For Steve and Jaci Gramstad, it began when Steve asked a local realtor if there were any local businesses were for sale, and heard about the unused bed and breakfast in downtown Redwood Falls.
“We set up a time to look at it, looked at the building, and one thing led to another,” said Steve last week.
Jaci, an early childhood special education teacher, was already familiar with the building.
“I had been in the bed and breakfast before for the Tour of Homes, and a Redwood Area Quilters show,” she said.
Steve, who does maintenance at several local hotels and apartment buildings, was impressed at how well the bed and breakfast had been restored.
The building, built in 1919, has been home to a variety of businesses over the decades. Before it was turned into a bed and breakfast it was a cell phone company.
“We closed on the building in January, and opened for business on May 1,” said Jaci.
The Vintage Inn Bed and Breakfast was open for visitors, and they came as soon as the word got out.
Since May, the facility has hosted visitors from, among other places, Florida, Chicago, North Dakota, and across Minnesota.
“Some people just pick a town with a bead and board in it, and just visit,” said Jaci. “One couple was geocacheing, and came to Redwood Falls because of the park.”
Other visitor have come because of an event, and wanted a comfortable place to stay.
The Vintage Inn Bed and Breakfast has three rooms, each with its own Queen bed and bathroom. For the most part, the Gramstads bought the site as is, needing only to add a few pieces of furniture and decoration.
Steve’s daughter, Amber Stormo, a former high school Spanish teacher, was the next piece of the puzzle.
“My dad said, ‘We’re buying a bed and breakfast. Would you like to manage it?’
“I said, ‘Wow, what a great opportunity!’”
What is the best part about operating a bed and breakfast?
“Meeting all the different sorts of people who come in,” said Steve.
In addition to the overnight rooms, the Vintage Inn also hosts day events, such as bridal and baby showers, or business meetings.
The Gramstads have been getting the word out mostly through Internet sites that cater to bed and breakfast tourism.