Chattanooga's historic Read House hotel, a landmark in the city, has been sold to Charleston, SC-based Avocet Hospitality Group.

The 242-room hotel on Broad Street was built in 1926 and is the third hotel to join AHG’s growing portfolio.

The acquisition continues the group's path of restoring and repositioning hotel properties, including Tides Folly Beach and The Vendue in downtown Charleston. SC, according to a news release.

“We have a passion for historic hotels and restoring them to their former greatness.  Our goal will be to restore The Read House to its original 1926 splendor.  We believe Chattanooga deserves a hotel that is completely dedicated to the history of the city,” states Jon Weitz, president and CEO of Avocet Hospitality Group. 

AHG is currently in the process of selecting local architects and contractors to be a part of the team that will assist with repositioning the hotel. The preliminary budget for the renovation is between 18-20 million dollars. AHG hopes to start the renovation within the next year and intends to keep portions of the hotel open and operational during the process. 

“In the end, all 242 guestrooms will be completely renovated with updated technology, completely new bathrooms, and all new furnishings.  We will work with local historians and architects to do our best to recreate a modern version of the hotel’s original grandeur in the public spaces, ballroom, and restaurant.  Think Great Gatsby,” says Weitz. 

Jon Weitz was involved in the renovation of another highly acclaimed property in Tennessee, The Hermitage hotel in Nashville.  From 2000-2003, Weitz oversaw the rebirth and repositioning of The Hermitage.  Prior to the renovation, the hotel had fallen on hard times, been through several bankruptcies, and did not have a great reputation in town.  The Hermitage is now Tennessee’s only AAA Five-Diamond hotel and considered one of the best hotels in the Southeast.

“We’re excited that Avocet Hospitality is making an incredible investment in our city by revitalizing one of our great historic properties in the heart of downtown. This is a perfect example of how we are continuing to build on the assets we have and maintaining that shine we have worked so hard to build,” said Bob Doak, president and chief executive officer of the Chattanooga Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The latest tourism statistics show that visitors spent more than $1 billion dollars in Hamilton County which supports 8,500 full-time jobs in the tourism industry.”