OECAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- Community leaders in Ocean City gathered Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the historic Flanders Hotel's 100-year anniversary.
The hotel is known for serving many celebrities over the years, including actors Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly, as well as former Vice President Charles Curtis.
Peter Voudouris, the hotel's director, said the Flanders almost didn't make it to 100 years after it declared bankruptcy in 2003 and fell into such disrepair that it was nearly condemned by the state.
"There was people, when I took over, were laughing at me and saying, 'You're just wasting your time,'" Voudouris said. "Little by little, I used that as a motivation tool."
He took the time to lead a gut renovation of the building, and the hotel now regularly sells out during the summer.
"I think I would tell [critics], 'You underestimated me, and when there's a will, there's a way, and we worked hard and we did it,'" Voudouris said. "We did it without your help."
Linda Maczonis works at the hotel's front desk, and while she's only worked at the Flanders for two years, she said every day is like getting a history lesson in the 100-year-old hotel.
"Everything is like from the past. It's like everything is older and brings back memories of your childhood and when you were younger," Maczonis said. "People come in here and say, 'Oh, I'm looking for that picture frame that's always been here since I was a child,' and it's still here."
The hotel will be holding a centennial gala on Nov. 18 to celebrate its anniversary.
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