The Inn at Bath, 969 Washington Street. Elizabeth Knowlton – Owner/Innkeeper www.innatbath.com
When did you begin the enterprise? (and where if not Bath)
The Inn at Bath was opened as a B&B in the late 80’s by Nick Bayard. I came to Bath in 2001 and started running it in 2004, buying it a year later after installing the sprinkler system, and expanding the parking. In 2006 we transformed the kitchen into a lovely welcoming and functional space; it is truly the heart of this home.
I had a guest lodge in Montana for 6 years, then returned to Maine and settled in Bath. I loved running the lodge, but we were really isolated and not really a part of a community. I wanted to live and work in town, become a part of the wonderful community that was so welcoming. When Nick told me it was time to sell the inn, I spent the day thinking how lucky the new owner would be to have such a terrific B&B. By the end of the day I had shifted my thinking and I became that lucky one. I called Bath Savings and the Small Business Association; together we made it happen.
What do you offer?
The Inn at Bath is in Bath’s Historic District, an easy walk to the Kennebec River and Bath’s downtown. I have 8 guest rooms, all with private baths and either a King or a Queen bed. Four of them have wood-burning fireplaces and two of these also have 2-person whirlpool tubs. We serve a healthy and delicious breakfast daily, starting with fruit, yogurt and homemade granola and coffee, of course. Then we serve a hot entrée. Guests all eat together around a large table in the dining room, or end the day in the living room with a glass of wine beside the fire.
Why do you love Bath?
I love the people, the downtown, the energy, the friendliness, the walkability, the willingness to pitch in, the amazing job people have done to revive the downtown area, and of course I love Main Street Bath. Bath is a B&B owners dream town; it is easy to ‘sell Bath’ to potential guests. We have the Maritime Museum, the Chocolate Church, the Farmers Market all year ‘round thanks to the Freight Shed Alliance. We have great locally owned restaurants, shops and galleries. I tell people they can do all their Christmas shopping here!
What might surprise someone about you or your business?
After 13 years of running the Inn I am ready for a change, what I do not know. But the Inn is for sale and I am preparing for my next adventure! Meanwhile, I continue to be the steward of this wonderful house, and the innkeeper of The Inn at Bath. Guests often tell me that they have thought about running a B&B when they retire; living here and running the Inn is not retirement, but it is a great life full of fascinating guests in the midst of this wonderful community.