Bedford Co., VA - The Peaks of Otter Lodge & Restaurant is scheduled to re-open next month. They've already started taking reservations.
Delaware North Companies took over operation of the lodge. They plan to be up and running by July 15. Everyone we talked to Thursday can't wait for opening day.
At first glance, the Peaks of Otter lodge doesn't show any signs of re-opening. But if you look closely, its future is clear.
"There couldn't be anyone in Bedford County any happier than I am to see it open," said Walter Gross from Gross' Orchard.
Walter Gross kept the faith.
"I knew it would come back. It's too nice of a place to stay closed. So I knew, it was just a matter of time," said Gross.
Temporarily losing the lodge had good and bad effects on locals. Forest resident Ingrid Grout didn't get to take her European relatives to visit.
"The Blue Ridge Parkway is beautiful to drive but it's also nice to stop and have a place to eat and have a place to stay for the night," said Grout.
On the upside, Gross saw a business boost in his vacation home.
"Just last night I had a couple stay in there because the lodge was closed. But we get a lot of tourists so I can't handle but so many anyway," said Grout.
As for updates, there are long-term plans to add new linens and decor to all 63 rooms. And for the first time they also plan to install TV and wireless Internet.
"I wish they had left that out. We've got enough Internet and TV down in the low land here. Up in the mountains it's kind of nice to be secluded. But if that's what they need to bring business in, I'm all for it," said Paul James, Bedford County resident.
Re-opening the lodge and restaurant will bring 60 to 70 jobs back to Bedford County. The menu is still in the works.