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The History of the Hills
In 1963, entrepreneur Gene Lehmann began construction of a lodge just west of town. The locals smiled about his project, predicting little chance of success. Undeterred by the chitchat, Lehmann moved ahead, obtaining a first-rate architectural firm to design his vision for a resort hotel. From wrought-iron handrails to solid timbers imported from Canada, he spared no expense. A cozy restaurant called “The Heart” served delicious food, and two meeting rooms soon catered to social events, a novel addition to the community at the time. Within a year of opening, the Inn of the Hills emerged as the Texas Hill Country’s most prestigious and buzzing resort hotel.
In 1969, Annemarie and Hans Schlunegger leased the Inn’s food operation and brought new life to the scene. In 1973, Lehmann sold the Lodge and it changed hands several times. Then, in 1993, a familiar name, Annemarie and Hans (“they’re coming back home,” as old-time clients would say) purchased the Inn of the Hills and began an to refurbish it immediately, adding a new commercial kitchen, colorful Southwestern-style bar, beautifully renovated guest rooms, and a spacious conference center. By the time the family sold the lodge in 2006 to 1859 Historic Hotels, Ltd., the Inn of the Hills had regained its prestige and had once again taken the lead among Hill Country resort hotels.