Thursday, February 11, 2016

Doylestown Inn listed for sheriff's sale

Historic inn and landmark in county seat owes bank $2.9 million.

Doylestown Inn listed for sheriff's sale

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 The Doylestown Inn, built in 1902. (Photo: Doylestowninn.com)
The Doylestown Inn, built in 1902. (Photo: Doylestowninn.com)

    The Doylestown Inn, a landmark in the Bucks County seat since 1902, is scheduled for sheriff’s sale in September for a debt of $2.9 million.

     Deauville V is listed on the county’s Sheriff Sale Real Estate Sale Listings for Sept. 9 for owing the money to Univest National Bank and Trust. Michael Welch, who bought the 20-room hotel in 1998, operates several parnerships under the Deauville name.

    Welch renovated the hotel in 2001, and it now rents office space on the first two floors and 11 luxury guest rooms on the third floor. Standard rooms with a queen bed cost $155 to 205 a night, depending on the season, while premium rooms with a king bed cost $180 to $225, each with private bath.

   The inn also has a first-floor bar open to the public on Friday and Saturday nights.

   The inn “is significant as a matter of pride  with the townspeople,” said Jerry Lepping, executive director of Visit Bucks County, the county’s tourism agency. “It only has 11 rooms, so it’s not a significant economic factor. Then again, it’s the only hotel in Doylestown.”

   The effect of the inn closing “is different than the Bucks County Playhouse, which has a huge economic impact,” Lepping said. The renowned playhouse has been closed since December, and without that drawing card, shops and restaurants along New Hope’s Main Street “are really hurting,”  he said.

    “I hope somebody can take over the inn and keep it operating,” Lepping said. “Doylestown is a walking town, and it’s an emotional thing.”

     Darrin Hoffman, a board member of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce, cautioned that the listing for sheriff’s sale does not mean the inn will be sold or close.

  “Often, it’s a wakeup call,” said Hoffman, who also serves on the county Planning Commisson. “It’s a sign of the economy.”

    Welch could not be reached for comment.     

    The dramatic white-and-green building on West State Street was originally built in 1871 and operated as a hat shop and shoe store, according to the inn’s website, www.doylestowninn.com. It was expanded to a third building in 1937.

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About this blog
Chris Palmer covers Bucks County for the Philadelphia Inquirer. His previous work has appeared in the New York Times and on several Times blogs, including City Room, the Local East Village and SchoolBook (which has since been taken over by WNYC). Contact him at cpalmer@phillynews.com, 610 313 8212 or on Twitter, @cs_palmer.

Ben Finley covers Bucks County for The Philadelphia Inquirer. He previously worked for The Associated Press, FactCheck.org and the Bucks County Courier Times, where he won more than a dozen journalism awards from organizations including the Education Writers Association, the Society for Features Journalism and the Pennsylvania Bar Association. He grew up in Columbus, Ohio and graduated with honors from The Ohio State University with a degree in journalism. Contact him at bfinley@phillynews.com, 610-313-8118 or on Twitter, @Ben_Finley.

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