You Can Stay in This Giant New Picnic Basket-Shaped Hotel

The Hiltons and Marriotts of the world are no longer enough. We, as guests and content-hungry internet people, need more. So we opt for avocado-shaped Airbnbs and chic rentals masquerading as giant potatoes. So, perhaps it shouldn't be too surprising that wood basket manufacturer Longaberger's Co.'s former headquarters -- which, naturally, looks like an enormous picnic basket -- will reopen as a luxe 150-room, seven-story hotel in 2020.

The company, who left its Newark, Ohio-based office in 2016, closed entirely two years later, CNN reports. And while it may seem like an unusual move, the building is actually tailor-made for guests. According to the Cleve Scene, there's an on-site fitness center, auditorium, restaurant, and pond. The space also boasts marble flooring, a grandiose staircases, and impressive penthouse views. 

Property developer Steve Coon and partner Bobby George purchased the giant basket building back in 2017 for $1.2 million, but took a few years to map out its best use. "We looked at everything," Coon said, per the Newark Advocate. "But the best value was a hotel." 

Though the interior will undergo a makeover of sorts, the outside will remain largely untouched. "The handles, that's what makes this building special and unique," Coon continued. "This will stay a basket. It's going to be a basket forever. It's got the draw. This is a destination."

This is a use that Mayor Jeff Hall claims would've made original owner, Dave Longaberger, proud. "It's about a building that deserves the respect," he added. "A hotel is a perfect fit because it's open to the public... It's the right people and the right property. These guys are not in the business of losing money."

h/t Insider

Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email and subscribe here for our YouTube channel to get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Megan Schaltegger is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her @MegSchaltegger