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Downtown loses the Woods Hotel

By Ben Graham, Jackson Hole Daily
June 27, 2013

Family owners of a downtown lot next to the Browse N’ Buy plan to erect a three-story hotel on the site of the half-century-old Woods Hotel.

Demolition crews reduced the 11-room, one-story hotel to a pile of rubble earlier this week.

The new hotel that will take its place will still be locally owned and operated, owner Jim Darwiche said.

“It was an old building,” Darwiche said. “We have been planning this for the last seven years. It’s going to be a green project, LEED-certified.”

The family, which bought the hotel in 2006, plans to save some of the bricks and timber of the old structure to use in some way on the new hotel.

“It’s excitement for the new, but you also miss the old,” Darwiche said. “This piece of land years ago when it was the Woods Motel, was the new thing.”

The Woods Hotel was built in 1947 and originally was called Huff’s Motel, named after longtime valley doctor Charles Huff, according to the Teton County Historic Preservation Board’s website.

The building went up as the first surge of post-war visitors flocked to the area for Jackson Hole vacations, the website says.

“The motel is representative of the rise of the tourist industry in the valley, and was constructed as part of a wave of construction in the lodging industry in Jackson in the post-World War II years,” the website reads.

In the 1970s, the Woods family of Salt Lake City bought the business and renamed it the Woods Hotel, according to the hotel’s website.

The Historic Preservation Board surveyed the property but did not give it an award plaque, which other historical buildings in town have received.

Staffers at the town of Jackson building department are still processing a building permit for the project Darwiche plans to build.

Darwiche said he hopes to begin construction as soon as possible.

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