Tupelo awaits Trace Inn’s fate

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – It could take at least another month before the city determines whether it can purchase the property currently housing the dilapidated Trace Inn.
Due to hazardous conditions, the city must demolish the buildings comprising the former motel, part of which later had become Country Hearth & Suites. But ripping down the structures will cost around $90,000, and because the former owners declared bankruptcy, the city must foot the bill.
For that reason, some city leaders want to see if Tupelo can acquire the property. City attorney John Hill said it won’t be easy because numerous creditors are owed money, and he’s still tracking them all down.
“We’re moving as quickly as possible,” Hill told the City Council during a Monday work session at City Hall. “We’re having trouble locating one of the entities … . It may take a month or more.”
Said Mayor Jack Reed Jr.: “It’s a tangled web.”
The property is located in west Tueplo near the Natchez Trace Parkway. It has been vacant for years and recently caught on fire. But it used to be one of the city’s most popular lodgings.
Built by the Hancock family in the 1960s and nurtured through the years by a handful of different owners, the Trace Inn once included a restaurant, swimming pool, convention hall, three-story motel and several one-story motels.
It fell into disarray after being sold in 2001 to JSK Hospitality, a Tupelo-based company headed by India native Dinesh Choksi. It closed in 2009.

Contact Emily Le Coz at (662) 678-1588 or emily.lecoz@journalinc.com.