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Historic Blanche Hotel open for business

Officials, family and friends gathered at the top of the staircase as Mayor Stephen Witt, center left, along with IDP Properties president Rhett Holmes, of Valdosta, cut the ribbon during the grand opening of the newly-renovated Blanche Hotel in Lake City last week. -Photo Submitted by Dennille Decker

By Tami Stevenson

The long awaited completion of renovations to the historic Blanche Hotel, owned by IDP Properties, along Marion Avenue in Lake City, has finally come. Around 350 locals, along with city and county officials were in attendance for their grand opening last Thursday evening.

Guests enjoyed champagne and hors d’oeuvres while celebrating and admiring the over $14 million in renovations to the 80,000 square foot icon that is the Blanche Hotel.

The Blanche Hotel was built in 1902 and has garnered a rich history through the years. As it was a three story building, they were the first to install an elevator in the state. Johnny Cash and Al Capone are some of the famous and infamous guests that have darkened the doors of the Blanche and slept under its roof.

With the Blanche now open for business, community leaders and city officials are hoping to draw more vitality and activity to the downtown area once again to strengthen the local economy.

Today the Blanche offers 14 hotel rooms (Airbnb), 22 full-time apartments (6 - 2 bed and 14 - 1 bed), 11 retail spaces and 18 private office suites. They also have a ball room for weddings and other events.

Their website states that, the Blanche has remained a central hub of hospitality in Lake City for over 100 years. Today, you’ll find a modern, comfortable facility featuring multi-use spaces to live, work, shop, celebrate, and experience the modern spirit with historic charm.

Dennille Decker, Operations Director for the Blanche and IDP Properties Marketing Director, said it was worth the wait.
“The grand opening was a wonderful evening, very exciting to be able to see everyone come out and finally get to take a look at what we have been working on for so long. It was just nice to have everybody. To hear their comments and see everything come to fruition after all this time.”

If anyone is interested in finding out more about the Blanche’s apartments, commercial space, or has a question regarding the project call 386-628-1178 for more information or visit their website at