After 28 years, Bruce and Margaret Hyde have sold the Hyde Away to Ana Dan and Paul Weber who are relocating to Vermont from Columbus, Ohio.
Dan and Weber's background is in corporate jobs, with Dan working in marketing and Weber in finance.
"We were looking to purchase a place and visited here this winter. We came back and really like the location and thought this business had a lot of potential. We had looked at different inns and businesses for sale. We wanted a place that is close to winter sports. We ski and snowboard. But we also wanted a place that would be interesting year-round and Vermont seems to have that," Ana Dan said.
PIECES FELL TOGETHER
She said that her husband also has an interest in fly-fishing, which added to the attraction of The Valley.
"When we looked further into the Hyde Away, all the pieces fell together. The inn has a restaurant and a strong, year-round business. Paul will continue his job, working from home. Our daughter is off to college in Colorado in the fall," Dan said. Dan is 47 and her husband is 49.
Dan said that the Hydes will be staying on for two weeks to train them. She said they have great faith in chef Ryan Mayo's food and the staff and trust their judgment. She and her husband will live in the small house next to the inn while they build their own house on a parcel of land beyond the back parking lot of the inn.
Dan will be heading back to Ohio and returning with a U-Haul trailer and the family dog, Pumpkin, and cat, Kitty, very shortly. Her husband will complete the sale of the home in Ohio and move to The Valley in August.
With the business sold, Bruce and Margaret Hyde, who live in Granville with their 10-year-old daughter, Nora Louise, will be taking some time off to decide what to do next. Bruce Hyde and his first wife bought the inn from Michael Kolitfrath in 1987 when it was known as the Snuggery and was open only during ski season.
The inn underwent a big renovation, changing bunk rooms into private rooms and suites, adding private bathrooms, closing the kitchen – which had been open on a pass through to serve breakfast to inn guests.
"The dining room had picnic tables for tables," Hyde recalled.
"It's had extensive renovations over the years. The building is almost 200 years old," he said.
In 1994, Hyde married Margaret and the same year got elected to the Vermont Legislature, representing the district at the time, which included Granville, Waitsfield, Warren and Fayston.
He served in the state Legislature until 2000 and returned to running the inn and restaurant full time with Margaret until 2002 when former Governor Jim Douglas named him commissioner of tourism and marketing for the state until 2010.
Since that time, he's been back running the restaurant with his wife and their many longtime staffers.
"We've been very fortunate in that the business has continued to grow, year on year. There've been very few years that we were down from the prior year, except 2008 and 2009. We've been fortunate to have great local support and I attribute that to being open seven nights a week. We've always done only dinner, with breakfast for inn guests, and that's been a good model," he said.
Over the years, he said, the expectation of inn guests has changed. First they wanted private baths, then cable TV, then flatscreens in every room and in the last 10 years people have asked for air conditioning, even though it's only needed several days a year, he said.
An electrical fire at the inn in August 2011 brought about another extensive renovation, bringing all of the inn's plumbing and electrical fittings up to today's code. Despite the scale of the renovation, the business was only closed for one month, reopening in time for foliage season.
This spring the silo was torn down and rebuilt, more spacious and comfortable seating.
"Over the years, we've decreased the seating to put less pressure on the kitchen. We've been putting out a quality meal, with an emphasis on local food, so we've been more interested in quality over quantity," Hyde said.
He said he and Margaret will miss the regular interaction with local customers and repeat visitors and inn guests who've returned year after year.