SURF CITY, NC (WECT) - After burning down in January of 2013 the older portion of the Tiffany's Motel in Surf City is now back open and ready for business. A fire broke out early in the morning on January 31, 2013, destroying the portion of the motel that surrounds the pool.
"The flames were 30 to 40 feet in the air. It looked like a great big bonfire at the end of a structure," recalled Paul Werkmeister, who was one of the first firefighters on the scene. "It took you by awe, it was overwhelming to see such an iconic building being burned."
The owner of the motel, Boyd Taylor, said 22 percent of the motel was destroyed in the blaze. While a portion of the business stayed open, he said they still lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the year it took to rebuild.
"We tried to take lemons and make lemonade, we wanted to do more for our customers," Taylor said. He said they tried to make the burned portion even better than it was before it caught fire. It was only one level; now it has several stories giving visitors an ocean view. He said they were able to add a room and include a handicap accessible room in the rebuild. However, he said they wanted to keep one thing the same: the pool.
"We wanted to be nostalgic about it and pick one thing, the pool just came to be our focal point to say we are going to build around this pool and make sure people can remember this pool," Taylor said.
He said they are expecting many more visitors over the summer season than last year and already have more reservations than this time last year.
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322 Shipyard Boulevard