Travel writer Steve Stephens of the Columbus Dispatch was researching a story on wineries located in Northeast Ohio. Al-Bi Winery, a two minute drive from the Inn, was his last stop of the day and Steve needed a place to rest his weary and slightly wine filled bones. When he arrived at Whispering Pines, I didn’t even know he was a travel writer. In conversation he explained what he was up to. In my inimitable way, I asked him if he would mention a one liner on our Bed & Breakfast. To our astonishment he said he wanted to do a full story for his series on Inns across the state. Steve asked questions and took a lot of pictures inside and out. He would definitely talk to his editor. This was exciting.
In the story Steve mentions his car breaking down and in fact it really did. We gave him our car to use so he could go to dinner. He was so amazed that we would make that offer, but else would any innkeeper do? After all, we are in the hospitality business.
Steve was actually our only guest that evening so at breakfast we had a chance to talk about a lot of things. He thoroughly enjoyed his fluffy omelet and roasted potatoes served with an apricot scone. We had fun exchanging stories and invited he and his wife back for a “romantic” getaway. We said our good-byes and hoped that he would be permitted to write a story. Didn’t hear from Steve, August came and I assumed there would be no story. Was I ever wrong.
On Sunday, August 16th, in between serving breakfast to a full house, I went to my computer to check on any online reservations and there were four – all from the Columbus area. I knew something was up. I immediately went to the Columbus Dispatch web site and sure enough found the article. Didn’t have time to read it because my guests were hungry and I was needed in the kitchen. Within a couple of hours the phone began to ring and more online reservations. I was happily swamped. By mid-afternoon I had booked several rooms, had not cleaned up the kitchen, did not yet read the article and was jumping for joy. By early evening on Monday, I had booked over 30 rooms. Bill and I finally had a chance to read the article and we were amazed and humbled. It was a wonderful article on Whispering Pines.
Things happen when you least expect it, and we are very grateful for his last minute call to stay for the night. Steve apparently has a loyal following because he is a real likable, honest writer.
In this business when advertising is expensive, it is so nice to be able to receive some “free press”. Steve, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for sharing Whispering Pines so beautifully with the people of your city. And we thank all of the people who have booked rooms at the Inn relying on his advise to visit the Atwood Lake region, get a bottle of wine at Al-Bi Winery and enjoy it at Whispering Pines.
Hope to see you soon,
Whispering Pines Bed & Breakfast