7/12/2013 - GPI marks centennial today
by Asheville Citizen Times
ASHEVILLE -- The Grove Park Inn will be in full party mode today as it holds an open house to mark the historic inn's centennial anniversary.
Area musicians and crafters will be on display at the inn beginning at 10 a.m. Musicians include the Elkville String Band and banjo player R.G. Absher. Quilter Pattiy Torno and the Carolina Mountain Woodturners will be demonstrating their work.
Other exhibitors will include the Asheville Art Museum, Blue Ridge National Heritage Area, the Blue Ridge Music Trails of North Carolina, and Nantahala Outdoor Center.
Later in the day, a time capsule will be cracked open and a fireworks display will mark the 100th birthday.
The grand inn, which was built in just under one year beginning in 1912, officially opened on July 13, 1913, with a ceremony marked by Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan's speech to 400 men gathered for the event. Over the years, the inn has had its ups and downs and changed hands several times.
Last month, the Omni Hotel & Resort chain announced it was buying the landmark inn from a Denver investment group that purchased the inn from longtime owners Sammons Enterprises last year