Hotel Versailles ribbon cutting marks official opening


By Tammy Watts

VERSAILLES — Hotel Versailles held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark its official opening on Tues., May 24. Business, village, and county officials, as well as Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-8) were on hand to deliver remarks. Those in attendance had the opportunity to tour the new hotel, its restaurant, Silas Creative Kitchen and Cocktails, and the 1819 Room, a 200-person capacity event venue. Silas was named after Silas Atchison, who first platted Jacksonville, later Versailles, in 1819 (hence, the 1819 room).

Jack Olshan, Managing Director of Hotel Versailles, took pride in the local influence present in every aspect of the hotel: furniture ordered from Jasper, Ind., mattresses in all 30 boutique rooms from Medina, Ohio, towels and linens from Standard Textiles in Cincinnati, and a unique, three-tiered glass chandelier, made by Glass Asylum in Chagrin Falls, Ohio.

Jon Wells, President and CEO of Midmark, defined Hotel Versailles as a place “where heritage meets hospitality.” Renaissance Corporation, who owns Hotel Versailles, is a subsidiary of Midmark.

Olshan added that seven hotels have stood on the property over the past 157 years, the first of which was Eagle House. Photographs of Eagle House, as well as other early iterations of the hotel, courtesy of the Versailles Historical Society, decorate the hotel’s hallways.

Monique McGlinch, Vice President of Customer Engagement for Midmark, thanked local businesses for their input and patience throughout the process of building the hotel. “Hotel Versailles and Silas celebrate the emotional connection the community has with the property,” she stated, emphasizing the importance of having a place to gather. “It pays homage to the past, while looking forward to the future, and is invigorating the downtown area,” she added.

Silas Executive Chef Aaron Allen was working at a five-star resort in Texas when he first met Olshan. Olshan joked, “I’m the only one that can manage him, so we have to keep working together.” Allen, who was born in Dayton, has a different story, simply welcoming the opportunity to come back to Ohio, and work closely with the community. Expounding on the theme of local sourcing, Allen cooks with products from Weavers Eggs, Winner’s Meats, and King’s Poultry. “Ninety to 95 percent of our ingredients during the growing season will be local,” he said.

Versailles Mayor Jeff Subler thanked Midmark Corporation. “Midmark refused to give up on this village, just like the people in 1901,” he stated, referring to a fire that devastated Versailles on July 6 of that year, destroying businesses and residences. The village was rebuilt a year later. Subler welcomed everyone back to “history in the making.”

Darke County Commissioner Matt Aultman, cited an unnamed quote, “people make change to community, but fires change it faster.” He attributed the ability to rise from the ashes like the mythological Phoenix to “people, pride, and progress.” He also credited the the community’s strong religious faith, leading the gathering in a prayer for blessings upon the new business and its staff.

Congressman Davidson called the hotel an “emblematic anchor” in the community, that stood as a testament to faith, values, and work ethic. “My wife and I are looking forward to sharing meals here,” he concluded.

The ribbon was cut, attendees were welcomed into the hotel, and invited to enjoy refreshments, notably, mimosas, and cherry almond scones.

Those who had the opportunity to view the elegant rooms, their minibars stocked with local goodies from Mikesells Potato Chips, Esther Price Candies, and Hayner whiskey, were already busy planning “staycations” at the hotel. Associates from Wagstaff, a public relations and marketing agency devoted to the travel, culinary, and hospitality industries, were also committed to promoting the hotel as a regional, and even national, destination.

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