Monday, July 16, 2018
Business

Search for slower, quiet life leads to opening of Brooksville bed-and-breakfast

BROOKSVILLE — The Dolan House Bed & Breakfast, which has welcomed overnight guests since January, was launched unintentionally on the heels of an excuse.

"He can't say 'no,' " Tina Jarvis explained about her husband, Michael Dolan.

Dolan, a mild-mannered people pleaser, had been asked to take on yet another community board position — many others already on his volunteer roster.

Jarvis, 62, had finally gotten through to Dolan, 70, that he had enough on his plate. To maintain home harmony, Dolan managed to tell the inviter that he didn't have time — the couple was moving, opening a B&B.

Indeed, after living in Naples for five years, preceded by 10 years touring the country in a motor home, also trekking Europe, the retirees from Seattle found their wanderlust salved and sought a quiet, small-town life in an easy-to-maintain, no-stairs home.

"So, what do we do?" Jarvis said. "Buy a hundred-year-old, two-story house."

They purchased the hist oric 1890s Ederington House, handsomely restored, nestled in a leafy pocket just a stroll from downtown Brooksville. Its architectural pinnings indicate several add-ons over the century, a onetime summer kitchen and attached porches — more house than Dolan and Jarvis needed.

With all of that space, "the gears started turning," Jarvis said, acknowledging that the couple had mused years ago of opening a bed-and-breakfast once they retired.

"We've averaged (guests) two to three weekends every month since February," Dolan satisfyingly reported.

The most recent week saw four couples staying over five nights, occupying two tastefully appointed upstairs queen rooms with private baths, also an enclosed-balcony sitting porch. The stairs, with elbow and landing at mid-flight, precluded getting king-size beds to the second floor.

Dolan and Jarvis reside in spacious downstairs quarters and share the oversized butter-cream kitchen with their guests.

"He talks. I cook," said Jarvis, the couple agreeing that "friendliness" is the No. 1 requirement for B&B owners. "You definitely have to like people."

She mentioned a morning when she had paused in breakfast preparation to graciously chat face to face with a guest. Turning back to the stove top, she found the sausage burned. Hosting, as any job, has its off moments.

"I'm just a home cook, but I've always liked to cook," Jarvis said.

She bakes a pastry every morning, a recent first effort, a successfully flaky, savory-leaning rosemary-apricot scone.

"Tomorrow, a guest has requested blueberry pancakes," she noted.

Most guests come to the Dolan House via its website, many of them suggested by Dolan's and Jarvis' acquaintances gained through their community participation. Dolan is involved with the local arts council, the Brooksville Main Street program and the Hernando Tourist Development Council; Jarvis with the Brooksville Woman's Club and arts council.

Brooksville isn't a big tourist draw, according to the B&B's guest book. Visitors often come because a family member is in a local health care facility, to attend a family reunion or wedding, or for a business conference.

Then there was the Canadian filmmaker producing a show on jet-ski fishing.

"You meet some fascinating people," Jarvis said.

With rates at $125 and $110 nightly through breakfast, Dolan said, "we've had people tell us we're not charging enough."

Through their own travels and those of their guests, Dolan said, he and Jarvis have learned that "motels are all cookie cutters, all the same."

Added Jarvis, speaking of the charm of a B&B: "Where else can you go and sit down and have breakfast with (the hosts), quiet and cozy?"

One thing Dolan said he has learned and wants to share with others: "Starting a business at 70, it can be done."

Contact Beth Gray at [email protected]

Comments
CVS employees call 911 on black woman trying to use a coupon

CVS employees call 911 on black woman trying to use a coupon

Couponing while black?Add it to the list.On Friday, a Chicago woman tried to use a coupon at CVS when a store employee told her the slip was fake and another worker called the police. The incident stands as the latest known example of racial profilin...
Updated: 12 minutes ago
Amazon’s Prime Day runs into snags swiftly

Amazon’s Prime Day runs into snags swiftly

NEW YORK — Amazon’s website ran into some snags quickly Monday on its much-hyped Prime Day, an embarrassment for the tech company on the shopping holiday it created.Shoppers clicking on many Prime Day links got only an abashed-looking dog with the wo...
Updated: 25 minutes ago
Amazon Prime Day: Now an opportunity for worker strikes, consumer protests around the world

Amazon Prime Day: Now an opportunity for worker strikes, consumer protests around the world

Amazon workers, who have long gone on strike in the run-up to the holidays, have found a new occasion to get their employer’s attention: "Prime Day."Nearly 1,800 Amazon workers in Spain went on strike Monday during Prime Day, which has quickly grown ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Jared Kushner’s family firm accused of pushing out rent-stabilized tenants

Jared Kushner’s family firm accused of pushing out rent-stabilized tenants

NEW YORK — The hammering and drilling began just months after Jared Kushner’s family real estate firm bought a converted warehouse apartment building in the hip, Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Tenants say it started early in the morning and went o...
Updated: 4 hours ago
FCC chairman has ‘serious concerns’ about Sinclair-Tribune merger, could seek to block deal

FCC chairman has ‘serious concerns’ about Sinclair-Tribune merger, could seek to block deal

WASHINGTON - Sinclair Broadcasting’s proposed $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media has raised "serious concerns" at the Federal Communications Commission about the amount of control the combined company would have over the U.S. television market...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Florida suspends payment to SunPass contractor until tolling system is fixed

Florida suspends payment to SunPass contractor until tolling system is fixed

The Florida Department of Transportation announced today that it will suspend all payments to the SunPass contractor until the electronic tolling system is fixed.In a letter sent to the president of Conduent State & Local Solutions, Inc., David Amori...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Tampa cybersecurity firm A-LIGN raises $54.4 million

Tampa cybersecurity firm A-LIGN raises $54.4 million

TAMPA — Tampa-based cybersecurity company A-LIGN raised a $54.5 million investment from FTV Capital, the company announced Monday. A-LIGN specializes in helping businesses stay compliant with regulatory and industry standards for cybersecurity."As a ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Any Tampa Bay transit project will bring development opportunities, expert says

Any Tampa Bay transit project will bring development opportunities, expert says

Big transit projects are often about much more than moving people from one place to another.That’s where real estate adviser Marilee Utter comes in. Her specialty is helping communities get the most out of development opportunities that arise from bu...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Tampa ranks second best in nation for first-time homebuyers

Tampa ranks second best in nation for first-time homebuyers

Despite rising prices, Tampa has been deemed the second best city in the nation for first-time homebuyers. That’s according to the website WalletHub, which compared 300 cities using 27 metrics including home prices, property tax rates and property-cr...
Updated: 6 hours ago
Pretzels to replace peanuts on Southwest flights

Pretzels to replace peanuts on Southwest flights

On Southwest, you no longer can fly for peanuts. But you can for pretzels. On Aug. 1, the low-cost carrier will cut the popular snack food from all flights, in deference to its passengers with peanut allergies."Peanuts forever will be part of Southwe...
Updated: 6 hours ago