Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Place for Adults- A Niche Market

EnjoyingRiver.jpgOne of our earliest lessons learned (among many others) at Reflections Inn involved choosing the most appropriate market for our style of Inn.

The first lesson involved a bug hunt conducted by two young, precocious boys. They successfully completed an extensive bug hunt on our property, capturing many species of live bugs. The only problem was that they released all of them in their room. Their parents were impressed, dismissing the event as just another important lesson learned in life, saying, "Boys will be boys".

The second lesson learned involved an inquisitive little girl I found in our bedroom, going through our drawers. She wasn't stealing; she was just interested in what was in the drawers! The parents were enjoying a much deserved rest while reading in the sun and leaving their children to explore their surroundings, unsupervised.

The third lesson occurred soon thereafter and stood to punctuate the lessons learned from the first two events. A guest called to inquire about availability and asked immediately, “Is it possible to peacefully read a book at your Inn without being disturbed?” And with that, our decision was made.

Since we are sandwiched in-between two larger, family and pet oriented resorts, it seemed logical to rethink our market and focus on providing a "Quiet Getaway" for adults. We love children and we do occasionally make a rare exception for a child under 12, but we are careful to preserve the sanctity of our adult guests.

The quality of our guest space is important to us! Our sense is that there are a number of adults seeking the solace of a quiet place like Reflections Inn; set along the banks of the Clearwater River, in the foothills of the Bitterroot Mountains of North Central Idaho, where, in fact, they can read a book or choose to be by themselves with their thoughts. They have too often found themselves trapped in lodging that reminds them of the same noisy, hectic world they sought to escape from. The Reflections Inn promises the calm experience they seek! Join us and find out for yourself.

Jim May

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Through the Eyes of Our Guests

According to Baxter Black, a Western entertainer and social critic, rural people are different. We deeply identify with a "Sense of Place" and that is especially true in our case. Ruth and I enjoy looking up to find the horizon - it causes us to see all that lies in-between, including the people. I think suburbanites and city folks look down at their feet too often in their rush to get from point A to point B.

But there are other values according to Baxter that make rural people different. We work hard, believe in something beyond ourselves, and for the most part, we are gracious and express gratitude. We also love the land, family, friends, and readily help others in our community who are in trouble, even if we don't especially see eye to eye with them.

So it's with a lot of pleasure that we keep seeing Reflections Inn in different ways through the eyes of our guests. Even a brief stay may mean an all-important moment of respite from the gnawing problems of a scary world. I was standing in the parking lot one day when a young delivery man drove up. The first thing he said when he got out of his truck was, "Wow, this is beautiful!”. Of course, he had just moved to Lewiston, Idaho  from Las Vegas so his response was understandable.

Not long ago we helped an elderly couple who stumbled into the Inn late one night. They were lost, tired and very confused. They had mistakenly booked a room in Grangeville, Idaho (40 miles away), but we were not about to turn them around and send them up the winding mountainous road to Grangeville in the dark. They sent us a note once they arrived home saying that we had indeed 'saved them' and that their brief stay at Reflections Inn turned out to be one of the highlights of their trip.

For us, a genuine welcoming smile and looking out for our guests’ safety and comfort is a core commitment. The Reflections Inn is more than a quiet getaway in a beautiful and scenic area of the Northwest. It is about valuing the relationships we develop with our guests and, yes, helping them see the beauty that surrounds them, the beauty that exists in their lives and in ours!

Jim May



Monday, September 10, 2012

New Reflections Inn Sign and Early Reservations-

Reflections Inn entry and signWe have a new sign that speaks of another subtle change that Reflections is undergoing. Our attractive new stone sign simply says, "Reflections". The stone is symbolic of our commitment to the inn keeping business and its natural beauty blends with the scenic Clearwater River Valley. Keep that in mind as you travel down Highway 12 along the Middlefork of the Clearwater River to Reflections Inn, because, in keeping with the natural beauty along this Idaho Wild and Scenic Byway, you will not see flashing neon signs pointing to our location.

More than 4,000 guests have stayed with us over the past 17 years and a significant number of those guests are repeat visitors. The idea that Reflections Inn is a quiet, get-away place is well established in the minds of our previous guests and we strive to maintain that reputation.

We encourage everyone to make reservations as far in advance as possible so that we can continue to provide the high level of care and attention we have established for all of our guests. Give us a call or send an email and we’ll be happy to discuss your lodging requests.

Good thoughts to all ... and we hope to see you at Reflections Inn soon!

Jim May

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Late Summer 2012-

motorcycle group Motorcyclists and motorcycle groups have continued to frequent Reflections Inn this season, with more groups on their way in the early fall. We are a great stop over for these groups.

The fall is fast approaching so fly fishers will soon be heading our way. September and early October are often two of our most beautiful months of the year and we are looking forward to a different set of guests with a slightly different perspective on the "Good Life". We are looking forward to serving dedicated fly fishers and others who just want one more trip to the woods before winter sets in.

Jim May

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Party On? Maybe Not-

[caption id="" align="alignleft" width="300"]Guest House patio at Reflections Inn, Kooskia, Idaho Guests House patio at Reflections Inn[/caption]

Early on in our experience as Inn Keepers, we went through some growing Pains, like most new businesses. I remember my wife, Ruth, telling me about a young couple; two beautiful, athletic, and full of life, young people who fell in love with Reflections Inn. My wife related the story to me one evening after the couple left. It seems that while sitting out front of the Guest House with Ruth, the young lady challenged her fiancĂ© to a race down the drive, a swim across the Clearwater River and a run back to the Inn. No rules were discussed, the couple just took off after she issued the challenge.Surprisingly the young lady started to shed her clothing as she race down the drive, as did her fiancĂ©. By the time they reached the river they were nude and it's at that point the story became a little murky. I do know that the young lady won the race, but allegedly some truck traffic was stopped on Highway 12 as the couple raced back up the lane (nude) to the Inn.We soon realized that we wanted the inn to be more of a peaceful retreat rather than a “Party On" type of place. We've accomplished that by shifting the expectations of the Inn to a more mature, fun-loving place; an atmosphere that respects privacy, but at the same time sets the stage for good conversation and lively fellowship. This is, after all, our home first and business second.

Recently we hosted two couples from France and another gentleman and his daughter from China; who, upon leaving, pleadingly said, "Please don't change this place"!

While it is not Party Central, Reflections Inn, Kooskia, Idaho, is a great place to think good thoughts, share great conversation, and meet interesting people, if you choose.

Jim May

Friday, June 22, 2012

Creating a New Reality in the Bitterroot Mountains


[caption id="attachment_448" align="alignleft" width="300"]Scenery from the front porch at Reflections Inn View from the front porch at Reflections Inn[/caption]

Our Beginning-
While driving on the Blue Ridge Highway in the early summer of 1985, my wife, Ruth, began reflecting on her career in residential real estate development. She realized that she was no longer satisfied to simply earn an income and she found no meaning in her work. She had come to a major turning point in her life and she knew she wanted a new direction.

Jumping forward 10 years-
In 1995 Reflections Inn, as we know it today (formerly Lookingglass Inn), was purchased and work was begun on transforming it into the quiet, restful and peaceful place it is today. Located on the beautiful Clearwater River in north central Idaho, Reflections Inn offers a natural beauty that is breathtaking in its simplicity.

A New Reality-
Over the years many individuals, couples, and small groups of friends and family have discovered Reflections Inn and, even if for only a short time, have created their own peaceful, quiet and renewing reality. Reflections Inn is a place to get quiet with yourself and with others, or perhaps even read a good book and explore personal thoughts.

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, then to rest afterwards"
-An old Spanish proverb

This speaks to the vision behind the Reflections Inn.  There seems to be so much chaos in today's world.  This chaos seeps into our daily lives and wears us down; we need a sanctuary from the chaos, even if just for a day, where we can begin to find ourselves, our humanity again.

For the past 17 years, Reflections Inn has welcomed many guests back, over and over again.  Many of our guests have become dear friends and we follow each other's lives.  We are a place that treats you, well, like a dear friend or family.  Ruth has been and continues to be the heart and soul of this place.  It was, after all, her dream, her vision, that brought this Inn into being.  Reflections Inn thrives today, because of her dedication to providing a safe respite for herself and others in an otherwise maddening and chaotic world.

Come yourself, bring your friends and or family to the Reflections Inn.
As Virginia Wolf wrote,  "A luxury ... a quiet place in the heart of chaos."