A historic building and a modern dream
It all started with a couple that has been living in Boone for over 40 years. Fulton and Denise Lovin are the founders of wedding and party venue White Fence Farm, several vacation rentals and student apartments, in Boone. White Fence Farm was their entry into hospitality, and soon they noticed Boone is missing a small boutique hotel. A place where locals and visitors could gather, a place that felt warm and personal, and a place where guests could see the attention in every detail – from amazingly soft sheets to an artisanal cocktail.
This dream began to take shape about two years ago. A local acquaintance owned a beautiful building downtown, right on King Street. The building was built by Henry Walter Horton in 1929: Fulton started digging into the history of the Hortons and contemplating how it might generate income. His research uncovered a photograph of the original owner in a Revolutionary War uniform perched on a horse on King Street during the town’s 1949 Centennial Parade. That got his creative wheels churning, and in January 2017 the Lovins purchased the building.
Downtown Boone’s first Boutique Hotel
So there it was: a big sledgehammer, held by the couple and a ‘bang’ in the wall. After the groundbreaking ceremony on February 23rd 2017, the renovation started. Fulton: “It’s the riskiest thing I’ve ever done, but I’ve always approached real estate as a form of art, so I’m used to the risk. I know it will be well worth the effort. Things are really coming together in an aesthetically pleasing way.”
For Denise, who worked as a psychologist at Appalachian’s Counseling Center for 21 years and retired last fall, this is an entirely new business. “It’s been a challenge but also an incredible learning experience,” she said, “I’m hopeful my skills as a psychologist will aid us in fostering healthy relationships with our employees so that they are as invested in the success of the business – and the experience of our customers – as we are.”
A place where you want to be
They are thrilled to create a unique place to stay, with a historically hip vibe, where people can feel at home – guests and locals. Or as Denise likes to put it: “The Horton is a place where you want to be.”
- Downtown Boone’s first Boutique Hotel
- 15 comfortable, unique rooms
- Pet-friendly rooms
- Rooftop lounge with scenic views
- Cocktail parlor with gourmet bites
- Locally owned and operated