St. James Hotel owner talks future plans

Published 6:44 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2019

The new owner of the St. James Hotel, Jim Lewis, visited the Selma Rotary Club on Monday to talk about the future plans for the historic business.

Lewis asked for the Rotarians to have three things in mind as the project for St. James continued.

“I will say that I would like to ask three things from all of you,” said Lewis. “First, please suspend momentarily your disbelief that is perfectly warranted by things that have transpired in the past with St. James. Give us the benefit of the doubt and let us earn your business and third, and most importantly, hold us accountable.”

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“I think it is obvious for everyone that the building needs a little bit of work,” said Lewis. “It is going to get that.”

Lewis also talked about the investment that was given to make renovations to the hotel.

Lewis also added the upgraded features of online booking.

“St. James didn’t have that,” he said. “But it does now. We are under the Hilton  brand that gives up immediate online visibility.”

A construction team has joined in making the hotel’s condition stable.

“We are deep in finalizing our design,” said Lewis. “We are going to open as fast as we can.”

Lewis said the rehabilitation time would be about six months.

Lewis also added the bar and dining room area would be renovated but not so much reconfigured for use.