Sold! High Hampton Inn in Cashiers sold to wealth management firm


The High Hampton Inn, a mountain lodge in Cashiers that’s been owned by the same family for nearly a century, has been sold.

According to a press release, Daniel Communities led the acquisition on behalf of Arlington Family Offices and will manage the property going forward. Arlington Family Offices is a wealth management company. Daniel Communities is the owner and developer of destination resorts. The amount of the sale was not stated in the release.

“There is no deeper obligation Becky and I have than to the health and success of High Hampton Inn. We know that for High Hampton Inn to thrive, it is time to entrust the property to new ownership who is properly capitalized and fully convicted to perpetuating the success of High Hampton Inn for generations to come,” said High Hampton Inn President Will McKee in the press release.

“We have not only high confidence in Daniel’s expertise and vision for High Hampton Inn but also the financial support of Arlington and its client families who share the same values and vision for the future of High Hampton Inn.”

The McKee family opened the iconic inn with a storied history in 1922. The property includes a lodge, golf course and more than 1,000 acres of related real estate assets. Parts of the property were most recently seen in the television remake of the cult classic Dirty Dancing movie.

The High Hampton Inn has a storied history as a retreat for more than 200 years. Wade Hampton III, the descendant of a wealthy South Carolina family of plantation owners, bought the High Hampton property that was the site of a hunting lodge, in the mid-19th Century. During the Civil War, Hampton led his own cavalry regiment into battle. He would go on to become governor of South Carolina and a U.S. Senator.

Hampton handed the property to his niece, Caroline Hampton, and her husband, Dr. William Stewart Halsted, a renowned chief surgeon at Johns Hopkins. The Halsteads enhanced the property, but it remained a rustic retreat until the couple passed away and left no heirs in the early 1920s.

E.L. McKee, a Sylva businessman and industrialist, bought the property from the Halsteds and built a two-story inn, mountain golf course tennis courts, and restored an old farmhouse. A fire that started in the clogged flue of a fireplace, destroyed the old hunting lodge and the inn in 1932. McKee built a new, bigger inn (three stories, with a massive fireplace) on the former site of the hunting lodge.

Bill McKee, who had worked with his father’s various business interests, was named president of High Hampton Inn Inc. after his father died in 1952. (Bill McKee’s brother Lyndon served as vice president until he died unexpectedly in 1961. In 1984, Lyndon’s children acquired six hundred acres of the High Hampton Estate and built the prestigious Wade Hampton Golf Club, just south of High Hampton.)

Bill McKee married Lily Byrd of Asheville, in 1958. The couple had a son, William Dills McKee, Jr.“Little Will,” as he was called, grew up around the inn and, after graduating from the Cornell School of Hotel Management in 1982, returned to High Hampton to work with his father. Bill McKee died in 2004 and Will took the reins.

More on Daniel Communities

Daniel Communities is one of the country’s leading developers and managers of premier destination resort communities including the renowned golf and lake resort, Reynolds Lake Oconee and Ritz Carlton Lodge. Daniel is one of the most recognized and trusted names in real estate with a heritage that spans nearly 60 years. Headquartered in Birmingham, Ala., Daniel Communities has created and managed some of the most iconic and transformative properties in the southeast.

More on Arlington Family Offices

Since its founding in 1998, Arlington Family Offices have become one of the nation’s leading multi-family offices. Based in Birmingham and Nashville, Arlington serves high net worth families in the United States, Europe and Canada. As part of its family office services, Arlington provides investment, trust, tax, planning, record keeping and administration services to its clients. It periodically acquires strategic real estate and business assets that offer legacy and value creation opportunities and align with the generational investment goals of its clients.