The Depot Inn & Suits was designed and built in 2006 by Tom Marshall, owner of Marshall Custom Woodworks and the interior design was done by his spouse, Kelly Marshall.
Tom & Kelly Marshall are extremely talented masters of design and built a hotel that far exceeds just about anything you've ever experienced in such a small 30 room rural hotel. You can see their attention to detail in every aspect of the hotel. The Depot Inn & Suites was not designed to provide the highest ROI for the owners, but rather to provide the highest quality of experience to guests as possible.
In that same year of 2006, TrainWeb.com including their subdivision of TrainParty.com, was planning to move from California to Missouri. The Depot Inn & Suites placed a large order for train whistles with TrainParty.com to give out to children at their grand opening. From a conversation over those train whistles between Tom Marshall of the Depot Inn & Suites and Ray Burns of TrainParty.com, along with a lot of other details, TrainWeb/TrainParty decided to move to a building in La Plata, Missouri, just down the street from the Depot Inn & Suites.
One thing led to another and it was decided to try to expand the Depot Inn & Suites into a 120 acre Silver Rails Resort, a sort of Disneyland of the midwest featuring railroad passenger heritage and exhibition of the future of transportation and energy. To prepare for this expansion, two of the owners of TrainWeb LLC purchased 40 acres of land adjacent to the hotel and obtained an option of an additional 100 acres. Barry Howard Limited, an experienced designer of many major national exhibitions and World Fair Exhibitions, designed the Silver Rails Resort.
Several major investors were all lined up to build the Silver Rails Resort when the economic collapse of 2008 caused pause for everyone. That economic collapse of 2008 placed Tom & Kelly Marshall into financial difficulty over the hotel. Barbara Cepinko and Stephen Grande, part owners of TrainWeb, took over ownership of the hotel in 2008 in order to keep the dream of the luxury railroad themed lodging experience alive. By the time the economy recovered several years later, the entire team that originally worked on the Silver Rails Resort proposal had gone their own ways and the seed funding to push it forward was gone. But the concept of the Depot Inn & Suite survived and it continues to be the highest quality accommodation and best lodging value in the region to this day!
Even though the funding to build the Silver Rails Resort is no longer available, a number of venues have been created under the "Silver Rails" brand to help attract more tourists to the northeast region of Missouri. Most of the venues centered around La Plata, Missouri, have been created by the 501(c)(3) non-profit public benefit organization: the American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation (APRHF). The largest "Silver Rails" branded non-profit venues of the APRHF are Silver Rails Country, the Silver Rails Event Center, the Silver Rails Gallery, and the APRHF Exhibition of Amtrak History
A few of the "Silver Rails" branded venues are commerical ventures such as the Silver Rails Depot Inn & Suites, LLC. The 40 acres that were obtained to build the Silver Rails Resort are now being transformed into the Silver Rails Vineyards, managed by Tom Anderson, another commercial venue under the "Silver Rails" brand. The first crop of grapes probably won't be harvested until 2017 or so, but we expect to have a wine tasting room up and running in 2016 providing tastings from wineries throughout the Silver Rails Wine Trail. When you stay at the Depot Inn & Suites, you can look out back at the growing vines of the Silver Rails Vineyards!
We hope whenever you are in the area you will come to stay at the Depot Inn & Suites to experience the extensive work that has gone into building this very unique lodging. The owners, management and staff of the Depot Inn & Suites appreciate your patronage and thank you for considering staying at our establishment.