New hotel in downtown Boone offers jobs and internships to App State students

Anna Muckenfuss, Appalachian Weekly News Producer

After being under construction for a year, the 15-room hotel located on King Street called the Horton Hotel will open on Feb. 13.

Denise Lovin, owner of the Horton Hotel, said the Horton will be a place for all to gather and enjoy a space with a touch of sophistication, craft beer and cocktails. Lovin owns the hotel with her husband.

“We’ve incorporated a lot of history of the family of Walter Horton, who actually built the hotel, and references to downtown Boone,” Lovin said. “We’re here to provide exceptional customer service and to be neighborly and to build good relationships with tourists, locals and guests.”

Lovin said the hotel will offer several amenities including fine linens, alternative options for pillows, comfortable robes, and locally made soaps and lotions. The hotel offers pet-friendly rooms on the lower level.

“We really want to create an experience that we hope and think our guests will enjoy,” Lovin said. “Knowing that there are travelers that love traveling with their dogs, we wanted to be welcoming to anyone who walks through our doors.”

Anna Muckenfuss
The bar in the Horton Hotel on King Street.

Jessica Adams, an intern for the hotel, said the hotel has already impacted App State students.

“A lot of hospitality students have toured there and there are hospitality students working in the hotel,” Adams said. “It’s given a lot of classes experience. It’s been nothing but beneficial for students.”

The hotel will also offer a rooftop bar, which Denise Lovin said offers a change in perspective, literally.

“I like the idea of providing a space that is incredibly welcoming, comfortable and offering something that we hope to be unique,” Lovin said. “At the same time, staying true to our local vibe and the story that we tell and the history that we incorporate into the space.”

Lovin said they will not open the rooftop bar until spring due to the weather. The bar will serve cocktails, hot coffee, soft drinks, beer and wine.

“Our hours are limited in that we will be typically open for service starting at 4 p.m. and we will have last call at 10. We might open earlier for football games and over the weekend,” Lovin said.

Even though the Horton Hotel is located near several bars frequented by students, locals and tourists, Lovin said she had no interest in competing against them.

“One of our values is being neighborly so we really are excited to work with the other businesses downtown,” Lovin said. “Being that we are a hotel, there will be people who will stay here longer. We’re excited to provide that amenity to the downtown area.”

Lovin said the hotel hopes to partner with App State in different ways to provide a place to stay for job applicants, guest lecturers, entertainers and parents.

Anna Muckenfuss
A seating area in the lobby of the Horton Hotel.

Two students are interning at the hotel.

“We benefit from that greatly in terms of the skills they bring from their different departments,” Lovin said. “They’ve been incredible assets.”

Adams, a senior public relations major, said her work with the Horton Hotel has offered her a chance to put all of her skills to real work experience.

Adams said she has helped design invitations and plan events as well as help with content on the hotel’s social media pages.

“I feel like it has helped me grow more than anything,” Adams said.

Hank Clark, a graduate student in the business administration department, said he has learned about a side of business he didn’t know much about before.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the Horton be successful,” Clark said. “I really want to see it during the spring when it starts to warm up because it’s going to be super fun with the rooftop bar.”

Lovin said the hotel is still hiring new staff.

“One of the things that is most important to us are people that have a good energy, that are excited about hospitality and customer service and bringing that into their work here,” Lovin said.