Inn Your Dreams

Credit the cubicle with inspiring throngs of gay people to dream of opening a bed-and-breakfast. But for those who actually ditch their 9-to-5 jobs for wake-up calls, the innkeeper life has its share of nightmares. Meet four gay couples from Connecticut to California who are living the dream.

BY Charles Runnette

September 10 2008 11:00 PM ET

Right: The Inn at Kent Falls

At Ira
Goldspiel’s archetypal New England countryside
property -- The Inn at Kent Falls -- everything
is just so. Frette sheets cover the overstuffed
mattresses on the wrought iron beds, and Aveda products fill
the en suite bathrooms. On cold nights a fire roars in the
sitting room, and on summer days the outdoor pool is
perfectly heated. Like other gays and lesbians
who’ve escaped the fluorescent office life by buying
an inn, Ira has found that his handsome colonial
property is more than a job -- it’s his
300-year-old baby. And like any toddler, this one needs
unconditional love and around-the-clock attention.

"For this job,"
says Ira, "it’s good to be more than a little
anal-retentive.”

One recent summer
night Ira realized just how demanding his 18th-century
little darling can be. The guests from all six rooms
had checked out in the afternoon, and he had no
reservations lined up that night. Finally alone,
Ira convinced his boyfriend to go skinny-dipping in the
pool to enjoy a rare quiet moment under the stars,
surrounded by the inn’s lush grounds and
babbling creek. But, as Ira recalls, “you learn
early on when you take this job that you’re never
alone.” Sure enough, a couple without a
reservation, who had seen the inn’s recent rave
review in Travel + Leisure, showed up
unannounced and found them.

The Inn at Kent Falls x395 02 (publicity) | Advocate.comThe Inn at Kent Falls

What’s
notable about Ira’s story is not that a gay innkeeper
was caught splashing around naked in his pool --
that’s nothing new. It’s that gay
B&B owners are increasingly less dependent on gay and
lesbian clients. The inn Ira bought and renovated in
northwestern Connecticut is gay-friendly -- but hardly
pride flag-waving. The couple who caught Ira and his
boyfriend in their birthday suits was, like most of his
guests, straight.

Scott Coatsworth,
who started the online LGBT travel directory Purple
Roofs with his partner, Mark Guzman, has noticed a
growing trend of inns owned by gay and lesbian
people popping up in "nongay" areas. “The places
we listed used to be confined to gay meccas,”
he says. “But now you can find an LGBT-owned
property almost anywhere.” When he started the site
in 1998, Coatsworth figured they would struggle to
list 100 or so gay- or lesbian-owned B&Bs, inns,
and guesthouses. Now they have over 1,000 listings
from around the world -- some in fairly non-traditionally
gay locations like Utah, Alaska, and Peru. “As
the gay and lesbian community has shifted out of the
ever-more-expensive urban gay ghettos,” Coatsworth
says, “gay-owned businesses have
followed.”

Tags: Travel

AddThis

READER COMMENTS ()

Quantcast