McLure Hotel is transforming under new ownership—even while guests remain there

Ohio County

WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF)

The McLure Hotel has been purchased by Roxby Development, the same group that purchased—and is restoring—the Scottish Rite Building and the Mount Carmel Monastery.

The McClure changed hands in late July, and already it has a different look and feel.

The exterior is getting a fresh coat of paint.

On the inside, the new owners have found lots of spaces that have long been closed and left unused.

One of those spaces, the first floor restaurant and lounge, is about to be reopened, with a restaurant that they promise will be “a familiar name” in Wheeling.

There’s also a huge all-glass rooftop lounge that has been used for nothing but storage for years.

They plan to replace the large panes of glass and reopen it as a place for cocktails and “small plates,” rather than full meals.

The views from that rooftop space are amazing vistas of Wheeling in all directions.

But they want to clear up what they say is  one big misconception about the hotel’s history.

“Well, we know that McCarthyism was started here,” said Taylor Smith, general manager. “That’s one of those things that’s actually true. But Marilyn Monroe? That was not true. She was never here. Maybe JFK has walked through the door but he has never technically stayed here.”

“As far as actually sleeping here, quite a few presidents have,” said Jeffrey Morris, president of Roxby Development. “But one who has not stayed here is JFK. He was here on a campaign stop, perhaps with Jacqueline Kennedy, but they did not spend the night. And Marilyn Monroe was never—not even once—in this hotel.”

They are working to repair and refresh the interior even as the hotel is occupied.

They say every room is sold out for Bluesfest.

In the lobby, there’s all new art work.

The hotel was built in 1852.

Morris says Roxby Development paid more than $6.2 million for it.

It has 173 rooms and 30 apartments.

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