PENDER, Neb.- An old hotel in Pender, Nebraska now has new life, thanks to the work of a local family.
Taryn Vanderford traveled to her hometown of Pender recently to talk with Scott and Katie Darling. They own what local residents know as the Palace Hotel. Back in the late 1800's and early 1900's, the Palace Hotel was one of the best in northeast Nebraska.
Scott Darling's grandfather bought the building in 1946, and it has always served as a hotel or as apartments. The wear and tear of time took its toll on the building, and when the Darling family wanted to continue with apartments in the building, there were always issues with electrical or plumbing. "There was a never ending battle to keep up with those issues," Scott said. "My father applied to have this building on the National Register of Historic Places. Once that went through, we pushed to get an architect to submit plans and develop this."
Once the family saw what the hotel could look like renovated, they decided to move ahead. Scott says tax credits also made it affordable to move forward. "The foundation, the exterior of the building, we didn't have to do hardly any work on it," Scott said. "As we got into it, we were able to preserve all of the wood floors, except for a few that had water damage."
In fact, the old Palace Hotel has now been transformed into 16 beautiful apartments that are all rented. There is also an "extended stay" apartment that someone can use for a few days or a week. "This is really a giant antique, made modern", Scott said.