The Horton Hotel & Rooftop Lounge: Boone, North Carolina’s only downtown luxury boutique hotel and lounge, featuring a wildly popular rooftop bar, today changed hands with a reverent and respectful nod to its original visionaries while looking to the future with new owners.
The historic building on 611 W King Street was converted into a hotel in 2019 under the caring, compassionate and committed eyes of Denise and Fulton Lovin, who created and carried out a dream of being the region’s ideal “drive to” destination. The Lovins added a rooftop lounge to the space, which was originally constructed by H.W. Horton in the 1920s. It once served as a Studebaker dealership and a Spainhours Department store.
The Lovins invested heart and soul into the gem, sparing no expense to create the ultimate memory for guests, including a complimentary Artisan Breakfast, locally roasted coffee, free Wi-Fi, free parking, plush robes, world-class linens and more. It has become the ultimate and intimate regional stay. Each room has its own personality, flavor and décor. The rooftop lounge is an attraction on its own where local and traveling patrons are served handcrafted cocktails and local brews with stunning scenery.
“We created the hotel and rooftop lounge we always craved yet never found,” said Denise Lovin. “It is exactly what we envisioned and our gratitude for our valued guests is palpable. Given that sentiment, you can imagine ‘handing over the keys’ could only happen under ideal circumstances and the perfect management team, which we have found. We are delighted to have this team inherit our dream with zero hesitation.”
The rooftop lounge offers views of downtown Boone including its home address of King Street and Howard Knob (the mountain known to tourists and locals as Howard’s Knob). Boone is one of the largest cities with close access to the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of the most traveled and visited destinations of the US National Park Service. Boone is also a short drive to Grandfather Mountain, waterfalls and acclaimed ski mountains (Beech and Sugar, respectively).
Boone, the consummate “college town,” is home to Appalachian State University, a destination for 20,000 Mountaineers annually. App State has a great Hospitality and Tourism School and SPA is committed to stay in synch with its alma mater through future partnerships and ongoing support.
According to the principals of SPA, with other businesses in the community: “The Lovin’s have created something special and we will honor their legacy while building our own. 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.”
SPA provided the Lovin’s with a lifetime token: Key to The Horton. It was bestowed out of honor to the couple who started it all and who will be a part of the hotel forever. The key and a plaque will remain where it needs to be: at the dream destination they created.
The new team is comprised of the following, who is wisely retaining Director of Operations Ms. Andrea Morton, the glue and rock of the team at the hotel since day one to ensure the transition’s success:
- SPA Properties, consisting of Sean Sassano, Paul Pessina, Aaron Ammar and their families are the new owners. They are App State alums and college athletes who fell in love with Boone and remain actively involved in the community including part of the ownership group of the new professional soccer club, Appalachian FC, Vixster, a waste and recycling company, and active participants at Appalachian State University as guest speakers and on the Board of the Brantley Risk & Insurance Center Board of Advisors.
- Hospiamo, the vision of hospitality owner and operator/partner Adam Zembruski, a master at optimizing hospitality real estate assets and connecting the right people for a common goal who was sought out by SPA to deliver on its expectations.
- Aileron Management, under the lens of CEO and Founder Jason Boehm, is a nationally recognized, award-winning management team, lauded for its leadership and development expertise while being a steward in its communities and a stellar employer based on team member feedback.
- Lifestore Bank provided the lending expertise for the transaction.