The Fox Hotel is going back to its roots.
New owners Tom Snodgrass and Thelma Bataille purchased the historic hotel at 95 Main St. in old town Dayton and are planning on turning it into a bed and breakfast in the "early rustic Western style."
Snodgrass and Bataille, who are married and live in Dayton, purchased the property in November for $200,000 from Eldin Morton. The property included the 2,000-square-foot hotel and 1,200-square foot office building that sits beside it on Main Street.
"It was a grand ol' lady who was abused, so we're in the process of cleaning and gutting it and keeping the historical value," Snodgrass says.
He estimates it'll cost from $200,000 to $250,000 to renovate the two-story hotel. It could open with up to eight rooms.
"This is an ongoing processing, it's probably going to take a year."
The couple purchased during a tumultuous time in the market, which he says was a solid venture for them.
Snodgrass, 69, is retired and his wife is an area Realtor.
"If you look at Standard & Poor's, they have a home builder's index and that's up 17 percent from July of last year. You can listen to all naysayers, but follow the money. That's the way it should be."
Snodgrass met with Lyon County officials this week and will soon decide on interior drawings. The exterior will be painted in earth-tone colors, according to historical district requirements. The couple will probably rename the historic hotel, possibly taking it back to the Occidental Hotel name.
"This whole thing is our baby until we get it done."
Snodgrass has already cleaned out the back yard, hauling out five 30-yard containers of junk, which included cast-iron bathtubs, engine blocks, urinals, old motorcycles and cars.
"As a community, we can turn Dayton into another Virginia City, or do as good of a job, if not better."
Despite all the cleaning, Snodgrass said the building's structure is in good shape.
"The building is very old, yet the floors don't squeak."
Snodgrass said his hotel will be a good complement to the reconstructed Old Corner Bar, located farther down Main Street.
• Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at email@example.com or 881-1212.