9 Decatur Guest House and Hostel
I was surprised how simple it was. How they’ve been helpful is through their level of encouragement. They’re very reachable, very approachable. They’re there to help you,
Gail Hall, owner of the Inn on Decatur, was tired of turning away customers because her Inn was full or because her customers sought cheaper lodging. She decided to buy a vacant, century-old apartment house a block away, and turn it into a guest house and hostel – something Cumberland, at the intersection of two trails, desperately needed.
As the owner of Mountainside Bike Tours and a sales representative for the official TrailBook for the Great Allegheny Passage, Gail was familiar with The Progress Fund’s Trail Town Program®. As a former mortgage banker, Gail says she “wasn’t going to bother with a bank.” The Progress Fund loaned her $99,837. “I was surprised how simple it was,” she says.
Gail’s updates have retained the turn-of-the-century flavor. The heating system, for instance, is new, but the old radiators have been turned into tables. The building has bicycle parking and rooms to accommodate anyone from a single rider to a group, for well under $100 per memory-foam-mattress-clad bed. Cumberland now has a lodging option between the campsites and the bed-and-breakfasts. “There are a lot of people who come through who don’t want to spend $125 for a bed and breakfast,” says Gail. Now, she says, “We have the beginning, the middle and the end.”
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