South Beloit's Garden Hotel delayed reopening leaves city without vital resource

SOUTH BELOIT, Ill. (WIFR) ----- "The hotel has been a staple in the community," said Shawna Henthorn, Code Enforcement Officer for South Beloit.

Damage from flood waters earlier this year forced the closure of the Garden Hotel in South Beloit, leaving the city of about 8,000 without a vital resource.

"We're a fairly small community, so to have a structure that in a business that offered as much as the hotel offered, I mean, there was the conference area, the swimming, the recreation for people to come and stay within the community from all over, that's huge for a community of this size," said Henthorn.

Back in March, the hotel owner China-based Ariva Hospitality, told community members it hoped to be up and running by the end of June. Since then… silence.

"It's been a real struggle, we don't have any communication with the owners," said Henthorn.

Code Enforcement Officer Shawna Henthorn says no one on either the city or county level has been able to reach the company.

Because of its proximity to the Illinois-Wisconsin state line, the hotel's absence and vacancy is noticeable.

"The visitor economy is vitally important here and especially, the opportunities that we have to bring in new people to the area for them to think about this as a place to live, work or come back and visit again. The Garden Hotel has been a big part of the tourism story for many decades here in the Stateline area, and we wish the best for its success and we stand ready to help however we can," said Celestino Ruffini | Executive Director, Visit Beloit.