Palm trees in Austintown?
The tropical flora that surrounds Hotel California has raised the eyebrows of passers-by for weeks.
But the trees are only the first hint that the new hotel is a long way from the usual.
When it opens in September, Hotel California will be a resort destination. It’s designed to take advantage of its proximity to the new racino — Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course — that will open in November about a half-mile away.
Hotel California is designed with Southern California style and ambiance. A reincarnation of the former Economy Inn budget motel, the hotel sits amid the neon-lit travel oasis along state Route 46 near the Interstate 80 interchange.
It is the brainchild of owner Sebastian Rucci, a Poland attorney who once operated an adult club on the property. The structure has been gutted and is currently undergoing a $4.5 million renovation.
It’s on pace for a grand opening in mid-September.
The hotel today bears no signs of any of its past lives.
First, there are the aforementioned palm trees. The 100 trees — both inside and outside — come with a price tag of $120,000.
Read more about this unusual transformation in Sunday's Vindicator or on Vindy.com.