The town of Lake Arthur is fast becoming a tourist destination for Jeff Davis Parish. L'Banca Albergo (The Bank Hotel) has been open for a while now and is becoming a destination for visitors around the world. Bobby and Roberta Palermo bought the old Jeff Davis Bank branch on Main St. and turned it into a hotel.
"We've had people from Germany, France, England," said Bobby. "They are just people going the back roads of Louisiana, and they're looking for a little place to stay. With us being on the main street, they can go to the Regatta and eat and go to the lake."
A second story was added with the renovation, but many of the bank's original features were kept. One of the more popular rooms at the hotel is the Bank Room. There's an old drive-through window; there's the night deposit box and the bank's old vault.
"There's two vaults in the bank," said Roberta. "The first vault is here, you're looking at it. It's got all of our wine store. It's where they kept all the big money."
"This was a house we tore down that was built in the 1800s," said Bobby. "These were the cypress posts on the garage and this was the flooring. We had a guy from Jennings come in and built this."
The rooms are quite spacious with brand new furnishings. They're named instead of numbered.
Lake Arthur Mayor Robert Bertrand says the bank hotel has been a boost to the town.
"We want to revive the downtown area," said Bertrand. "We are working on our beautiful park facility. This is only blocks away from that. It's within walking distance. This is a great addition to the downtown area. Beautiful facility."
With more development in the works, the Palermos hope to continue their success on Main St.
For more information on L'Banca Albergo, go to http://labankhotel.com.