Peter and Lisa Greiner of Albia have sold the Indian Hills Inn and White Buffalo Restaurant to A.J. Patel, who operates hotels in Pella, Oskaloosa and Marshalltown.
Patel said he plans to lease the restaurant to new managers in January. The names of the hotel and restaurant will remain the same.
Patel is a native of northern India, who lived in East Africa (Kenya) for 20 years before immigrating to the United States 20 years ago. He began purchasing and running hotels about 12 years ago.
Nicole Schoofs, who was hired by Peter Greiner as office manager last February, will remain as office manager under the new owner. Patel is currently operating the restaurant, which is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch and 5-9 p.m. for dinner. All meals are ordered off the menu.
His plans for the 58-room hotel is to do some updating on the south side in 2021 and then address some updating needs on the north side in 2022.
Greiner’s owned the
business for 38 years
The late Howard Greiner, originally from the Sigourney and Keota area, purchased the Holiday Motel and Carriage Light Inn (one located on the north side of Highway 34 and the other on the south) in 1982 and renamed the combined facility the Indian Hills Inn (1988). He also purchased the Rathbun House Restaurant and renamed it the White Buffalo (1986). In 1985 Greiner began the first of many hotel-restaurant improvements by building an indoor pool and a meeting room along with several more rooms in an addition that about doubled the size of the north unit.
In 1987, his son, Peter, a graduate of Iowa State University and a cattle groomer, came back from work in Australia and South Africa to join the family business.
Peter and Lisa were married in 1998 and she became part of the business as they continued to remodel rooms and in 2004 added an RV park to the east of the north unit.
In 2015, the business experienced an instant “remodeling” when the Albia tornado ripped most of the roof off the north unit, filling the pool with rubble. The facility was rebuilt and reopened with improvements throughout the damaged portion of the hotel and restaurant.
Howard Greiner, a WWII bomber pilot, was one of the last men shot down over Germany to become a prisoner of war. He remained active in veteran’s affairs and wrote a book about his experiences.
Peter and Lisa have five children including, Paige, an aerospace engineer in Melboure, Fla., Ian, a freshman business major at Iowa State, Isaac, 13 and twins Nigel and Noah, 11.
Peter will begin a new career selling real estate for RV parks. The family plans to remain in Albia.