By Tony Lopez

MARYSVILLE (CBS13) — It’s gone from the place to be seen to the place to avoid. Now the future of a historic hotel in Marysville hangs in the balance.

It was the place to stay back in the day. Wilma White remembers her mom and dad raving about it.

“I mean Marysville hotel—she said it was beautiful,” she said.

Opened in 1926, the Hotel Marysville attracted everyone from baseball greats Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth to Hollywood legend Bing Crosby.

“I remember my parents telling me about it and it was all good memories,” she said.

The memories may linger nearly 90 years later, but dirt, grime and a faded sign are what’s left of the once-bustling building.

“Right now it’s an eyesore,” she said. “It’s a shame.”

Marysville City Manager Walter Munchheimer says the hotel has been closed for nearly three decades. Last open in 1986, the five-story building has had five different owners since 1992. Each of them has one thing in common.

“A number of owners have not been able to do anything with it,” he said.

An office building, a restaurant and microbrewery, loft residences, or even turning it back into a hotel has all proven too costly to get the structure up to code. There have been other factors.

“Well, I think it’s economics,” he said. “I think the market for it just isn’t there.”

In fact, the city says the building’s current owner, a group from Southern California, has talked about breathing new life into the building, but they’re having a tough time putting a financial package together.

Many who drive past the old hotel have a tough time dealing with the very real possibility the once-shining jewel has been tarnished beyond repair.

Because of major changes made to redevelopment agencies, cities can no longer take over properties it considers to be a blight, meaning eminent domain cannot be used in this case.