By JACK WEATHERLY
The Cabot Lodge Hotel at Millsaps College is scheduled to close before the end of the year as a long-term lease to operate the hotel comes to an end. Employees of the hotel were notified by MMI Hotel Group, which manages the hotel and leases the property from the college.
The Cabot Lodge sits on an approximately 15-acre parcel at the intersection of Woodrow Wilson Avenue and North State Street. The land is owned by Millsaps.
“For nearly 50 years, Millsaps students, parents, alumni, trustees, and friends of the College have stayed at the Cabot Lodge when they came to town for campus visits, athletic events, commencement, and more,” Dr. Robert W. Pearigen, president of Millsaps, said in a release. “While many fond memories have been shared within its walls, it is exciting to consider what can become of the 15-acre northeast corner of campus when the building is removed.”
The decision to close the hotel was based on the age of the building alongside market changes in the area, as newer hotels close to campus have opened or are scheduled to open soon, according to the lease.
Micajah Sturdivant, president of Flowood-based MMI, said Tuesday that the management company “simply elected not to renew the lease.” The hotel’s last day of operation will be Dec. 14, Sturdivant said.
MMI sold the 200-room Cabot Lodge in Ridgeland earlier this year to investors for $3.7 million.
The investors, who include Heritage Hospitality of Ridgeland and Fusion Hospitality of Tupelo, are converting the hotel into a senior-citizen housing facility.
The hotel at Millsaps will be the last Cabot Lodge, Sturdivant said. MMI was established in 1956 and now has 17 properties in its portfolio, including the Cotton House hotel, which opened this year in Cleveland, Miss.
“No one could operate a Cabot Lodge today,” Sturdivant said of the unique brand that mimics classic lodges of a different era.
Pearigen said MMI has been “wonderful business partners and supporters of Millsaps, and they will continue in their role as a leader in the hospitality industry around the country.”
“We are looking at ideas and proposals to develop our northeast corner,” said Pearigen. “Our goals remain to develop the corner in a way that reinforces our mission, attracts and engages students, connects our campus with the community and the medical corridor, and produces revenue.”
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