The Stay & Save Inn has been at the corner of Griffin Road and N 14th Street in Leesburg Florida since it opened its doors in 1961. The property has been abandoned since the late 2010s and has been the subject of talk recently about what could potentially be coming to the area. Talks of retail space, apartments, and other ideas have been floated around for a few years now. One plan even involved turning it back into a motel.
All plans have fallen through in recent years. But could the site be developed in the near future? We talked to Dan Miller who is the Planning and Zoning Director for the Town of Leesburg. He said that “We really hope a potential buyer can come in here and see the value of this piece of land. It’s on 3 acres of land in an easy to access location right in the heart of Leesburg.”
(The Hotel is visible here on the right around the year 2016 with cars still in the parking lot. However the Inn deteriorated rapidly after this satellite image.)
(The Inn on the far right with imagery around the year 2020. Note how the pool has been completely abandoned. Security fencing was not in place yet. Vandalism started shortly after and the current state of the Inn is getting worse every day.)
Miller said that The Town of Leesburg has been looking for a buyer or developer who can turn this property around. Now the actual concrete structure seems to be sound but the building will need a new roof due to years of neglect and water damage. The roof is not sagging yet so a new investor might be able to save the roof but Total Commercial.com has stated that it likely needs a new roof. The current owners of the building are “ThisIsLeesburgLLC” located in Little Rock Arkansas.
ThisIsLeesburgLLC purchased the property back in September of 2021. Before that the property was owned by a South American Group called Sun Biz Management who purchased the property for $700,000 who intended to renovate the existing Inn and convention center but they ended up disappearing and decided to sell it to ThisIsLeesburgLLC. We have not been able to reach that company for comment. Before that, Stay & Save was apparently an EconoLodge and Guest House Inn.
(At the end of it’s life the Inn was once an EconoLodge. The new owners intended the name to be Stay & Save which has been it’s name since the property was abandoned in the late 2010s.)
Dan Miller went on to say that “I eat at Ramshackle Cafe sometimes and have to look out across at that place. It’s been on everyone’s minds as to what can be done with the property. But I think it will take a group of investors to spread the risk out of a property like this. The City of Leesburg is willing and ready to sit down with anyone who has a vision of this property.”
It is actually shocking that this property that is located in one of the most heavily traveled roads in Leesburg could just sit abandoned for years like this. Even more shocking is how fast the property has been decaying. The once pristine pool that kept hotel goers cool in the Florida sun is now nothing but a pond of vile, bacterial waste water. The hotel is mostly gutted. The South American Group was putting up drywall but they didn’t get very far with those plans before money apparently ran dry.
What should happen to the property?
That’s a good question and honestly I have three ideas of what will likely happen to this place. First I think with our booming economy in the area this 3 acre plot of land is perfect for apartment housing. The land has multiple in and out locations and new apartments would be welcomed for this part of Leesburg.
(The Inn continues to be vandalized. A window was broken in this actual photo and patched up with wood later in the day. Grass now grows unkept in front of the once pristine front lobby area.)
Second I can see the property becoming a mix of retail space and possibly restaurants. The third use of the property could be storage. As the population continues to increase, storage companies have sprouted up all over the place. Storage would mean minimal traffic impact to the area. Already this area can be congested during rush hour so a storage facility may be a good use of the property.
Do I see Stay & Save Inn ever reopening for business?
I really don’t. When the new Best Western opened across the street in early 2010, the writing was already on the wall for this location. Travelers much preferred the comfort of the new state of the art Best Western compared to the tired old rundown feel of Stay & Save. The Quality Inn located right down the road also had a negative impact on this Inn. Years ago this was the best place in town to stay overnight. Over time though as the major brands moved into the area, private owned hotels, motels and Inns struggled. But many survived. From what we heard, this business was managed poorly at the end which is what ultimately gave it a bad reputation.
It is unfortunate what happened to this place over the years. I can imagine the original owners of this Inn who built it in 1961 could not have envisioned the state that it would be in today. The once happy little Inn that boomed during the 60s,70s and 80s is now an eyesore in the middle of a very busy suburban town. The growth that Leesburg saw since the Inn was built in 1961 has been incredible. Amazing what a difference 62 years can make!
We hope someone can come in and revitalize this 3 acre plot of land. Here’s hoping that happens sooner rather than later!