JEFFERSON — The historic Jefferson Hotel, one of the bayou city’s oldest hotels, has new owners as of Friday and they are planning to re-open the famous sleeping hole as early as August.
Husband and wife couple Jeromy and Pam Jones from Corrinth were able to combine their love for all things historical, paranormal and Jefferson on Friday when they signed papers to become the new owners of the Jefferson Hotel.
The hotel, which has sat empty for more than two years, has been featured in movies, T.V. shows, and was a regular hot spot for ghost hunters due to a high level of reported paranormal activity in the 170 year old building.
“We have always been in love with Jefferson and have been coming here for about seven or eight years to visit,” Jeromy said Saturday. “We knew we wanted to live here, we just never thought we would end up getting to live in the historic Jefferson Hotel and become hotel owners.”
Jeromy is an electrical engineer by trade but soon realized a way to combine his formal education with his passion of paranormal research and began creating ghost hunting equipment.
“I was always interested in the paranormal and I found a way to merge the engineering with the paranormal,” he said. “I started by showing my equipment at some of Jodi Breckenridge’s events here in Jefferson, then began selling the equipment on eBay and after two or three years, I taught my wife how to build the equipment and now it’s a very successful business.”
The business is called, “Paranologies,” a combination of paranormal and technology, Jeromy said.
“The company has been very successful,” he said. “We always visited Jefferson throughout the years, and even stayed at the Jefferson Hotel, and a couple of years ago when we came to town, we saw the hotel was up for sale.”
The couple immediately began researching to see if they could afford the hotel and to learn how to become hoteliers.
“This is the perfect combination of history, paranormal and a home in Jefferson — everything we always wanted — all in one,” he said.
While the couple’s offer was accepted, they had trouble finding a bank to fund them since they didn’t have any experience running a hotel. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, slowing down the buying process even more.
“It took a year but finally on Friday, we signed the papers,” Pam said. “We are so happy and we know we can make it successful.”
The couple plans to convert half of the existing restaurant area into a ballroom and leave the back part of the restaurant to run as a cafe. They are also planning to add in a staircase that will lead from the ballroom, straight up to a room upstairs that will become the bridal room, so the hotel can become a Jefferson wedding destination spot.
“We have 24 rooms total and we plan to use four rooms for the family to live — we have two of our children that will be living with us — and the other 20 rooms in the hotel will be rented out,” Jeromy said.
The couple is replacing flooring in the hotel this week, as well as linens and plans to bring in about $500,000 of their own antique collection into the hotel for decorations before hopefully opening in August.
“We plan to decorate the rooms by theme,” Jeromy said. “We want to restore the hotel back to its former historic glory.”
The Jefferson Hotel is located at 124 West Austin Street and has a long history of paranormal activity in several rooms and areas of the hotel.