BELLOWS FALLS -- Kathleen and Rick Govotski just had their best Christmas ever.
The owners of Halladays Florist in The Square, they said the area's "buy local" program took off and downtown shops and stores saw a revitalization during the holiday shopping season. But they have learned many of their customers have not gotten an opportunity to visit one of their other businesses -- the Harvest Barn Inn at 16 Webb Terrace in Bellows Falls, just a few doors down from Halladays Harvest Barn.
With this in mind, the Govotski's have decided to host an open house to celebrate the inn's first full year of business under their ownership. The event is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 3, and set to last from 4 to 7 p.m.
"Our customers (at the florist shop) would say, ‘Oh, I haven't had a chance to see your inn,'" Kathleen Govotski said. "But they would feel a little awkward just walking up and knocking on the door."
Kathleen said the open house will consist of tours of the inn's three common rooms and seven guests rooms as well as its dinning room, kitchen and barn. She said tours will be given to guests as they arrive.
She said cooking classes have been hosted in the kitchen recently but no classes have yet been scheduled for 2013. The barn is the site of yoga classes every Saturday and is available for rent for any function.
Kathleen also said appetizers and desserts will be served to open house guests and hopes it will satisfy their curiosity.
The inn has a storied history in Bellows Falls, having started out as a private residence before Sis and Bob Pouilliot purchased it started the business about 25 years ago. They owned it for 10 years before the inn changed hands to the Langkowski's.
According to the inn's website, it began as a bed and breakfast. Sis Pouilliot originally wanted to name it the Vermont Wildflower Inn. However, when she was informed that name was already taken, she exclaimed, "Horsefeathers!" As a result, the business was named Horsefeathers for more than 20 years. The property eventually fell on difficult financial times and the Govotski's bought it out of bankruptcy in 2010 after it sat empty for a while.
"We felt badly to go by it and see the windows boarded up," she said.
Kathleen said she and her husband own the business while their son, Justin, and his girlfriend, Jen Thurgate, help out and serve as co-innkeepers with Dan and Heather Mills.
She said the inn went through a year of intensive refurbishing and remodeling, got freshly painted and equipped with new mattresses and bedding.
"Every square inch was repaired," Kathleen said, adding that the inn now hosts international clientele. "It's been a lot of fun."
Domenic Poli can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 802-254-2311, ext. 277.