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January 01. 2014 7:59PM

Gunstock Inn opens again with new owners

GILFORD — The historic Gunstock Inn, which had been for sale as its previous owners had suffered from the bad economic times, has been purchased by a couple who own three other Lakes Region lodging businesses.

Les and Linda Shuster, owners of the Lazy E Motor Inn and the Lakeside Getaway, of Weirs Beach, and the Bear Tree Lodge of Meredith, reopened the inn on Dec. 9, having purchased it with the help of a local Realtor and Service Credit Union for $350,000, according to town officials.

The inn had been for sale for about a year before the Shusters bought it, Les Shuster said.

“We’ve been trying to buy it ever since we heard it was for sale,” he said.

The inn was originally built as housing for workers who built the Gunstock Ski Area, one of the first projects of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “New Deal” era, Shuster said.

The new owners purchased it as a “distressed” property, but plan to make it a vital business in the area, he said.

“We’ve been looking to expand, and we bought it as a nostalgic country inn,” Shuster said. “We plan to make it a significant part of the local economy.”

The 25-room Gunstock Inn and Resort will feature new versions of its former operations, including the fitness center and spa, which have been renamed the G.I. Fitness Center and the Candlelight Salon and Spa. Candlelight will include a hair styling center and will be open to the public, not just to guests.

The Olympic-size swimming pool is available, as is the 125-seat restaurant. The tavern has had its name changed to Shuster’s Tavern.

In staffing the facility, the Shusters have more than doubled their payroll from that of the other three businesses. They have hired six senior-level managers, and are working on employing more people for the inn’s functions and its 74-seat conference room.

They also hope to attract people to the inn as a wedding destination, he said.

“It will be exactly what it has been and more,” Shuster said.

dseufert@newstote.com


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