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Chocolate Hog
06-25-2010, 01:51 PM
http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/25/2044124/overland-park-landmark-the-white.html


Overland Park landmark, the White Haven Motor Lodge, closes
By DAWN BORMANN and BRAD COOPER
The Kansas City Star
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The motel and its iconic neon sign has served as a beacon to travelers since 1957.

Now the owners plan a huge auction that will include everything from the massive sign to the motel contents — ornate dressers, wrought iron luggage stands and brass “Do not disturb” signs.

“Wall to wall — inside and out — everything that we can sell will be sold,” said Anne Smith of A. Smith Auction Group. “It’s a two-day auction. It’s going to be huge.”

The auction is set for July 1 and 2 at the motel.

On Friday, a motel clerk confirmed that the business closed on Wednesday.

“Just closing due to an economy that will no longer support the business,” the clerk said.

Former co-owner Esther White didn’t need the new owner to tell her that her beloved family business had closed for good. She and her brother-in-law sold the family business nearly two years ago, but she drives by every day on her way to church.

“They had a no vacancy sign, and there were no cars. I know the hotel business,” she said. “It just brought tears to my eyes. It was my life.”

Yet the news didn’t entirely shock her. She knows how the economy has taken a toll on the motel and hotel business.

“I think it’s just the way the world is right now. There’s no more salesmen and that’s what we relied on,” Esther White said. “It was just wonderful. We had the good years.”

Her brother-in-law and co-owner Gene White said chain hotels flooded the market.

“We put it on the market because it was getting to be marginal whether or not we were making any money,” Gene White said.

He said developers bought the motel and other property nearby for the land investment. Once the property was sold he expected that the motel his family built would be torn down.

The new owner, listed as Metcalf LLC, could not be reached immediately for comment.

Under the White’s ownership, the motel gained a strong reputation as a family-run operation. Customers occasionally call Esther White at home to inquire about her.

It’s no wonder. The family has been known to clear car windshields of snow, repair vehicles and open up their home to good customers with no other place to stay.

“We were family to them. If they were sick we took them to the hospital,” she said. “Some of these people stayed with us 25, 30 years. It was family and when they walked in, they were family.”

The White family had offers long before they sold. The motel sits on prime real estate in one of Overland Park’s main commercial corridors. But selling the property meant putting several family members out of work.

Eventually Esther and Gene White decided the time was right. They sold before real estate prices plummeted.

Local leaders were disappointed but not surprised when they learned about the closure.

“For many, many people who frequented the area it really was a home away from home, and the White family’s attention made it that way,” said Ed Eilert, former longtime Overland Park mayor and now a Johnson County Commissioner.

“It used to be you could drive by the White Haven at any time of day or night and there were no vacancies. They had a large number of repeat business,” he said.

“It’s always sad to see a longstanding business — and one that really helped put Overland Park on the map — leave or not be able to continue,” Eilert said. “For many, many people who knew where Overland Park was, it was a because of the White Haven motel.”

Overland Park City Councilman Curt Skoog also was sad to hear about the motel’s closing.

“It’s been part of Overland Park since its beginning,” Skoog said. “It was just a matter of time unfortunately.”

The idea of selling off such historic memorabilia is sad for Smith as well.

“That hotel has had such an impact on thousands of people over the years,” Smith said. “It’s not like going to a Ramada Inn. It was a true family business. I never stayed there personally but from what everybody said, they catered to everybody in such a family way. That’s what you hate to see leave.”

Her company is prepping the items for auction. She said the owners wanted to move on the auction quickly.

“They just simply decided that when it was time to do this, they wanted it done,” Smith said.

The auction will not only include the items inside the 77 hotel rooms, but also the apartments and houses that the White Haven rented to customers.

Almost everything will go to the highest bidder. The list includes things like lawn mowers, service carts, a gazebo, televisions, beds, fixtures, statues, urns, the boiler and a weather vane that sits atop the building. Décor ranging from drapes that appear to date back to the ’50s, artwork and bedspreads will hit the auction block as well.

A few items like the motel doors and wrought iron fence around the pool must stay to keep the property safe.

While it’s sad to lose a city landmark, Smith points out that customers will get the rare chance to take a piece of nostalgia with them.

“It will be hard because you just hate to see these historic landmarks go, but on the other hand it will be interesting to see who wants what,” Smith said.

The motel building itself is not for sale, but Smith could not say what plans the owners had for it.

If Esther White had her way, the building would be torn down quickly. She drives by three times a day and the sight can be heartbreaking.

“It’s like (watching) someone getting sick,” she said.

The building is filled with nostalgia for some, to be sure. But Gene White has no intention of attending the auction.

“I’m just going to look the other way,” he said.

Curiously, the closure doesn’t cause him any regrets.

“I’m not sorry I sold it because heavens I’m 72 anyway. You can’t go on forever,” he said.

And Esther White agrees. She knows her family misses the business, but the time was right to move on.

“We had the most glorious times,” White said. “We had, I’d say, close to 50 years of the greatest business in the world.”



Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2010/06/25/2044124/overland-park-landmark-the-white.html#ixzz0rtdbKxi9

Chocolate Hog
06-25-2010, 01:53 PM
Smh prolly gonna build another Walgreens. This is why Johnson County sucks.

CosmicPal
06-25-2010, 01:56 PM
Is there anything original still around on Metcalf these days? Glenwood Theaters? Is that still there?

Things change, and over time, so does the landscape.

Chocolate Hog
06-25-2010, 01:58 PM
Is there anything original still around on Metcalf these days? Glenwood Theaters? Is that still there?

Things change, and over time, so does the landscape.

No Glenwood is gone. They moved the theatre to Metcalf South which should be gone soon too. I know things change but things like the White Haven are what seperates Overland Park from the rest of Johnson County. It's just sad to see it go.

Bill Lundberg
06-25-2010, 02:01 PM
I proposed to my wife at the White Haven Motor lodge on New Years Eve 1999.

CosmicPal
06-25-2010, 02:01 PM
No Glenwood is gone. They moved the theatre to Metcalf South which should be gone soon too. I know things change but things like the White Haven are what seperates Overland Park from the rest of Johnson County. It's just sad to see it go.

For someone who started this thread off by saying Johnson County sucks, it's hard for me to understand how you'd be sad to see it go.

Chocolate Hog
06-25-2010, 02:04 PM
For someone who started this thread off by saying Johnson County sucks, it's hard for me to understand how you'd be sad to see it go.

Like I said things like the White Haven motel are what seperate Overland Park from the rest of Johnson County. Have you ever been to south Johnson County? It's all Walgreens, Bank, Sonic, MiMi's, ect. The White Haven hotel was beautiful.

PunkinDrublic
06-25-2010, 02:14 PM
That place always did seem out of place among everything on Metcalf. That King Louie bowling center on metcalf was always a big place to hang out growing up.

gblowfish
06-25-2010, 02:17 PM
I've worked in OP for five years.

I can attest, OPKS is a "White Haven. "

At least South of I-435 it is.

North of I-435, not so much any more....

CosmicPal
06-25-2010, 02:18 PM
Like I said things like the White Haven motel are what seperate Overland Park from the rest of Johnson County. Have you ever been to south Johnson County? It's all Walgreens, Bank, Sonic, MiMi's, ect. The White Haven hotel was beautiful.

No it isn't.

I grew up in OPKS. I've seen that town rise from little over 20,000 people. Most of my family and friends still live in south OPKS. OPKS has Walgreens just like any other community- even the major cities. As a matter of fact, I live in Tampa now, and guess what mister city planner- there are 3 Walgreen's within a 5 mile radius of my home in Tampa.

I agree White Haven is an old relic and one of the last remaining icons of Old Metcalf. But to say JC sux because it is saturated with Walgreen's and other nationally recognized retailers is simply an ignorant statement to make. And if I remember correctly, there's a Walgreen's right there on the Country Club Plaza too.

CosmicPal
06-25-2010, 02:19 PM
That place always did seem out of place among everything on Metcalf. That King Louie bowling center on metcalf was always a big place to hang out growing up.

LOL...that brought back memories.

googlegoogle
06-25-2010, 02:20 PM
http://media.kansascity.com/smedia/2010/06/25/11/white_haven1.standalone.prod_affiliate.81.jpg

gblowfish
06-25-2010, 02:26 PM
One of the guys I work with (who grew up in OP) says this place in the 1970s and 1980s was a major "Rest Stop Rate" place for Johnson County businessmen who wanted a nooner, so to speak.

The "Come and Go" motel!

Stewie
06-25-2010, 02:30 PM
One of the guys I work with (who grew up in OP) says this place in the 1970s and 1980s was a major "Rest Stop Rate" place for Johnson County businessmen who wanted a nooner, so to speak.

The "Come and Go" motel!

Absolutely not true.

gblowfish
06-25-2010, 02:33 PM
Absolutely not true.

Why? Most JOCO businessmen can't go a whole hour?

alnorth
06-25-2010, 02:38 PM
That is too bad, I usually stayed there 2 or 3 times a year.

Stewie
06-25-2010, 02:43 PM
Why? Most JOCO businessmen can't go a whole hour?

I went to school with the White kids and had friends that worked there.

PunkinDrublic
06-25-2010, 02:48 PM
Like I said things like the White Haven motel are what seperate Overland Park from the rest of Johnson County. Have you ever been to south Johnson County? It's all Walgreens, Bank, Sonic, MiMi's, ect. The White Haven hotel was beautiful.

It's not like somebody from starbucks or walgreens came up and forced the owners to sign away the property by gunpoint. They were too old to run the business and they sold it off. It happens, times change. How many times have you been in a car with old people driving around town when they start to point out what used to be in different places in town.

PunkinDrublic
06-25-2010, 02:52 PM
Is there anything original still around on Metcalf these days? Glenwood Theaters? Is that still there?

Things change, and over time, so does the landscape.

I can't believe that Kmart on the hill on metcalf is still there.

Mr. Laz
06-25-2010, 03:06 PM
family of a girl i went to school with apparently owned it Regina White ... i guess committed suicide after high school. :(

all rumors ... but it's what i heard


i remember going over to Regina's house with some friends ... first girl's panties i ever saw *sniffle*

gblowfish
06-25-2010, 03:15 PM
Any of you guys ever have the "pleasure" of staying at the Coral Court in St. Louis when it was open? Now THAT was a great motor lodge!
http://www.coralcourt.com/main.html

Duck Dog
06-25-2010, 03:30 PM
I hated to see Glenwood Manor go. I worked at the hotel Diner when I was in the 8th grade and used to swim at their pool every summer.

Duck Dog
06-25-2010, 03:32 PM
One of the guys I work with (who grew up in OP) says this place in the 1970s and 1980s was a major "Rest Stop Rate" place for Johnson County businessmen who wanted a nooner, so to speak.

The "Come and Go" motel!

Really? Did they bus the hookers in from Independence?

seclark
06-25-2010, 03:36 PM
Any of you guys ever have the "pleasure" of staying at the Coral Court in St. Louis when it was open? Now THAT was a great motor lodge!
http://www.coralcourt.com/main.html

i've driven past that place thousands of times.
never stayed though. probably wouldn't take a check, anyway.:mad:
sec

kstater
06-25-2010, 03:38 PM
I can't believe that Kmart on the hill on metcalf is still there.

That's still there? That place was dead when I lived there 10+ years ago.

Al Bundy
06-25-2010, 04:39 PM
I stayed at that White Haven before I lived here back in the early 90's. That's too bad.

bobbymitch
06-25-2010, 04:41 PM
Ahhh, popped the wife's cherry there 43 years ago while on our honeymoon (different time and mindset back then).

K-Mart on the hill - it started out as the French Market.

Chocolate Hog
06-25-2010, 05:30 PM
That's still there? That place was dead when I lived there 10+ years ago.


Pretty much from there to Metcalf South is all vacant besides the Olive Garden.

Duck Dog
06-25-2010, 09:48 PM
Ahhh, popped the wife's cherry there 43 years ago while on our honeymoon (different time and mindset back then).

K-Mart on the hill - it started out as the French Market.

I remember French Market. I was a wee lad then.

Sweet Daddy Hate
06-26-2010, 10:45 AM
Andy and Aunt Bea are crushed.

teedubya
06-26-2010, 10:48 AM
ITs the most racist sounding motel EVER!!

Sweet Daddy Hate
06-26-2010, 10:57 AM
There's one called "White City" in Riverside.

I shit you not.

BossChief
06-26-2010, 12:57 PM
there is a restaurant here in Iowa called gringos

Duck Dog
06-26-2010, 07:15 PM
there is a restaurant here in Iowa called gringos

There's a restaurant/bar in Mazatlan called Gringo Lingo.

baitism
06-26-2010, 09:04 PM
I always thought it looked like the type of place you would bring a hooker for a night....