Looking forward to a well-deserved retirement, Ernest O’banion sold Nation’s Inn to the current owner of Best Western on Jan. 28.
“I’m really excited to see how things go,” said new owner Roger Chohan.
Chohan moved from Oregon last November when he purchased Best Western. Chohan has worked in the hotel business for the last 11 years, and said he is looking forward to the challenge of operating two hotels.
“I’m optimistic, our economy is doing good,” said Chohan. He also said the expansion of U.S. 221 into a four-lane is “gonna make this county boom.”
Chohan also said he has never seen people so friendly anywhere else, and locals have been very accommodating, even though Chohan just recently moved here.
Chohan found West Jefferson after his parents visited the mountains and fell in love with the area. Eventually, Chohan followed suit and visited Ashe County to inquire about the purchase of Best Western.
“When I came to see Best Western, I thought Nation’s Inn had more potential,” due to Nation’s Inn’s location, said Chohan.
Chohan also said he wants to make Nation’s Inn comparable to any other franchise. “We’re trying really hard to put new stuff in,” like new furniture and televisions, said Chohan.
To make sure both hotels meet his customer’s standards, Chohan said he plans on working 16 hours every day until both hotels are complete up to speed.
Reflecting back on Nation’s Inn’s previous owner, Chohan said O’banion wanted to sell Nation’s Inn “because he is 83 years old,” and after working almost 60 years in the hotel business, he deserved a retirement.