The 57-year-previous Highlander Motor Inn is now shut and will be torn down to make room for a CVS retail store, owner Billy Bayne tells ARLnow.
The two-tale motel at 3336 Wilson Blvd, near Clarendon, has been closed considering that December. Bayne expects demolition to start off on the making in March and the CVS to open in the fall.
This wasn’t unexpected. Plans have been in spot due to the fact at minimum 2016 and allow programs were being submitted in December 2019.
Nevertheless, it has Bayne hunting back again fondly on the motel that his loved ones has owned due to the fact the early 1960s.
“We have a lifetime of reminiscences there,” states Bayne. He remembers investing time with his father at the motel, shooting baskets in the again, and heading to Mario’s Pizza subsequent door. He also remembers when local high schoolers had keg get-togethers in the modestly-appointed rooms.
Having said that, he suggests the motel shutting down and getting demolished is in the long run a superior detail.
It is been significantly really hard to make revenue in the lodging small business in excess of the past two decades, Bayne notes, especially with the rise of discounted price web sites and Airbnb. Additionally, offered Arlington business and hotel taxes, tiny accommodations have to cost larger fees to keep afloat, says Bayne.
“[Customers] have a choice to continue to be at the Highlander or a Marriott for a hundred pounds,” says Bayne. “And I can’t compete in opposition to that any more.”
Bayne says he’s leasing the land to CVS, which will carry on to present a income stream for him and his youngsters. Bayne declined to provide financial particulars about the offer, but did say it is prolonged-time period.
In April, Arlington’s Dept. of Human Products and services rented out the Highlander as short-term COVID-connected housing, supplying a fiscal lifeline for the duration of an otherwise tough time for the hotel enterprise.
The motel presented “quarantine/isolation area for minimal-profits individuals who had been dwelling in overcrowded or congregate configurations, and unable to proficiently quarantine or isolate,” a division spokesperson told ARLnow this past summer season.
Bayne is effusive in his praise of county officers for doing work with him, and the reality that they effectively kept the lodge going for yet another 6 months. Whilst he billed Arlington a discounted price, it helped shell out the expenses.
“[County] personnel had been all really specialist and wonderful. The county was tremendous,” he says.
The praise is regardless of years of authorized wrangling with Arlington more than the growth of the home. The authorized battles — which Bayne eventually received following the Virginia Supreme Court docket refused to hear an charm from the county — cost him at minimum $250,000, he suggests.
But with enhancement last but not least happening, Bayne’s animosity towards area officers seems to be waning.
“Obviously, I had my variances with them but the county was very excellent to us,” he says.
Bayne also owns Crystal Town Athletics Pub and the Crystal Town Cafe gentlemen’s club, which he briefly considered renaming “National Landing Strip” after the rather new collective term for Crystal Metropolis, Pentagon Metropolis and Potomac Garden.
As of the moment, he states shifting the business’s title is not on his precedence record, although introducing that “if Bezos preferred me to do it, I would do it.”
The area restaurateur is thinking about retirement but suggests the pandemic established him again “a number of many years.” He’s had to dig into personal savings and sell stocks to weather the storm and will reevaluate his alternatives at the time his daughter gets by faculty.
In the meantime, he’s remembering and expressing gratitude to all those that have saved the motel going via the decades. This incorporates Nettie Harris, head of housekeeping for much more than 30 several years.
“She was the Highlander Motor Inn, the epitome of the spot,” Bayne suggests. “When I believe of [the motel], I consider of my father and her. She’s relatives.”
When asked if he plans to view the demolition of his family’s long-time enterprise, he was noncommittal. But he will unquestionably share one particular past memory in entrance of the constructing before it arrives down, commemorating the stop of an period.
“I’m heading to just take photographs of it in advance of it transpires,” Bayne states. “And there will be a single remaining photo just before it receives torn down with me, my wife, and my kids.”