Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Dayton Executive Hotel

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I don't know if you could call these lobby stairs grand, but just like the "Grand Staircase" on Titanic, this one is also covered in water. It's hardly a welcoming site for guests at the lobby check-in, but any guests the Dayton Executive Hotel sees these days aren't of the "normal" variety.



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I'm not sure how all the garbage accumulated. The entire place is trashed, but the stairs are especially. Vandals? Scrappers? Hobos? Who knows. Back then, we were guests on a cold, rainy afternoon. Unlike most hotel visitors, we weren't looking for a place to stay for the night. We were just there to check it out - photograph it, document it.

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- Lobby check-in.
I had passed this hotel on a road trip a few months back. You could tell it was abandoned from the highway. I wanted to stop and check it out, but didn't have time. I'm never really in Dayton unless I'm passing through or going to see a Gems hockey game at the legendary Hara Arena. Budda and I met up after I got off work. He had the hook up and knew some local guys who could show us what Dayton had to offer. Lucky for me, the place we hit up was the abandoned hotel I had seen from the highway back over the previous Summer.

We arrived in "The Gem City," and met up with "Trap" and "Warbird;" two friendly fellow explorers. When exploring an abandoned building in an unfamiliar area it's always nice to have locals who can help you and share your interest, especially ones who also exercise caution and take patience with you and your camera. These guys were great hosts.

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- Take out menus strewn about the lobby.
Trap pointed out gang symbols spray painted on the fence surrounding the hotel's abandoned parking lot. He also warned us that when his crew had been here before, they had seen signs of people squatting there. Not that a squatter would intend to harm you, but better just to be alert anyways. The place was in total disrepair. As I mentioned before, even from the nearby highway you could tell the hotel was abandoned. Boards had fallen off the windows they were meant to protect and a loading dock with a ramp down to the basement was filled with water up to the parking lot's level, a preview of what was to be seen inside.

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- Water flooded in the lower level of the lobby and throughout the bottom floor.

No one in our group of explorers knew what had caused the flooding. The ceiling was totally gone in some areas, could it have been rain water? Broken plumbing? The crumbling billboard out front advertised convention rooms, but we didn't see any. Perhaps they were downstairs, but we'd never know if they were - or what else was down there for that matter.

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The place is a total disaster. I'm no expert on structural integrity or renovation, but I'd take a bet on "beyond repair." In addition to the obvious water problem, the place has been gutted for scrap metal. When it had been open, the hotel was in better condition, but apparently not by much. According to TripAdvisor.com, the hotel had a 2.5 out of 5 star rating. 1 person ranked it "excellent," thirteen others ranked it as "terrible" (the single "excellent" review is written by a user who's only ranked one hotel and sounds suspiciously like they worked for the place). Horror stories include this little anecdote:
"Really scary hotel. Dirty rooms, broken locks, dark parking lot. The other people at the hotel were there with their "dates". Do not even get near this hotel - go further north on I75. Best Western should be ashamed. " Per: TripAdvisor.com
Apparently, before it became the independent "Dayton Executive," it had been a Best Western and even with the corporate moniker it had pretty negative reviews. The most recent report came from 2007 and wasn't much better. I assume the hotel closed around then.

Edit: 9:38 A.M. 2/29/12 - A friend of mine shared this info on the QC/D Facebook page. Thanks for the info Aaron!
- According to the Dayton Daily News, the hotel had 253 rooms and went up for auction in April of 2008 after being delinquent in over $450,000 in taxes.
- In 2008 the hotel's assessed value was $3.3 Million.
- According to its current property listing it's valued at $2.9 Million (clearly they need to re-think that, eh?).
- The hotel originally opened in 1962.

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Just off the lobby was a bar/restaurant. Retro in style, I had this vision of 1980's Dayton auto workers enjoying happy hour while listening to some local lounge singer trying to cover Wayne Newton.

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Nearly every window on the ground floor had been smashed out. A common area, which looked to have once been a dining area was starting to become overgrown with the surrounding brush from the court yard.

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- The Dayton Crew.

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In the center of the dining area there were rubber bike tires with a rope tied around them. The contraption was hanging from what remained of the drop ceiling. Trap volunteered to show us that it was a makeshift tire swing.

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The week before, I had just started re-watching "The Walking Dead," a television show about a post apocalyptic zombie outbreak. Usually when I explore abandoned buildings I'm on edge. You have to be cautious, ready to make a run if unexpected visitors appear. At any second, I felt like I'd round a corner right into a "walker," now matter how unrealistic the television show may be.

- "Hi sir! Enjoying your stay?" Two kinds of people you don't want to meet in an abandoned building. Image from: AMC's The Walking Dead.

A few years back I had explored an abandoned hotel near Cincinnati. It too had once been a Best Western with really awful reviews. Apparently that's a trend? We climbed upstairs, dodging debris everywhere. The top floor wasn't in much better shape. Evidence of squatters could be seen in some rooms and the bathrooms had been ripped apart by scrap thieves.

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Dead plants lined the stairwells as we headed back down. Water dripped through the ceiling almost everywhere we went.

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Back on the ground floor we found one of the most interesting features: the indoor pool. Although, lets be honest - the whole bottom half of this hotel is now an indoor pool.

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Like the whole hotel itself, the pool wasn't in much better shape when it was open either. Online reviews described it as having green and brown "gunk" at the bottom. Shaped like a kidney bean and surrounded by an odd combination of tile and carpet, the pool was filled with trash. A nearby weight room was stocked with rusted out 80's style Nautilus equipment. The smell of these rooms was putrid and it probably wasn't smart to be in the room without a ventilator mask so we got out of there pretty quickly. The rain continued to pour as we made our exit. No zombies, thankfully. Had I been a guest here, I probably would've concurred about the poor condition of my lodging choice. However, as an urban explorer, I'd have to rate the Dayton Executive as a good place to start photographing abandoned buildings once again after a stretch of absence from the subject.

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16 comments:

  1. Update on this hotel....

    http://www.whiotv.com/news/business/daytons-worst-eyesore-hotel-may-be-cleaned-up/nTHkQ/

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  2. The downstairs of the hotel was the convention rooms. I had my wedding reception there in 2002 and it was a very nice place. It is sad to see what it became.

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    Replies
    1. Any chance you have some photographs of what the downstairs looked like? Thanks for sharing the memory, it's sad to see how far gone that structure is in the past 10 years.

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  3. Circa 1990 or so, my only visit to the hotels bar, which was a 30 something meat market nightclub called Georgio's, was a decent time...lol...the hotel back then appeared to be well kept...amazing how quickly a place can be utterly destroyed.

    Regarding the water on the lower level, I'm sure that the loading ramp the went below ground level to the basement was the point of entry with mechanism meant to keep water at bay no longer present.

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  4. id love to go see this place and get some nice pics myself just hope ill get the chance after reading the update just have to find a place to park then go over check things out,, doesnt look like getting inside is much of a problem by some of the pictures ive seen

    Buster (aka "max" the Explorer dog an CEO of The Night Rangers Paintball/Exploring group) check my page out maxthexplorerdawg on facebook

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  5. wow glad i did some more digging

    just found this artickle so fellow explorers we may still have this place around for awhile cool deal:)
    (in my opinion since I love to explor)

    http://dayton-daily-news.vlex.com/vid/demolish-hold-needmore-eyesore-years-426192958

    ********************************************************************************
    Deal to Demolish Hotel Put On Hold ; Dayton Executive Hotel On Needmore has Been an Eyesore for Years. Dayton Daily News › March 02, 2013



    Summary


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A development deal that would have demolished a local eyesore familiar to Interstate 75 drivers, hit a road block Friday. The Montgomery County Board of Revision was forced to dismiss the expedited foreclosure case against the owner of the ramshackle Dayton Executive Hotel after an attorney representing Dayton Lodge LLC filed a petition to stop the proceedings.

    The 225-room hotel at 2401 Needmore Road in Harrison Twp. is located just feet from I-75's northbound lanes.

    See the full content of this document

    Extract


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Deal to Demolish Hotel Put On Hold ; Dayton Executive Hotel On Needmore has Been an Eyesore for Years.

    A tax foreclosure by the Montgomery County Treasurer's Office to collect the nearly $1.2 million in delinquent property taxes now must...

    See the full content of this document





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  6. finally got to go check this place out defintely even more run down now inside but was cool getting to see it probly should have worna mask due to the really bad moisture in some areas but some spots wermt too bad I walked around the bar an can invision patrons setting there when it was open an in its prime shame to see sucha nice in its day hotel go down like this


    Speaking of which i foind some brochures an one said best western advertising the hotel found them in the lobby at receptopn desk also seen the employe of the month plaque too an in the side mini bar area i saw few signs that had the name "radison" on it so this hotel couldt have been under other names over the years

    didnt get to get any pictures saddly but was worth taking the time to drive there an look arounsd the pool still has water in it I didnt cae too much for looking down into it

    maby next time I can get some pics to share oh and the tire swing is still there too:p

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  7. very cool. friends and I explored this place all over there is a lot to see the bike swing is something we used for rainy day fun look bike swings up on YouTube easy "safe" way to do bmx tricks. I love exploring Dayton any where else you could share?

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  8. well the old rope factory down in Xenia ohio was a great place but it just this year was leveled so cant use that spot any more I have gone to the "turnpike hotel" here in ohio its up by a town called austin town its pretty neat for exploring I plan on returning to this place again soon as I can lot of fun to explore I think I must have missed one wing as some of these pics showed tvs and beds still in the rooms but when I went noting was on the side I went in id like to go check out the crosley building in cincinatti and oh another cool hotel but I havent been to it yet is off of emery road in north randall ohio right next to wendys:) thanks for the reply back to my post
    Max

    https://www.facebook.com/MaxtheExplorerDawg

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    Replies
    1. there is a building in springfield ohio that is 13 stories high. i've been inside, very cool. cant wait to go back

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    2. I think I know which one you're talking about. If you wouldn't mind someone tagging along, you should drop me a line.

      Delete
  9. Is the one in springfield the tecumseh building? Thats one i would like to go check out if i could get inside

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  10. You can get permission to enter the Tecumseh Building from the owner of the "ghost hunting supply store"

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  11. How do you all explore these places and not get caught. These abandoned places are fascinating to me. I would like to explore them myself.

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  12. Id love to see the offices an upper floors in the tecumseh building but from looks of new locks an chains around plus razor wire on back corner where the two corners meet i dought that theres much of a chance of just slipping inside anymore these days

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