PHOTO: Wilmington's Hotel du Pont, seen here in a decades-old postcard, has been owned by DuPont since 1913. (Photo via Flickr/Boston Public Library)
For the first time in more than 100 years, Wilmington, Delaware's iconic Hotel du Pont will operate under new ownership.
The hotel's owner and operator, DuPont, confirmed Tuesday that it has sold the property to local developer Buccini/Pollin for an undisclosed price, according to the News Journal. The sale is expected to close Feb. 28, after which the 217-room hotel will be run by the Washington, D.C.-based PM Hotel Group.
Hotel historian Stanley Turkel told the News Journal that the sale is a "'oh my God' story."
"I can't think of another hotel that has lasted so long with one company," Turkel added. "Some hotels were passed down through family connections, but I don't think they lasted more than 100 years."
The hotel housed inside a 12-story Italian Renaissance building first opened in 1913.
Fortunately for locals and frequent guests, not much will change following the sale. Buccini/Pollin executive vice president Michael Hare told the News Journal that "the plan is to operate it as a hotel and hospitality space" rather than transform it into residential units.
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"The hotel, as people recognize it, will largely stay the same," said Hare.
The new owner is planning to restore the hotel, but it shouldn't require extensive work, according to former Hotel du Pont manager William Sullivan, who told the News Journal that the five-star hotel "just needs a refresh that hotels need every eight to 10 years—carpets, drapes, covers."
Highlights of the hotel, including the two-and-half-story Green Room Restaurant and the Gold Ballroom will remain, according to Hare.
"Under the ownership and expert management of BPG and PM Hotel Group, the Hotel du Pont will provide an enhanced luxury experience for the Delaware community and hotel guests from around the world," said DuPont Corporate Services senior vice president Richard C. Olson said in a statement.