Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Quest - Close To Home

When we last left our intrepid wannabe Motel owners (us), we had been working with our local Realtor, looking around Pocatello, with an eye towards opening a bed and breakfast in town. Previously, we had looked into a small motel in Washington and a large hotel in Pendleton, both ending decisively against our favor. (Note that some of this may have been covered in previous posts a bit...)

We thought about it a lot and decided that Pocatello needed a Bed and Breakfast, the only other lodging in town are larger chain motels and the Black Swan, so we asked Jared, our Realtor extraordinaire to look into some potentials.

Most of the houses we looked into I failed to take any photos of or I did and they've wandered off onto some stray media somewhere, but I thought it was time to dive back into the story of our thus far failed attempts to break in to the hospitality industry.

September 22, 2008 -

We met up with Jared, who had arranged for a pretty full morning of looking at houses, duplexes and other potential buildings. We looked at a larger apartment complex by the library that felt a lot like an old western hotel that someone had turned into apartments. I liked the feel, and it had an attic room that intrigued Lindsay since we couldn't get in to see it, but overall, it was too expensive and would have been a lot of work to convert back into a motel, undoing the work the current owners had done. Since looking at the place, the property has been sold and is still apartments.

The next stop was the Pink House, another apartment building about a block from the college campus. It was an older building, stuccoed in a salmon pink. At first glance, it seemed to be pretty trashy, but when you looked again, you realized that it was primarily because of the color and the unkempt appearance of the grounds. The building itself had a lot of possibilities and good lines. We wanders around most of the apartments, chatting with the college students that lived there, fascinated by the creepy warren of rooms and tunnels in the basement and the gorgeous upstairs rooms, all long and unique with odd storage spaces. Eventually, we decided that this too was beyond our means. I belive this building sold, but it's been a while since I've been by it.

The Yellow house was next. This was a single family home off of Center street, one of our major interstate outlet roads. Set a few houses back from the road, it was an older house whose decor had a unique style. Shag carpeting, multiple fireplaces, bizarre wallpaper, walls of mirrors... I loved the place. It also had a huge garage/shop and a good chunk of parking in the rear of the property. We could have created 3 guest rooms and a dining room from the upper floors and lived in the basement. This house stayed on our list until we eventually gave up on the Pocatello Bed and Breakfast idea. It sold fairly recently and I can only hope that the new owners leave the metallic wallpaper in the bedroom intact.

After that, we moved on to view The Frat house, a building that remains on my shortlist of places I secretly still want to own.

Located on 4th ave by the cemetery, the Frat house is perfectly located for an easy to get to Bed and Breakfast. Back in the day, it was an actual frat house, though I never researched to find out what fraternity. From the outside, it's pretty unique looking, it has a large square frame and the front of the house is paneled in dark wood, while the rest of the house is white shingles. It's not a traditional look for a B&B, but it would have been pretty striking.

Walking in, I was instantly in love with the front room/dining area. Still floored in the original wood, the entry is wide, friendly and has tall ceilings. I could imagine it decorated for Christmas or reading a book in front of the fireplace. It connects to a pretty nicely spaced kitchen with a pass through bar area that would be great for serving breakfast to guests in the mornings.

Downstairs, there is two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a laundry area. My favorite detail, the one bathroom that still boasts two toilets and three showers from its frat days.

Upstairs there are three bedrooms and a master bed that had its own bathroom, bonus room and entrance.

Overall, the place would have been great. Unfortunately, we couldn't sell our house and we ultimately discovered that doing a lease to own on a private residence that we would then turn into a business was unlikely, as the owners would have to cover the increased insurance premiums. After we looked at it, the owners took the house off of the market and recently placed it back again as a for sale by owner. As of two days ago, that sign was gone, so I assume it has finally sold. Sigh.


randymeiss said...

The frat house was amazing. My college days were spent at married student housing in a one-bedroom not much bigger than a shoebox. There was a 6-person East Asian family next door.

I still don't know how they managed to sleep all those people, maybe in shifts. The smell of their cooking was omnipresent every day of our lives there. (Think cooking oil that has been used and re-used hundreds of times over). Ah well, good memories, all the same.

admin said...

So your post popped up in one of my google alerts, since I'm always looking at inn for sale properties.

You might like this - B&Bs for sale near Pocatello. It should keep track of new listings within 200 miles.

Best of luck!