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Simmons’ Way: An Inn in the Heart of Millerton

Rural Intelligence Road TripsFrom the veranda of Simmons’ Way Village Inn on Main Street, Jay and Marty Reynolds may have the best view of Millerton—literally and figuratively.  As in-town innkeepers, they take the pulse of the tourist trade every morning when they serve eggs or pancakes to the guests at their 9 bedroom inn. While merchants and elected officials from neighboring towns scratch their heads trying to understand why Millerton has become a hot spot and how to duplicate its success, Jay Reynolds has a three word explanation: The Rail Trail. “There were several factors that led to Millerton’s Tipping Point,” he says, citing the arrival of Harney Tea‘s wholesale and retail operations. “But it’s the Rail Trail that has really made us a destination.”

Rural Intelligence Road TripsWhen the Reynolds (right) moved 90 minutes north eight years ago from White Plains, NY, where they’d been moonlighting by running a philanthropic bed-and-breakfast (the proceeds benefited P.E.O. International, a women’s service organization) as well as working full-time jobs, they felt that Millerton was on the rise as more and more New Yorkers sought solace in rural surroundings. “It was just after 9/11,” recalls Marty, who had been downsized from her corporate job.  “The inn was in perfect shape and all decorated. We could buy it and run it as is.”

Rural Intelligence Road TripsJay remembers taking into account Millerton’s proximity not only to New York City but also to Lime Rock race track and a slew of boarding schools (Hotchkiss, Indian Mountain, Kildonan, Millbrook, Salisbury) that would bring a steady stream of visitors. “There seemed to be a solid economic base for an inn, and it was clear that many New Yorkers were fed up with the Hamptons,” he says. Certainly, there’s nothing Hamptons-esque about Simmons’ Way. It has a quirky homespun charm. Once a private home, the 19th century house was converted to an inn some 20 years ago by then owners Bob & Carol Sadlon, who run The Moviehouse across the street.

“We’re an inn with the soul of a bed and breakfast,” says Jay. The couple cook breakfast for guests themselves in the kitchen that they share with No. 9 Restaurant. “That was the deal we made with Tim and Taryn when they rented the restaurant space from us,” says Marty. “We had to be able to cook breakfast there. We clean up after ourselves, and they leave the kitchen clean for us in the morning.” Leasing their restaurant space to No. 9 has been a boon.  “Our guests love being able walk down to have dinner in a really fine restaurant,” says Jay, who understands that location is everything with real estate. “Why Millerton?” he says, asking the question that he is always asked.  “It has great appeal because it is a friendly, walkable, shoppable town.”

Simmons’ Way Village Inn
53 Main Street; 518.789.6235

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Posted by Dan Shaw on 01/26/11 at 05:29 AM • Permalink