Closing of Reyton Inn seen as an ‘opportunity’

Instead of seeing the closing of another East End business as a black eye to the face of the city’s financial future, city officials hope the property can be redeveloped.

The Reyton Inn, 6147 Ohio 122, recently closed, and Denise Hamet, the city’s economic development director, hopes the 116-room, two-floor hotel and 13.6 acres can be sold and turned into “a positive project.”

The closing of the hotel comes at a time when the city is investing $8750,000 — $700,000 of that from grants — this year on gateway improvements at the intersection of Interstate 75 and Ohio 122, often called the “doorstep” to Middletown.

Lighting, landscaping, brick work, decorative fencing and signage with the city’s logo will be added to the area, said Scott Tadych, director of public works and utilities. The project is expected to begin in mid-summer and be complete by the end of the year, he said.

“This is an opportunity for us,” Hamet said of the potential sale of the hotel. “Gives us a chance to have a clean start.”

The owner of the hotel, Johnny Eggleston, was unavailable for comment Friday afternoon, but Hamet said sales at the hotel had been declining recently. The hotel also was a haven for illegal activity. Last year, there were about 20 Middletown police incidents at the hotel, mostly for drug abuse and thefts, according to police records.

The hotel was purchased by Middletown Ohio 592 Limited for $1,650,000 in 1992 and sold to Reyton Inn LLC for $2 million 10 years later, according to the Warren County Auditor’s Office.

The property is appraised at $2,285,000, according to the auditor’s office. Hamet believes a sale price has not been established.

Since Reyton closed, there are three hotels on the east side of I-75: Days Inn, Red Roof Inn and Super 8 and five on the west side: Drury Inn, Fairfield Inn, Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Quality Inn.

In the last few months, Target, 6775 Roosevelt Parkway, announced it was closing this summer and the Finish Line closed its Towne Mall Galleria location. Worthmore clothing store, also inside the mall, announced it was closing in the next few weeks.

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