On the 25th Anniversary of Sterling Ridge Vermont, Susan takes us back to April 1st 1992…..
“Mom, Dad. Scott and I just bought an Inn in Vermont!” Very little excitement was heard from their voices, probably wondering what in the world are they doing!!! We were 34 years old and had just sold our employment agency in Rhode Island. Who would have thought we would be celebrating our the 25th Sterling Ridge Vermont anniversary!
Our life as innkeepers began in June 1992 moving all of our possessions to Jeffersonville, Vt to Sterling Ridge Inn, along with two golden retrievers the female being pregnant and due in 2 weeks. The Inn was established in 1989, a newly built bed and breakfast of 8 rooms and 6 baths, located on a dirt road 2 miles from town. We were eager to jump right into our new roles vying to be the best hosts and chefs , wanting to provide our guests with the perfect Sterling Ridge Vermont experience. Our friends and family were eager to provide us with the best breakfast casseroles and muffins recipes. Our rates we charged for a room with a private bath was $65.00 per night and $55.00 for a shared bath which included a full breakfast including our infamous granola. Our manual reservation program consisted of a Teacher’s plan book for us to record the information on the guest when they made a booking. Our data base of guests slowly increased as we advertised in newspapers, passed out brochures and involved ourselves in the local chamber of commerce.
Our lives as innkeepers were quite full with the roles of guest relations, cook, cleaner, decorator, laundress, Gardener and marketing strategic planning. We were fortunate to have Sterling Ridge Vermont selected as a host Inn for Vermont Bicycle Tour Co., this gave us a nice base of income for the summer and fall months. We were excited to meet new people from all over the world and share the beautiful landscape of the Smugglers Notch area. To make ends meet in a new business we took on some outside jobs, Susan would waitress at Banditos, the local Mexican restaurant and Scott was working for a contractor in the area as a carpenter learning a new skill! As each busy year moved on we knew we wanted to expand our room base for added income for Sterling Ridge Vermont. Our thoughts went to a campground on our 80 acres or condos. The appeal didn’t really seem right until we thought of individual log cabins providing a private, self sufficient cabin with a kitchen, 2 bedrooms perfect for a family of 4!
In 1995 we made the investment and bought 3 log cabin kits from Northeastern Log Home. It was a learning experience with permitting processes, excavating and building the Lincoln log type structures. The cabins, when completed, proved to be a big hit with our guests wanting the private, seclusion for their Sterling Ridge Vermont experience in their own log cabin. We realized that we needed more income producing cabins to succeed in the lodging business so each year we added more cabins.