Hopes are high for the re-opening of the Historic Sheridan Inn. The new owners closed on the business late in October and hosted a meet and greet for the community just a week ago.
For a building with so much community history, it is smart to gather local support for the project.
They’ve already, to a large extent, done this. They gained the support of the nonprofit Sheridan Heritage Center that previous owned the Inn and reaffirmed and praised all of that group’s efforts.
Without the actions taken by that group, the Townsends said, the Inn would not have been a financially feasible project for any investor.
In addition, the Townsends made themselves available to members of the media, they hosted the meet and greet last week and then trick-or-treating activities Thursday.
But one thing that stood out to some attendees of the gathering was the story behind acquiring the Inn.
Bob and Dana Townsend have many local ties, but they’ve lived primarily in Oklahoma running a heating and air conditioning business in Tulsa.
Bob Townsend brought some of his employees with him to check out the shape the Inn was in before the real estate closing. He mentioned the need for investors to really make the project work. Several years ago, the Townsends’ Tulsa business became employee-owned.
So when Bob and a few of his employees were making the trek back to Oklahoma, the employees pitched the idea of becoming investors in the Inn.
The employees held a meeting and unanimously agreed to be a part of the Sheridan Inn project, the Townsends said.
This will greatly benefit the Sheridan Inn and the Sheridan community for a few reasons.
First, the owners of the Inn are debt virtually free. They told attendees of the open house they’ve paid off the purchase price of the building and are therefore able to begin construction without the sense of being rushed to bring in immediate income for loan payments.
This will allow the group to take their time and do it right.
Second, the fact that the Townsends’ employees trust and believe in the business abilities of the pair enough to buy into the business not once, but twice, speaks very highly of the Inn’s future.
Also, the Townsends are not asking the community for any money.
The nonprofit owners had a constant need to raise funds for the Inn for renovations and repairs to the historic building. The new owners have not asked for a dime.
They’ve simply asked for support.
Let’s give it to them.