LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) -In 1926, it held 400 patients suffering from tuberculosis. If the current owners of Waverly Hills Sanatorium have their way, the old hospital may start housing people again. They plan to turn the South Louisville landmark into a paranormal hotspot. WAVE 3's Scott Harvey reports on the plans that come with a hefty price tag.
Nowadays, it's a destination for ghost hunters and paranormal enthusiasts. The owners of the sanatorium hope that same interest will keep the building filled all year long when it becomes a true haunted hotel.
Charlie Mattingly bought the property seven years ago. He has had plenty of ideas of what to do with the place. At one time, he even thought about turning it into condos.
"The South End needs new business," Mattingly said. "They need a spur. They need money to come in from somewhere else."
He hopes there will be plenty of money coming in, when he converts the old hospital into a hotel.
"We figured this is the best way to give it back to the public," said Mattingly.
Thursday, Mattingly led a tour of possible investors around the site.
"We know we are going to need around $18 million," he said. Mattingly hopes they too will see his dream of building a world class destination. "I just don't see any way in the world that this could fail."
In the massive project the outside would stay the same.
"We are just going to clean it up," Mattingly said. "It's going to look like it did in 1926."
Inside, Mattingly says there are going to be 72 rooms to start out with for the motel, but there will be plenty of amenities.
"We will have large open areas for conventions. We are going to have a nightclub. We are going to have a big restaurant," he said.
As for the horror driven fourth floor, it will be left for ghost hunting and tours.
"We are going to restore it back to hospital style with old style hospital equipment," Mattingly explained.
Mattingly also wants to Go Green. He plans on using solar and geothermal power, recycled rubber floors, and a new rooftop garden.
"We are going to try to produce as much energy as we use," Mattingly said. "What I want someone to be able to say is they stayed at a motel that did not leave a carbon footprint."
Haunted hotels are a big attraction. Mattingly says they will have no problem filling the rooms.
"There are people calling right now asking if they can get a list to be the first people to sign up," he said. "I would project that our first year will be booked solid before we ever open."
But how long will it take? Mattingly said, "My goal is if you come to this same spot in three years, it will be done."
Mattingly is trying to secure funding for the project, but the Tourism Board has already promise some tax incentives. With that money, Mattingly told us it could be used as collateral for the $18 million loan.
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