience we envision.”
Ensey believes the restoration of the Elgin will tie in nicely with Marion’s upcoming streetscape project that will add historic touches to the appearance of downtown.
Ensey said it is the couple’s hope to have the hotel completed and open to guests by the fall.
“The construction we have to do is actually pretty minor,” Ensey said.
The Enseys plan to expand marketing of the Elgin by listing it with online booking sites such as Expedia as well as making use of a website and social media.
They will also extend a corporate rate to local businesses for such events as conferences and employee meetings.
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