The family behind a recently sold RV dealership in Ashland is rolling into the world of real estate investing with its first acquisition: a historic hotel in Charlottesville.
The McGeorge family of Richmond, who this spring sold their McGeorge Rolling Hills RV dealership to retail conglomerate Camping World Holdings, has acquired the 100-acre Clifton Inn property in Charlottesville in partnership with Washington, D.C.-based Westmount Capital Group.
Richmond-based Canal Capital Management advised the McGeorges in the deal, which closed Nov. 30 and was made through the family’s EKG LLC and Westmount Capital Group LLC. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Albemarle County records show the property was purchased Nov. 30 through Clifton Inn LLC for $7.26 million.
Canal Capital’s Noah Greenbaum said the deal marks the first investment for the McGeorges, who he said have been looking for investment opportunities since selling their dealership and forming an investment partnership focused on small businesses and real estate in the Mid-Atlantic region. The partnership includes Edward McGeorge and sons Kevin McGeorge and Gregory McGeorge.
“This is one of the first opportunities that they found that they liked,” Greenbaum said. “With this asset, I think everybody was very excited and saw a lot of opportunity in the end.”
Greenbaum said the McGeorges and Westmount plan to improve Clifton Inn, with an emphasis on enhancing its use as a wedding venue. They are not yet disclosing specific plans.
One change announced in a release is the retention of Massachusetts-based Scout Hotel & Resort Management to handle the inn’s operations.
“Charlottesville is one of the top wedding destinations in the country, and we hope we can make the Clifton Inn one of the premier wedding venues and resorts,” Greenbaum said.
Opened in 1983, Clifton Inn occupies the 1799 estate of Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha and her husband, Thomas Mann Randolph. The 100-acre property, down the road from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, includes landscaped gardens, forests and lakes, 17 guest rooms and suites, wedding and event facilities and a restaurant.
Westmount Capital was advised in the deal by Bethesda, Maryland-based Woodmont Lodging LLC.
Clifton Inn isn’t the only hotel west of Richmond to attract the interest of local investors. Developers Robin Miller and Dan Gecker are finishing up their Blackburn Inn project in downtown Staunton. The 49-room hotel, constructed in 1828 and designed by Jefferson protégé Thomas Blackburn, is set to open in late spring.