Sunday, November 9, 2008
Please come to Boltwood...
And you don't even have to be the number one fan of the man from Tennessee.
So tonight marks the final moments of operation for a downtown legend, linchpin, anchor, or…just plain old icon. The Lord Jeff Inn and Boltwood Tavern expire tonight after a couple generations of serving the general public from that ornate, prime, mid-town center location.
While I’m not a big fan of business run by non-profits or government, the venerable Lord Jeff--owned by tax-exempt Amherst College but always kept on the tax rolls—earned my respect.
Unlike the Campus Center Hotel, owned by Umass (or I should say us taxpayers) The Jeff at least, always tried to survive under private sector conditions.
And now, due to forces above their control… Not a good thing. Bad for Amherst taxpayers who have to pick up the property tax slack and certainly horrible for the image of owner Amherst College, arguably the number one ranked Liberal Arts College in America.
According to an April 13,2007 Amherst Bulletin article (yeah, appropriately enough, a Friday): Tony Marx, the president of Amherst College, called the inn "a beachhead in the center of town" and admitted it is "not the magnet it could be."
Yeah Tony--and we know the historic importance of a ‘beachhead’. What if Canadian and US forces surrendered those prime beachheads on D-day because the cost was so significant? Kira would be studying German or French today, rather than Chinese.
Let’s hope Tony appears tonight for the Irish wake and buys a round (or two).