McKey Building reopens as downtown hotel

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May 24—VALDOSTA — True to the adage "history repeats," The McKey Building has a new lease on life following a ribbon-cutting and grand opening celebration Tuesday.

Daniel Bayman has reopened The McKey as a boutique hotel and event space after being home to several clothing stores as well as other business ventures in the past.

Bayman said the restoration has been a passion project of his for the last two years and he described the process as family-centric.

"It's built around family. It's a blessing to be in a community with a city and county that supports young entrepreneurs; they are going to make it not as daunting of a task," he said. "But it's also like, when I first came downtown in September 2018, I felt like I was supposed to be down here. And thankfully, I had my parents that were willing to help me open up my first business, and we've grown it since then."

When mapping out the details for the hotel, Bayman said he leaned on the historical elements of the building by adding references and other historic details to the rooms.

"It's not just about you know, coming in, having an entertainment thing, but it's about the history that this building was built on and the family and the businesses that have been downtown," he said. "We've conducted months and months worth of research and photos.

"So when we're looking at the rooms, take notice of what their names are. Each room has an individual name that's representative of either a business or a person that occupied this building and within that room or pictures of that business or that person. It all has a history, and it's all tied back into the history of Lowndes County as a whole."

The McKey has 12 unique guest rooms and an event space with floor-to-ceiling windows that "caters to guests celebrating a wedding, hosting a corporate event and anything in between."

Brandie Dame, Main Street director, praised Bayman and his team for focusing their effort and vision to further bolstering Downtown Valdosta.

"Your vision is just one of the high-level things we have downtown. (We) thank him so much for investing in Downtown Valdosta. We now have it overlooking the beautiful courthouse and then overlooking our beautiful Unity Park. (Bayman) is, in my eyes, and everyone else's, a Main Street hero," she said.