Thursday, February 7, 2013
A historic Summerville icon is coming back to life as a venue to create new memories.
After months of discussion and study, Tom Limehouse has decided to make the Woodlands Inn property a wedding/special event venue.
Limehouse, who bought the property in September 2012 from Salamander Resorts LLC, has been working to find a solution to not only preserve the property but also find a use for it beyond mere subdivision.
“This rebirth will allow Woodlands to continue its long and storied history of romance, elegance, and grand celebrations,” Limehouse said. “This property is too beautiful and special to be taken apart solely for economic convenience.”
The original home, a Greek revival style mansion built in 1906, sits on 11 acres. The property became a high-end resort inn back in 1995; Salamander Resorts bought the property in 2005 and operated it until selling to Limehouse in September.
During those years, the inn scored well aesthetically, earning consecutive Mobil five star and five diamond ratings, as well as other prestigious kudos, for more than a decade.
Yet the high-end resort/five star dining experience and business model was never profitable, Limehouse said.
Limehouse said he bought the property in part because he wanted to try to keep yet another iconic Summerville property from disappearing, either under the wrecking ball or through commercial subdivision.
He did not see any business advantage in re-opening as an inn, nor does he have any plans to revive the restaurant, but he also did not want those amenities to disappear, he said. Ultimately, he decided to focus on weddings and special events. The property is unique in that the entire estate – including eighteen bedrooms and a state of the art commercial kitchen, formal dining room, and other such amenities – can be made available, thus making it a very attractive destination both for corporate event planners and destination brides, he said.
Most of all, Limehouse wanted to find a way for the property to continue its tradition of being a springboard for making beautiful memories, he said.
“I wanted to do the right thing,” he said. “And the truth is, when people are here, the building comes alive. The whole place just comes to life.”