Well, it has been almost 5 years since I bought the inn, moved from San Diego to Mendocino, and began a new chapter in my life. Those 5 years have not been boring.
2007 closed out with the best year in BGI’s history. Then came 2008 and the drop into recession. There’s nothing better for one’s self confidence than buying an existing business and over the next few years, watching its value plummet. But we were not alone. While the nation slid into recession, I watched a microcosm of its impact here in Mendocino as stores closed, friends lost their retirement savings and numerous inns fell into foreclosure. I was fortunate to have bought an inn with an experienced manager. I relied heavily on Jo Ann’s guidance and support and together, we weathered the bad economy until things began improving in 2011. If the first quarter of 2012 is any indication, the worst should be behind us..
I have found Mendocino to be an extremely welcoming and warm community. Maybe because of it’s isolation, maybe because there are people here from all over who have chosen to be here. Whatever the reason, I have made so many new friendships and have had so many experiences I would never have had if I hadn’t taken the chance to change my life. One of the first people I met when I moved here introduced me to Sarah, who, in 2010, became my wife. We now have a new addition to the family on the way.
Although a native San Diegan, I have fallen in love with Mendocino and Northern California. From the rugged beauty of the North Coast, to the many small towns, each with its own character and charm, life in this part of the country has been a journey of discovery.
And inn keeping…people ask me every day if it is what I expected. I tell them that I had high expectations and it has exceeded every one. I have met so many guests from all walks of life and every corner of the globe. I have loved learning about the area and enthusiastically sharing this new knowledge with people passing through the inn. After 5 years, it is great to recognize people as they return each year (sometimes several times a year) to a place they feel is their escape from the world.
I was excited when, several weeks ago, a new cell tower went up just a couple miles east of the inn and we began to have limited service here at BGI. I posted this on Facebook and so many guests commented that they would not pass this information on to their friends and family when they come up because the absence of cell service was one of the things they found refreshing.
That is the magic of Mendocino…removed from the world. And that magic is infectious. As an innkeeper, I find myself facing the same conflict most of our guests face. It is such a special place, you want to keep it all to yourself. But it is such a special place, you also want to share it with everyone you know…