Photos from the Lexington Herald-Leader archives updated daily

Continental Inn construction, 1965

Posted on August 26, 2019 | in Uncategorized | by

Construction of the Continental Inn, near the intersection of New Circle and Winchester roads, Sept. 12, 1965. Completed at a cost of $2 million, the hotel had a cocktail lounge, dining room, convention facilities, a private club and a swimming pool. It was undoubtedly Lexington’s most colorful hotel, hosting the most varied assortment of characters. The Continental Inn was always a bit over the top, hosting Elvis conventions and psychic fairs and square dancing conventions. If you were seeking a tattoo expo or regional darts tournament in Lexington and didn’t know where it might wind up, the smart bet was always the Continental Inn, which covered just under six acres with 319 rooms and don’t forget the indoor pool with a lit-up Statue of Liberty replica peering over. The Rotary Club met there for years, too, and in 1976 then-California governor Ronald Reagan presented the group’s high school academic awards to Lexington students. Actor Lee Majors learned to drive an 18-wheeler in the parking lot there while filming the movie “Steel” (1979) at the Kincaid Towers. The Continental Inn stopped accepting guests on August 31, 2005 and most of the hotel was demolished in 2007. The last remaining building, the Conference Center, was torn down in 2016. Today part of the site is an Infiniti car dealership. Click here to see a typical room at the hotel from 2002. Herald-Leader staff file photo

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