The Cherry Tree Inn Bed & Breakfast is now open
When George and Lori Miarecki visited Woodstock in June for former high school choral director Paul Rausch’s retirement gala, they had no idea the trip would change the direction of their life. A fan of bed and breakfasts, the couple booked a room for the weekend at the Royal Victorian Manor – the establishment affectionately known as the Groundhog Day house.
Lori said, “As we drove up the street I told George, ‘That’s my house!’”
While eating breakfast the next morning, the guests were discussing how beautiful the house was when former owner Everton Martin said it was for sale.
“I thought it was a joke,” said Lori, because there were no signs in the yard, but the next morning they discovered that he was serious and the house had been on the market for about five years.
Lori took photos of the property before they left, and, by the end of the weekend, the Miareckis were doing the math to determine whether they could afford to purchase the B&B. They struck a deal, made arrangements and moved in Aug. 31, christening it the Cherry Tree Inn.
That weekend in June was Lori Miarecki’s first visit to Woodstock and she said she immediately fell in love with the city. Since moving from Orlando, Fla., the Miarecki’s have immersed themselves in the community, joining the chamber of commerce, shopping the farmers market and visiting with neighbors.
For George Miarecki, the move to Woodstock is a homecoming. He grew up in town, graduating from Woodstock High School in 1989. It was his participation in the choral program during high school that led him back to town for the Rausch retirement gala. They like to credit Rausch with turning them on to their new business venture.
George Miarecki said owning a bed and breakfast was always a desire of theirs, but they figured they were about 10 years away from that dream.
Combined, the Miareckis have a unique collection of experiences that fit the requirements for running a B&B. George Miarecki has worked the front and back end of restaurants and went to business school. Lori Miarecki’s background includes working at resorts and hotels, house cleaning, party planning and cake designing.
The house was recently renovated and the new owners credit the Martins for the work they did.
“I respect the architectural vision that Everton had,” said Lori Miarecki. “What they did has allowed us to have our dream.”
The Miareckis were so impressed with the furniture and decor that they bought the house fully furnished. The turn-key operation allowed them to hit the ground running, hosting their first guests the weekend of Sept. 23-24.
Embracing the celebrity status of their new home, the couple is very welcoming to overnight guests and curious passersby alike. The “No Trespassing” signs have been removed, and they have reached out to the city of Woodstock and other local organizations, hoping to host community meetings, charity events and weddings.
“We don’t own the house. We’re the next caretakers,” said Lori Miarecki.