Historic Alabama hotel reopens after renovations

Published 2:08 pm Saturday, January 30, 2021

After years of negotiation, planning and renovations, the historic St. James Hotel has finally reopened its doors to visitors and locals alike.

The Selma-Dallas County Chamber of Commerce hosted a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the hotel Tuesday morning that was well attended by elected officials, community stakeholders and interested citizens who were eager to see what Rhaglan Hospitality has done with the property.

“It’s a day that we’ve all been anticipating. Not only the community of Selma, Alabama, but across the nation and especially our tourist and travel industry,” said Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sheryl Smedley. “People have anticipated being able to come and stay in this historic property.”

Smedley said the reopening of the historic Hotel will not only be an asset for visitors, but for locals as well, hailing the Hotel’s full service restaurant and bar as a welcome addition to Selma.

“A nice restaurant in Selma is always welcome,” she said. “This will be a nice place for locals to go and enjoy a wholesome meal.”

City of Selma Mayor James Perkins attended the ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome the hotel and its management team into the Selma Community.

“This is really exciting for us. We need an anchor facility, especially in this area, so we can complete the process of development,” said Perkins. “The St. James is the ideal opportunity for that and we have to keep the momentum going and capitalize on it.”

Perkins said he has seen ownership of the St. James change hands many times and experienced both the highs and lows that the property has brought the City.

“I think this may be my third ribbon cutting for the St. James,” said Perkins. “But this one feels better. The reason it feels better is because there’s private ownership. This feels sustainable. We have folks who understand the hospitality business doing this work. I have confidence in them and trust that they will do what’s right for our community.”