The Virginian Lodge

The Virginian Lodge and RV Park is for sale for $60 million.

If you have $60 million to spend on about 13 acres of prime Jackson real estate, join the crowd.

News announced Friday that the venerable Virginian Lodge and RV Park was on the market brought a crush of interest from potential buyers around the country, said Greg Prugh, of Prugh Real Estate.

“I have had phone calls from Florida, from New York, from California, from people who read about it, heard about it,” Prugh said.

Prugh said Tuesday that he “didn’t know what to expect” when he listed the property Friday.

The parcel bounded by West Broadway, Virginian Lane and Snow King Avenue — a big piece of in-town property that’s the opposite of densely developed — is the site of the Virginian Lodge and its 170 rooms and the adjacent RV park, with 103 spaces. The 5 acres of the RV park had already been hinted at in December as a potential sale for development of much-needed worker housing.

Prugh said that since the land was listed he’s had about 20 calls from possible buyers or their agents and had sent out about 40 nondisclosure agreements to people interested enough and well-enough funded to see financial details of the property and its businesses.

“I’ll be very surprised if we don’t have multiple offers” for the property, Prugh said.

People enquiring have hinted at a variety of options for the land, which is today pretty much as it has been since the 1960s.

“Some people have said they’re interested in redoing the hotel, or in redeveloping the whole site,” Prugh said. “One said housing for the whole site but with some kind of condominiumized hotel.”

Interested parties have also offered various ways to handle the automotive side of the equation because “parking will be an important part of the mix,” Prugh said.

One asked about parking clear along the Virginian Lane side of the land. Others mentioned the possibility of building underground parking or a parking structure.

Keeping the Virginian operation unchanged is unlikely, Prugh said, given the investment.

“As is, probably not,” he said. “And if it did stay, prices would definitely go up.”

Virginia Napierskie died in May at age 94. She and her husband, Glenn, started the lodge and ran it for more than 50 years. Her family now owns the property.

The 95,000-square-foot lodge is the mainstay of the business. It includes a convention center, a package liquor store and a bar and food operation. A separate building houses the Virginian Restaurant, a popular establishment operated under a lease. The business side is rounded out by the RV park, the only one left in town.

Under current zoning the 5 acres of the RV business could be redeveloped with up to 90,000 square feet of housing, with buildings up to four stories tall.

The 8 acres on the West Broadway side — including 442 feet of highway frontage — could be redeveloped with up to 130,000 square feet of housing and commercial. The Albertsons grocery down the road is about 50,000 square feet.

Prugh said the family put the property on the market to see what kind of interest exists and what kind of money might be offered.

But he emphasized the listing is serious, and offerings of various kinds are all welcome.

“The family is flexible,” he said. “But they’d like to sell the whole thing.”

Contact Mark Huffman at 732-5907 or mark@jhnewsandguide.com.

Mark Huffman edits copy and occasionally writes some, too. He's been a journalist since newspapers had typewriters and darkrooms.

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