Confluence House Bed & Breakfast
Among Confluence House’s selling points: “We do not have televisions. We do not have wireless. Most peoples’ cell phones don’t work,” says Sandy Younkin, co-owner along with her husband, Fred of the late 1800s home-turned-B&B. “It’s definitely a relaxation point.” Sandy took a job there as an innkeeper and chef after a career in administration for hospitals and public schools. One day, she “jokingly told the owner that if she ever decided to sell, I wanted to have the first opportunity to buy it.” When that day came, there were two questions: How would she pay for it? And what would she do with it?
A Confluence House guest referred co-owners, Sandy and Fred to The Progress Fund and its Trail Town Program. Confluence House is 500 feet from the Great Allegheny Passage, and benefits increasingly from trail tourism. The Progress Fund arranged a $175,000 loan from the United States Department of Agriculture IRP Program.
Under Sandy, Confluence House is going beyond breakfast. She’s offering packed lunches to trail-bound visitors. There’s four-course dinner for guests and reservation-only diners. She’s reaching out to businesses, weddings, reunions and catered affairs. But even as her marketing goes off the charts, her selling point is still decidedly off the grid. One guest’s testimonial: “You don’t know how wonderful it is that you don’t have television here. I don’t have to get up and watch a stock report.”View Story as PDF