Next phase in historic hotel project opens
CANTON — The second phase of renovations to the historic Imperial Hotel complex in Canton was completed last week — just in time for a class reunion.
Pat Smathers, Canton businessman and attorney, has been working toward full renovation of the structures built in the 100 block of Main Street for decades. Early this year, the restaurant/bar area in the old Imperial Hotel opened.
The most recent improvement is a banquet room in the former W. Turner Sharpe building, which is just next door. The building joins the courtyard area of the Imperial, and years ago, there was a connector between the two buildings near the front of the property.
One of Smathers' early projects when he acquired the property in the 1990s was to install an elevator between the two buildings and relocate the connector toward the back, which opened up the ornate courtyard area between the structures.
The renovated banquet hall will accommodate receptions for up to 220. If the event requires table seating for all, that number drops to 99.
Smathers said Sid Truesdale, who leases restaurant space in the hotel, Sid's on Main, was the impetus for getting the project wrapped up.
“Sid booked a wedding and a class reunion on the same night,” Smathers told a crowd of about 30 who showed up for the Haywood County Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting.
For more photos and full story, pick up a copy of the Monday, Oct. 8 issue of The Mountaineer, or click here.