When Jim Cloutier and his family bought and restored the Elgin Hotel, his goal was to restore it to its former glory as a way to give back to Marion.
“This community has done an awful lot for me and my family,” he said Thursday.
He saw restoring a historic landmark to prevent it from becoming a derelict as a suitable way to repay the community. When he first saw architects’ interpretations of the building restored to Victorian grandeur, he knew his plan was attainable.
Now the family is ready for a new owner to come in who can finish the job they started, making the Elgin the destination it should be. Cloutier plans to retire this year and spend time with family out of state, and the Elgin isn’t a part-time responsibility.
“I’m looking for somebody to take it the next step,” Cloutier said.
The first floor has space a nice restaurant could go in. He said he envisioned something comparable to the Hays House in Council Grove being a good complement to the bed and breakfast.
He said the right owners could bring in more corporate retreats — like the training session Western Associates had last week — but he doesn’t think he has the marketing expertise for that. He wants it to remain a bed and breakfast.
“I’m not going to sell it to somebody who’s going to completely redo everything we did,” Cloutier said. “It’s not something that I have to sell.”
The Elgin is listed for sale with J.P. Weigand & Sons Realtors, who Cloutier said have the resources and contacts to find a buyer who has the same vision for the landmark and the expertise to make it work.