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Holiday Inn / Ramada Inn, 7510 Two Notch Road: 9 June 2010   15 comments

Posted at 10:35 pm in business

This isn't a current events blog. I don't feel compelled to do a post on everything that closed this week. Even assuming I knew about all that, I'm just as happy to do a post on something that's been gone thirty years. On the other hand, I don't feel compelled to not do a post on something that happened yesterday, since it's kind of odd, interesting and nearby.

Commenter Jamie pointed out this story on the WLTX site:

Richland County, SC (WLTX) - Some Ramada Inn employees and customers are looking for answers after the hotel on Two Notch Road shut down suddenly.

Employees say they haven't gotten paid and customers have been showing up looking for refunds on their deposits.

"It's sad. Why would they do this? Or how could this happen," said employee Stacey Knight. Knight and her coworkers are without a job and without a paycheck. They say the owners of the Ramada Inn closed for business, padlocking the doors shut.

It's not too uncommon for employees at a restaurant to show up for work and find the place closed, but hotels are not a day-to-day business. People make long term plans involving hotels, and normally, at least for a chain hotel, I would expect some sort of orderly wind-down, with people being rebooked to alternate properties or having up-front money refunded. Apparently not so here:

There was one lady in particular that made a deposit for a family reunion, $1100, and she wanted her money back," said another employee.

I'll wager that's one family that never uses any Ramada again..

Anyway, my first memory of this property is when it was a Holiday Inn. I never stayed there (why would I need a hotel in my hometown?), but I think I did go inside once. If I recall correctly, I went with a group of friends after a wedding, probably in the late 70s or early 80s. At that time, the lounge (now McKenna's) attached to the hotel was called Pawleys (a name calculated to attract my attention), and they catered to the backgammon boomlet (which petered out not long afterwards) by having backgammon sets available in the bar area.

I believe Holiday Inn dropped the property after I-77 came through to move closer to that Interstate. For a while the place was (I think) independant, with a big sack covering up the old Holiday Inn sign.

(Hat tip to commenter Jamie.)

UPDATE 26 July 2010 -- Here are some more pictures:

UPDATE 28 August -- After commenter Matt pointed out goings on at this closed Ramada, I decided to take a look and I'm still a bit puzzled at what is happening. It looks like the whole place is being gutted, but they don't seem to be knocking it down in toto. Perhaps it will be like the old Columbia Athletic Club and Splendid China where they have replaced everything except the actual outer walls..

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UPDATE 12 September 2012 -- The whole building has now been fenced off. Driving by, I could still hear the chirps of hundreds of smoke dectectors needing new batteries..

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15 June 2013:

Full demolition has started. For a long time it appeared they had only done enough demolotion to "poison-pill" the structure, ie: make sure nobody could buy it and reopen it as a motel. In these pictures, the full knockdown is well underway. Also, note the for-sale sign just off of Trenholm Extension.

14 July 2013:

Not nearly as much "progress" as you might expect, but the demolition goes on.

10 August 2013:

I had never seen a freight train stuck on this stretch of the track by Two Notch, but in this case a long train was stopped for upwards of 45 minutes, blocking off both Dawson Road & Oakway Drive. I had to go all the way down to the Two Notch / Trenholm Extension intersection to get back to the old Ramada. As I finished taking this set, train finally started to move and the railway maintainence pickup truck (fitted with track wheels) came along the tracks behind the train. What a track crew could have been fixing behind a stopped train, I'm not sure.

As you can see, the Ramada is now entirely gone except for a pump building and some incidentals like TVs and silverware.

UPDATE 17 August 2013: Added verbiage and pictures for 15 June 2013, 14 July 2013 and 10 August 2013. Also added complete photosets for those days.

Photosets:

Photoset 26 August 2012
Photoset 15 June 2013
Photoset 14 July 2013
Photoset 10 August 2013

15 Responses to 'Holiday Inn / Ramada Inn, 7510 Two Notch Road: 9 June 2010'

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  1. I'm not so sure that Ramada's aren't franchised (as I think many hotel chains are) where the owner of the hotel pays for the name and agrees to certain branding rules. That would explain a sudden closure like this. Of course it probably is a breach of the franchise agreement but by the time its time to close I figure that's the last of the owner's concerns.

    Larry

    11 Jun 10 at 8:23 am

  2. My assumption is that they are franchised. I wouldn't expect corporate to bail them out or anything, but I would expect them to try to do something to protect the brand as a whole. Of course, they may not even know anything is going on.

    ted

    11 Jun 10 at 1:48 pm

  3. I remember about 10 yrs ago when a bunch of Ramadas must have lost their flagships...I saw a bunch of "Darama" and "Radama", "Dama", etc. hotels along I-95 N in NC & VA.

    Dave

    11 Jun 10 at 3:40 pm

  4. If the following is correct, then this motel is a franchise. Accroding to the Wikipedia entry on Ramada:

    Under Cendant's (and now Wyndham's) ownership, Ramada franchises Ramada Inn, Ramada Limited, Ramada Plaza and Ramada Suites in the United States and Canada. Ramada itself no longer directly or indirectly owns or operates any of the Ramada hotels. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, Ramada hotels are owned and operated or franchised by Ramada International, which until recently, was owned by rival hotel operator Marriott International. However, in 2004, Ramada International was purchased by Cendant, giving Cendant the worldwide rights to the Ramada name. Ramada International remains separate from the Ramada operations in the United States and Canada. In 2006, Cendant spun off its hotel operations, including Ramada, to Wyndham Worldwide.

    Tom

    11 Jun 10 at 4:18 pm

  5. My favorite for a Ramada that lost its flag is in Colonial Heights, Virginia along I-95. It went from RAMADA to ARMADA. Only cost them the expense of hiring a crane and reversing two letters.

    Steve

    11 Jun 10 at 7:58 pm

  6. WLTX is now reporting that the owners son claims that they ran into financial difficulties.

    http://www.wltx.com/news/story.aspx?storyid=88530&catid=2

    Tom

    14 Jun 10 at 8:12 am

  7. Is Mallard's, the cougar bar, still open at the Holiday Inn on Two Notch? I caught me a cougar there one night and still have the claw marks to prove it!

    joel

    18 Jun 10 at 10:52 pm

  8. The "ARMADA" one on I-95 in VA read "RAMAAD" if you approached it from the opposite direction.

    I have a picture of it somewhere.

    Lee

    30 Jun 10 at 1:46 pm

  9. Something is going on with this place. There is some serious demolition work going on with heavy equipment. There has been some serious vandalism on this place in the past year. There were a number of broken windows and mattresses hanging out of the building. So either someone is going to renovate it or the vandals have gotten serious.

    Matt

    22 Aug 12 at 9:03 am

  10. I didn't double check the previous post before I sent it. I didn't realize things were so serious today.

    Matt

    22 Aug 12 at 9:15 am

  11. It is serious, but don't call it Shirley.

    I'm sorry. Someone had to do it...

    jonathan

    22 Aug 12 at 12:28 pm

  12. I think in this case the vandals have backhoes..

    ted

    28 Aug 12 at 12:22 am

  13. Mallards was at the Ramada down the road. That hotel was owned by the same company that owned the Sheraton. I was a d.j. at Saint's in the Sheraton and at Pawleys in this Holiday Inn Back in the mid to late 80's/early 90's.

    Dave

    22 Oct 12 at 10:46 am

  14. I also worked at both Saints at the Sheraton, Mallards at the Ramada, and also the bar at the Holiday Inn on two notch which I think was called Adams during the early/ mid 80's. Saints was a little more high energy in the evening. Management at Mallards at the time was going for more of a Beach Music crowd. Adams tried to be a little of both. All nice places

    JOHN

    18 Dec 12 at 12:03 pm

  15. I drove by there the other day and noticed that they have leveled the place down to the slab. No idea what the future of this property may be.

    Homer

    29 Jul 13 at 5:26 pm

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