I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
A couple months ago, I learned that a small place upriver was for sale. Not much land but that's okay - I'm not a farmer, nor do I raise any livestock. Once upon a time, when we first moved out here, a friend of mine lived there, but when her husband died, she wasn't up to living out here by herself. It's not easy living out here, even with a man around, but alone and far from young, I wasn't surprised when she moved down to the lower 48 to be closer to her kids, I believe.
In the interim, at first, another not-so-close friend moved in there to take care of the place, and soon a new building was going up farther back from the river. Thus was the beginning of a small lodge. I stopped in to visit once, but really, I so seldom go in that direction, I kinda lost touch with the place and the happenings there.
At one point, this not-so-close friend was asked to leave, she was a terrible alcoholic so I assumed that was why. I think she was supposed to be running a business there but I couldn't say for sure. I never heard about the place since then. It was there, was all I knew.
The person who told me about the place, told me quite a few things. Apparently the local carpenter lived there for a while too. What all he did there I don't know, but somewhere along the line, the place gained a fuel barn, a sauna, a couple guest cabins and a gazebo. More recently, I think the first new building grew and was remodeled inside. I was able to peek in the window and what I saw was way different from when I made that one visit.
When I finally found the listing at the realtor's and saw that the price was under $300,000, I nearly fell over. The location plus the set-up, not to mention the very nice look, should have called for a much higher price. This I might be able to work out. I immediately sent them an email asking if negotiations were possible.
I had such ideas. Paramount being some sort of writer's retreat, but certainly open to any other options. I asked one of the fishing guides where I work if he thought fly fishing lessons would draw people. With salmon fishing seemingly questionable, I figured I wouldn't lean on that industry exclusively. The place was listed as a bed and breakfast and built to be run year round; I would make the most of that. I planned to offer internet access, and get a big screen TV for guests to watch sports (not that I'm any kind of a sports fan, but many people are). I also figured there would be certain kinds of meals on certain days of the week. Home made pizza on Fridays, for instance. Steak night. Fried Chicken night. Spaghetti night. Barbeque night. and others as I thought of them.
With the place being an unknown on the river and never having been advertised as anything, there was no established clientele, but as with all new things, word would get around, I was sure, and I fully intended to advertise everywhere I could think of.
I ran all this past the owner with the realtor as intermediary since the owner didn't do emails, offering to run the place on his okay and pay him for it a certain agreeable % of quarterly profits. My first glimmer of hope was his being willing to take a down payment. So would he work with me on the rest? Would he take my offer? He wanted me to get fire insurance; something I admit to not having thought of, but it was a good idea. To protect us both.
But now my hopes have been hit with a bucket of cold water. He wants monthly payments. Not that the payments were outrageous, quite the contrary, they were very reasonable. The trouble is, there is anywhere from four to eight months out of a year when there would be NO income. Where is the money for those payments supposed to come from then? Not to mention the simple problem of mailing a check. You see, the reason there would be no business during those months is because travel on the river is impossible during those months. That is the times when the river is either starting to freeze up and before the ice is thick enough to travel on, or when the ice is getting soft and breaking up and before it's safe to travel by boat. No one goes anywhere during those times.
So, that's where it stands at the moment; nothing I can do at the moment anyway. I've asked my family for help, but it doesn't look like they can help much. Maybe some other avenue will open up, or maybe the owner will see the light and understand that my offer is reasonable. One can hope.