The hotel industry has been forced to strategize the future of its operations as the spread of COVID-19, or the novel coronavirus, pandemic continues across the U.S. As some states slowly begin to open back up so are local hotels. For one entrepreneur based in Forth Worth, Texas, it was a chance to transform an abandoned ice factory into a unique boutique hotel.
Jonathan Morris is the owner of Hotel Dryce, which is scheduled to open later this year. The idea for the hotel came from Morris’s desire for travelers to see and experience his city like locals. “Developing a hotel in Fort Worth has been a dream of mine for several years now. I’ve always thought of it as an opportunity to present the city to visitors in a way that allows them to experience Fort Worth the way we do as locals,” says Morris in an email interview with BLACK ENTERPRISE.
“When the Dry Ice warehouse went up for sale, I couldn’t resist the entrepreneurial urge to reimagine the space as a hotel that helped define our growing city. I’m driven by the opportunity to create and fully curate the hotel experience that I would want if I were visiting Fort Worth,” he explains. “The aesthetic will be a lot like Fort Worth itself, a laid-back space that thrives on being approachable. We’re working with local artists to bring to life a visual representation of Fort Worth’s “lo-fi” vibe. Every detail matters.”
Despite the setbacks caused by the coronavirus health crisis, Morris still plans to move ahead with his plans, pushing out his opening to early 2021. “The construction phase of the hotel project has continued through the pandemic. So far we haven’t been slowed down,” Morris explains. “Planning has largely shifted to safely and responsibly open Hotel Dryce in early 2021 in what we hope to be a post-COVID-19 world. We’re still several months from completion, but creating a clean and safe environment will be more imperative than ever before.”
The 21-room hotel will be located in the city’s cultural district and will allegedly be the first boutique hotel in the city in over 100 years. “This is an opportunity to tell the world who Fort Worth is in a fresh new way,” says Morris. “As much as I love my city, we are desperate to grow beyond what we’ve been and into a future that makes room for new ideas that make this a better place to live, work, and create.”