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SHEIRDAN — The Sheridan Inn will officially change hands Friday, as its new owners are expecting to sign the final closing documents to the historic building.
Bob and Dana Townsend plan to finish the renovations the building needed when it went into foreclosure more than a year ago.
The Townsends, who split their residency between Big Horn and Tulsa, Okla., are hosting an open house at the Inn from 6-8 p.m. Saturday.
“When we heard the Inn was in foreclosure, we felt drawn to help preserve this piece of our national heritage,” Bob Townsend said, adding he first toured the building in July and described the tour as love at first sight.
“As business owners, though, we understand it takes more than an emotional investment to build a successful company,” Townsend said.
“Dana and I know we cannot do this alone. We need everyone’s involvement.”
Townsend said he’s counting on family and corporate contributions to help get the business restarted.
The Townsends started an employee-owned air conditioning and plumbing company in Oklahoma with a payroll of approximately 50 employees. A team of employees from the Tulsa-based company will arrive in Sheridan Saturday to begin preparing the Inn for re-opening.
The Inn was forced to close when the Sheridan Heritage Center was unable to make loan payments to the Wyoming Bank & Trust in 2012.
The Townsends hope to finish the project started by the SHC, which will include finishing the remodel of the second and third floors into habitable, rentable hotel rooms.
Townsend said he never expected to become the owner of the Inn, but when the situation presented itself, he said he couldn’t turn down the opportunity.
“There is just something about the Inn that elicits passion from people,” he said.