When Connie Kuda, of Vandalia, attended the auction of the Grand Vandalia Hotel on October 5, she wasn’t expecting a realistic shot at buying one of the most historic properties in town.
With a low starting bid of just $10,000, she was intrigued early but didn’t know how high the price tag would rise.
Fortunately, with the encouragement of her husband Jim, she won the auction and purchased the hotel for just $25,000.
For Connie, who will continue working as a factory manager at WERDCC, the purchase is a dream come true.
She said renovations begin this Friday with plans to re-open the hotel at the first of the new year.
Connie’s list of things-to-do include re-painting, replacing the wallpaper, replacing carpet, replacing bed coverings, and more.
Her first focus will be on the upstairs and then work herself down to the kitchen.
“I would like to make it into a bed and breakfast,” she added. “…I want there to be a home feel atmosphere…I want to re-open the kitchen. I want to make the backyard a place to be. I might put in a water garden. This is going to be fun and challenging but I’ve already got friends offering to help.”
Kuda said she’d also like to do mystery dinners in the future.
Her vision for the kitchen is to re-open it and possibly have someone lease it out.
Since her purchase, Kuda says she’s had inquiries from vendors wanting to display jellies and quilts for sale.
“I’m really amazed at all of the excitement people showed me in this and they like that I purchased it,” she added.
The Class of 1974 Van-Far graduate, who developed a love for furniture while working 14 years with Waters Furniture, said she is looking forward to keeping the hotel open.
The previous owner was Virginia Howdeshell.
Virginia and her now late husband began a room-by-room renovation once it was purchased in the 90s.
They reopened the hotel’s doors in 1998.
The 6,200 square foot brick, two story hotel and restaurant was built in 1906.
The hotel at 112 W. State St. features on the main level a complete restaurant that seats approximately 45 plus an additional banquet room that seats 24-plus. There is also a manager’s suite and public restrooms.