Owners have big plans on heels of success
The Leavenworth Inn celebrated being in business 10 years with a Holiday Open House on Friday, Dec. 14. The event featured a tour of the rooms, carriage rides, and cookies and cider.
That evening, there was a reception with hors d’oeuvres, door prizes, holiday music, a visit from Santa Claus and an address by owner Doug Breeden.
Originally from Leavenworth, Breeden, 57, and his wife, Josie, bought the Inn, renovated it and opened the doors in 1997. During the first three months, the Inn, with only five rooms, had 203 rooms occupied. The following year, more than 593 rooms were occupied.
In 1999, the Breedens opened the Cottage, which is on the same grounds as the Inn. This gave the Inn an additional five rooms. One of those rooms has a working fireplace, another room has a whirlpool bathtub and private sitting room. The Cottage also has an exercise room and a great room for small business functions and gatherings.
The Innkeepers Quarters were remodeled in 2002, which added another suite, bringing the total of available rooms to 11. Then, in the spring of 2003, the Breedens remodeled a home they named the Gardener’s Cottage, located between the main house of the Leavenworth Inn and the Cottage, which added three more rooms. More than 1,650 rooms were occupied that year.
Two years later, they opened the Carriage House, which has become a guest favorite with its privacy and view of the hills and valleys behind the Inn. This brought the total of available rooms to 16. That year, almost 2,000 rooms were occupied. In 2007, through November, there were 2,346 rooms occupied. The Breedens plan to open five additional riverview suites in 2008.
‘We’ve also renovated my grandparents’ home, which is next to the Inn,’ Breeden said. ‘It was a four-room house, and we’ve opened it up into one large area and use it for weddings, retreats and as a reception hall. It can accommodate 100 to 120 people. We’ve named it Wyandotte Hall.’
The family has also developed paved walking paths on the Inn grounds and around the town.
‘We hope to have even more later,’ Breeden added. ‘I have two brothers and one sister, and all five of us are involved in this business. My parents (Russ and Annabelle Breeden) used to run the Overlook (Restaurant), which I bought in 1989. A couple of years ago, my mom turned 80, and we thought it would be good if we brought in a new manager. We were lucky to find Chaz Pierce to fill the position, and it’s worked out well. He’s a very professional leader.’
‘Russ and I both loved the Overlook,’ Annabelle said in a later interview. ‘When Doug bought it, he said, ‘You and Dad can run it,’ and he went back to Chapel Hill, (N.C.).
‘Russ passed away in 1998, but I still love it here and still spend a lot of time at the restaurant. I enjoy the people so much, and it saves my sanity. But I like to go to Florida some in the winter, and Doug is always gone, so Chaz keeps everything going. He does a wonderful job of keeping up with the details at the Overlook and the Dock (another restaurant in town owned by Doug Breeden).’
Breeden went on to say that every year he and his family want to do something good for the town.
‘Next year, we have a new project, he said. ‘We bought the building where Cabbage Patch Antiques was located. The building is important to the community. It was a restaurant when I was young, and I used to go there a lot after ball games.
‘We’re in the process of remodeling it now. And we’ve already chosen a name for it. It’ll be named ‘Annabelle’s’ after my mother. We plan to use it for imported and local crafts and wood products,’ he said.
‘We also plan to build an addition on the back of Annabelle’s, like a warehouse, a large, open place where people can work on crafts and art projects. It will have a wood plank floor and a loft. We want to be able to use it as a theater and a large recreation hall also. The rear building will take longer, but most of the renovation should be completed sometime in the spring, maybe April or May. I think the town is excited that another old building will be making a comeback.’
The Breedens also recently bought 50 acres and two houses in the Ohio Vista development that will be renovated and added to the suites available at the Leavenworth Inn.
‘One of the houses, we call the Riverview Cottage, will be rented through the Inn and is only about a five-minute walk from the Cottage,’ Breeden said. ‘It will have a nice view of the river. The second house is more relaxed and good for kids and families. It will be called Cedar House. We have 16 rooms available now. We’ll have 23 by the end of the year, then, in the next year, we’ll have 30 rooms, then 60.
‘But I’m really proud of what we have already accomplished.’