Phoenix Hotel renovations complete


Renovations to a portion of the Phoenix Hotel at Main and Liberty streets are expected to be completed tomorrow, Christmas Eve.

The $53,000 renovation project began a little over a month ago and will allow for operating offices of the Switzerland County Recreation, Tourism and Convention Commission to relocate from the ground floor to the second floor the week of December 27th.

“The plan calls for the Visitors Center itself to remain open this Monday and Tuesday, but operating offices will close those two days to move upstairs and reopen Wednesday,” said Executive Director T.J. Justice.

The hotel, built in 1889, is reincarnating itself in the modern era after decades of idleness until the commission acquired it in April, 2005 and located its Visitor Center and operating offices on the ground floor.

T.J. Justice said a second phase of renovations call for the ground floor to also be redesigned early in 2011. The commission approved a first floor design concept prepared by High Street (consultants) of Cincinnati earlier this month.

Formal design plans have since been submitted to the commission and bids will be solicited next month to renovate all three areas of the ground floor to accommodate the Visitors Center; the ‘Of Switzerland County’ store; and a new ‘Lil Swiss retail establishment. All three entrance doors on Main Street will be reopened and utilized once renovations are completed.

During the interim, the present ‘Of Switzerland County’ store at Main and Ferry streets in Vevay will close on December 31st. T.J. Justice said it will reopen at its new location in the Phoenix Hotel by March 1st, 2011 along with the new ‘Lil Swiss store if all goes according to schedule. The Antiques and Treasures store on Main Street downtown will close permanently tomorrow (Friday).

The portion of the second floor being renovated largely represents an appropriate office environment while maintaining a look of historical preservation where possible. The ground floor, when renovated, will have a European style appeal with external features to blend three separate entrances including a Visitors Center, and two retail outlets.

An open house and ribbon cutting will be held in the spring when all renovations are completed and each unit of the hotel being utilized are fully functional.