BOONE — The Horton Hotel and Rooftop Lounge is under new ownership, following its purchase by SPA Properties on Aug. 19.
The sale comes five years after the boutique hotel was founded by Denise and Fulton Lovins, who wanted the building built in the 1920s to bring lodging to downtown Boone.
“Fulton is very familiar with our downtown and thought about what the town needed,” Denise Lovin said. “We went from there in terms of visualizing and creating the space into a boutique hotel with 15 rooms and then the lobby lounge and the rooftop lounge.”
While the Lovins said they will always cherish the time they had in charge of the Horton, they felt it was time to move on. With both operating multiple businesses including White Fence Farms, vacation rentals, Denise Lovin’s psychology practice and Pads for Grads, they could not be fully dedicated to the Horton while finding time for themselves.
Fulton Lovin noted that in the year preceding the sale being finalized, business at the Horton was actually up during the pandemic, making them comfortable with letting it go.
“We were in a really good position and we were ready to leave,” Fulton Lovin said. “It’s fairly demanding business and five years in it is like 15 years. We were at a stage of our lives where we were ready to calm down a little bit. We had a lot on our plate, and so we’re thankful now we can step away.”
Denise Lovin said the two will have many fond memories of their time with the business, from being the home of the Boone Ball Drop New Year’s Eve events to the support they always received from the community.
“One of my best memories was when we had our first opening and then one of the guests came back to the bar the next night,” Denise Lovin said. “I was so excited for people to come but I wasn’t sure if people were going to come back. I just remember when I recognized someone walk in again, it was satisfying that we created a product that people wanted more of.”
Buying the property is SPA Properties, which owns several off-campus housing options for Appalachian State students. The connection to Boone originates from owners Sean Sassano, Paul Pessina and Aaron Ammar, all being App alumni and members of the Mountaineers men’s soccer program. The company is also a part-owner of semi-pro soccer club Appalachian FC.
“The Lovins have created something special and we will honor their legacy while building our own,” SPA Properties said in a statement. “This community is important to us and we will continue to expand on their vision by serving other local businesses. We are committed to serving all visitors with an unforgettable experience every single time they visit The Horton Hotel.”
Fulton Lovin said they felt SPA was the right fit for the Horton, having the connection to the area and still being active in the community.
For more information about The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge, visit www.thehorton.com or call (828) 832-8060.