Hotel Online  Special Report

Three Oaks Hospitality Signs with Banning Enterprises
to Develop The Cotton Mill Inn


BOCA RATON, FLA, July 12, 2006 – Three Oaks Hospitality, Inc. has signed an agreement with Banning Enterprises, LLC to develop The Cotton Mill Inn located 50 minutes southwest of Atlanta, in Whitesburg, Georgia. The historic mill, circa 1861, is being rehabilitated as an upscale executive retreat, lodge, spa and restaurant. 

Banning Enterprises, owned by Patricia Allen Brown and Nova Lee Simmons, purchased the 44 acre site in 1999. They plan to invest over $5.5 million to convert the mill, which overlooks an 80-foot-wide whitewater creek. The restaurant will offer fine cuisine with indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the water. There will be three meeting rooms, one of which will accommodate 250 people. A separate lodge and cottages will also be added, increasing guest rooms and meeting space.

Brown, a psychologist, found there is a need for a conference center for training and development groups she and Simmons work with that do not want the distractions of a hotel in a big city environment. 

“There is a demand for a comfortable, relaxed retreat, with excellent service and fine dining,” Brown said. “We want The Cotton Mill Inn to be casual, elegant and rustic all at the same time. Our focus will be on return business; we will create a place where people will come back again and again.”

Three Oaks Hospitality will work to develop The Cotton Mill Inn for Banning Enterprises, including a detailed search for an investment group for the project. Partners and founders Michael Padden and Eric Stephenson, based in Boca Raton, Florida, specialize in hotel, resort and club management. Three Oaks is known in the hospitality industry specifically for developing private clubs for destination resorts and high-end residential communities. 

“The area west of Atlanta is now being discovered” said Three Oaks’ Michael Padden. “The commute time will be decreasing even more in the next few years due to new road construction; this area is already seeing significant activity and development. The Inn will provide a much needed conference retreat to the Atlanta market, as well as to other markets drawn to Atlanta’s easy airport access and to the Inn’s upscale delivery and picturesque setting.”

Stephenson commented that the Inn, with its beautiful natural environment, will be a perfect site for executive conferences, weddings, special events and weekend getaways. Plans are also in place to add an up-scale spa at the site.

There are many theories about why the old textile mill on Snake Creek has survived to this day. All other mills in the area were destroyed by Sherman during the Civil War. “It was said that confederate uniforms were made here,” said Brown. “There is much speculation about why it was spared.” A vast archive of old photos, historic documents and interviews with surviving Mill workers has been assembled by the University of West Georgia, sponsored by Brown and Simmons.  It contains, among other unusual stories, documentation that Union soldiers were actually on the property. The mystery remains.

The picturesque location was featured in the film Fried Green Tomatoes. A quaint bridge over the creek next to the mill is easily recognizable in the popular, 1989 film.

Opening of the Cotton Mill Inn is scheduled for spring 2008. Three Oaks will be overseeing the restaurant, meeting rooms and guest room planning and development.

Other Three Oaks projects include the Cheyenne Mountain Resort and Country Club in Colorado; Sun River Resort in Oregon; The Elite Club at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in Pennsylvania; K Club in Kildare County, Ireland; the Playa Grande Resort & Club and PuntaCana Resort & Club both located in the Dominican Republic.

For more information about Three Oaks Hospitality, please visit their website at or email


Three Oaks Hospitality
5030 Champion Blvd., Suite G6-258
Boca Raton, FL 33496
Office: (561) 868-2038
Fax: (800) 915-0147

Also See: Three Oaks Hospitality Signs Exclusive Deal with PUNTACANA Resort & Club to Create Private Club / January 2006
Three Oaks Hospitality Creates New Private Members Club for Nemacolin Woodlands Resort / July 2005
Three Oaks Hospitality Adds Exclusive Nemacolin Woodlands Resort to Client List / February 2005
Three Oaks Hospitality adds Exclusive Private Club to Portfolio / August 2004

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