What’s next for the Old Cavalier Hotel?

Posted at 7:27 PM, Sep 22, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-22 19:27:29-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - All around the grounds of the Old Cavalier Hotel, there are nods to the building's heyday. But it's hard to see past what the hotel is now.

"I just had no idea that there was going to be that much destruction. It was like Baghdad."

The hotel has been rotting for decades In the breezy oceanfront air. A court order forced the previous owners to sell. Bruce Thompson was one of the buyers.

"We only had 45 days and only two visits that we could come in and do any kind of inspection."

What were once grand lobbies are now dusty demolition zones. There are a few remnants left of its glorious past. The promise of its future is in a slideshow.

With a combination of public money in private investments, the Old Cavalier is scheduled to become a luxury hotel next year. Thompson conceded the hotel itself will be a money pit. Now he's just hoping to break even.

"When we first started, I thought maybe we would make a buck or two, but as we got into it, every day it became more and more obvious we had tackled a project that is way beyond our expectations."

Around the hotel will go upscale houses. That part has been controversial, but the developer says it's the only way the project will work.

From a business standpoint, Thompson says the smartest thing to do would've been to tear it down. But this building was once an icon to the city, and he says it can be once again.

"When thousands of people lined up to buy little scraps of the hotel that I realized the significance this hotel has in the community."


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