The Knob Hill Motor Lodge, Hillsville’s oldest motel, is once again open for business. Charles “Chuck” Jennings bought the landmark, which has been in operation for over 50 years, when it was auctioned off last year.
“What I’m trying to do is set it up for the area to use. When people come in to visit their families or come to town for funerals, they need a place to stay,” said Jennings, who offers a 10 percent discount to local customers who need rooms for guests.
Jennings, who reopened the motel in October of last year, is busy updating all the rooms. Each room contains a microwave and refrigerator, all will soon have flat screen TVs, and the larger rooms have recliners. New mattresses and boxed springs have been purchased, all rooms painted, and furniture has been replaced or refinished. In addition, Wi-Fi is being installed.
“All the rooms are clean and nice,” said Jennings, who gives most of the credit to his manager, Karen Rich, and his maid, Karen May. “Karen is the best maid in the area and Karen does anything that needs to be done.”
Although business was slow to begin with, business is on the upswing.
“We more or less broke even from Oct. 15 to Feb. 20, but now it’s beginning to pay for itself,” said Jennings, who now has people booking rooms months in advance.
Jennings added that he is also trying to keep his rates low, charging $50 plus $5 tax for one person and $60 and $6 for two people.
Knob Hill does not offer food, but does serve coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the breezeway from 6:30-10 a.m. In addition, the Cavalier Café, which is across the highway from the motel, will deliver breakfast orders to individual rooms.
Before coming to the area in 1991, Jennings served 20 years in the Navy before serving as a contractor for the Marine Corps for 20 years. He then worked in San Diego as a contractor for the Navy for another 10 years. He lived in Barren Springs for four years before making the move to Hillsville.
Knob Hill has a web site at www.knobhillmotorlodge.net.