GUERNSEY—After more than two years of effort in planning, funding, and renovating an old hotel building, the public is invited to get a first-hand look at the new bed and breakfast in downtown Guernsey next week. An open house for Twisters Eatery Bed and Breakfast will be held Tuesday, June 26th at 4 p.m. The business is located on the north end of Wyoming Avenue (east side of the street) next to the existing Twisters Restaurant.
For most residents in the Guernsey area now, memories of the old downtown hotel are either very faded or non-existent. Originally built around 1920, the building had a number of owners, based on information found in public records, old editions the Guernsey Gazette and other sources. Names mentioned in those sources included Felchner, Stoddart or Stoddard, Pilcher, Culver and Goolsby.
But regardless of the names associated in its history, the building that is nearly 100 years old has a brand new business identity and will begin its own “new history” as it opens later this month.
Seeking to not only draw but keep visitors in the Guernsey area for extended stays, the Guernsey Economic and Tourism Development group began investigating ways to provide more hotel or motel guest rooms a little over two years ago. Looking for ways to add to and enhance the downtown business area, Bruce Heimbuck, director at the time for the GE&TDG, presented a plan to renovate the old hotel building into a bed and breakfast. With a neighboring business already an established restaurant, Twisters owners Dave and Cris Lycan agreed to lease the building and provide the items necessary to operate the bed and breakfast.
The purchase of the old hotel and land also included two open adjoining lots that could later be sold or leased for an incoming future business.
Heimbuck applied for a $750,000 grant from the Wyoming Business Council’s Downtown Development funding and it was approved in the spring of 2016. Although listed as the fiscal administrator for the grant (required for application), the Town of Guernsey has no funds involved in the project. The Guernsey Economic Development Group provided $112,500 toward the project—15 percent of the grant total and also put in an additional $82,000 toward the cost for the fire sprinklers and kitchen projects. Half of the grant funds will be paid back to the Wyoming Business Council.
Local contractor Cory Bristow, owner of Bristow Built Construction, won the bid to do the renovation and work began in 2017. Heimbuck was especially appreciative of the work relationship established with the Bristows, a family-owned and operated business, saying, “I honestly don’t know if we could have done this without the great cooperation we got from Cory and Lisa on this project. We had to make some adjustments and changes along the way and they were just great about making it all work without a lot of fanfare. That really made things go much easier in getting this done.”
Final inspections by the state fire marshal’s office were completed and passed last week. The final steps are currently underway by the contractor for cleanup and the owners will then be staging the business with the necessary operating items. Use by the public is anticipated to begin later this month.