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California Briefing / Grass Valley

Historic hotel to keep doors open

March 20, 2009|Richard C. Paddock

A Gold Country hotel that boasts the longest continually operating saloon west of the Mississippi will remain open under a lease-option deal with a Utah company, managing partner Jim O'Brien said Thursday.

The Holbrooke Hotel, which includes the Golden Gate Saloon that began operating in 1852, will be leased and managed by Atkinson and Johnson, a Salt Lake City firm that will have a two-year option to buy the hotel.

"The Holbrooke is going to survive," O'Brien said. "We are no longer in danger of closing."

The hotel, which includes a restaurant and catering business, announced last month that it would close its doors because of a sudden decline in business due to the economic downturn.

The announcement triggered an outpouring of community support and offers from potential buyers, prompting the owners to stay open.

The hotel, which counts four presidents and author Mark Twain among its guests, is a fixture in Grass Valley, a Gold Rush town of 11,000 people about 60 miles northeast of Sacramento.

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-- Richard C. Paddock

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