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Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast

Bright Morning B&B 1
127 Jefferson Court
West Newton, PA
Expanded twice
Total Project Cost
Visit Online

There were times when we shopped for credit and ran out of money. We were scraping. I feel very protected now. That’s not going to happen.

- Mary Lou Rendulic, co-owner, Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast


When Mary Lou Rendulic bought an old house by the Youghiogheny River in 2001, she just intended to teach piano. But, there was room for guests, so by year’s end, a Bed & Breakfast was born. A decade of growing traffic along the Great Allegheny Passage, right outside her front door, filled the Bright Morning’s guest book with the names of travelers from across the globe. “We’ve had people stay with us who even walked the whole 150 mile trail,” says Mary Lou. But not everything was bright; Next door sat two homes in disrepair, one vacant for over a decade.


Mary Lou pondered expanding the B&B and sought a bank loan to buy one of the two eyesore properties. “I had to fill out all the papers and had all the hope, and then got the feeling that, ‘We’re not going to finance you. You’re just a little lady,’” she says. Then serendipity came knocking…

Staff of The Progress Fund knew from their surveys of bicyclists, that there weren’t enough hotel rooms along the trail. They also knew Mary Lou and her great, but small B&B.  They offered her a special $100,000 loan if she’d buy one of the houses to expand her B&B. And she did in 2013. Those extra rooms filled up “overnight”.

Mary Lou expanded again by buying the second house in 2014 with another loan from The Progress Fund for her second expansion in 2 years. The second loan was for $140,000.


Mary Lou and her husband Rob now have three beautiful houses with restored woodwork, pocket doors and vintage light fixtures. “The new rooms are larger, and each room has a bathroom, shower, tub,” says Mary Lou. The ground floor of one of the houses is now a dining room and gathering place, allowing Rob, a professional chef, to offer delicacies like seafood lasagna. It’s not what you’d expect in a little town. Mary Lou says, “I think the whole atmosphere where we live is changing.” The truth is Mary Lou and Rob are changing it.

This project was financed in part using Pennsylvania Small Business Credit Initiative (PSBCI) funds from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of Community and Economic Development.

The Progress Fund is an equal opportunity provider and employer.


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News about Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast

Trail provides positive economic impact to West Newton area

Mary Lou Rendulic does not need a study to tell her about the economic value of the Great Allegheny Passage, the popular 150-mile recreational trail that cuts through West Newton as it connects Pittsburgh with Cumberland, Md. “We’re finding that we are renting more and more rooms per season,” said Rendulic, who operates Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast, The Annex Inn and the new Willow Springs Inn along Jefferson Court, just off the Great Allegheny Passage. Continue reading Read the full post »

Bright Morning Bed and Breakfast to celebrate second expansion

This new addition to Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast will add four more guest rooms. The house was completely renovated with a restored front porch overlooking the Great Allegheny Passage. This house is handicapped-accessible and features a pathway connecting to the breakfast area at Annex Inn. Continue reading Read the full post »

Larry Walsh on biking: Progress Fund gets new grant

The Progress Fund, which has financed 29 businesses along the Great Allegheny Passage, has received a $2 million federal grant that will be used to make more loans in 2015. Its newest loans along the Great Allegheny Passage went to the Bright Morning B&B for its second expansion in West Newton and to the 9 Decatur Guest House & Hostel … Continue reading Read the full post »

Rendulics expanding bed and breakfast business in West Newton

Mary Lou and Robert J. Rendulic, owners of Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast and the Annex Inn at 127 and 129 Jefferson Court respectively, are planning to have at least two rooms of the four-room two-story house at 131 Jefferson Court ready for visitors by Sept. 25. Continue reading Read the full post »

“We need a place to sleep!”

The demand for overnight accommodations along the Great Allegheny Passage is growing at an accelerating pace. Ten years ago, Bright Morning B&B, in West Newton, opened with only 1 room. In 2013, with our help, they expanded by purchasing and rehabilitating the vacant house next door. Continue reading Read the full post »

Trailblazing Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast doubles down

One of the pioneers of West Newton’s trail-powered rebirth is expanding this month. Bright Morning Bed & Breakfast is opening a second guest house, The Annex Inn, which features three lovely rooms and a dining area that brings a new level of hospitality to one of the Youghiogheny River’s most vibrant towns. Read more. Read the full post »