Brent Markwood and Henry Williams are the new owners of Bright Morning Inn. The two purchased the business from Susan Moore on Friday, November 16.
Previous Owner Susan Moore sold the business to Markwood and Williams after purchasing it herself in 2000. “I put my life into this for many years and I want to see it go to someone that has a good chance to build it even further. I think they have a good skill set to do that,” Moore said.
“We’ll it was somewhat unexpected for both of us,” Markwood said of the purchase. Originally from Terra Alta, Markwood spent years living in major cities after college working predominantly as a software engineer.
Lo and behold the mountains of West Virginia called him back. “I moved back just because I had spent a little bit of time here a few years ago, in Davis and Thomas, and was shocked at how much the area had changed. I was amazed at the dynamic stuff that is happening in both of the towns,” Markwood said.
After Markwood moved back to West Virginia, he met Williams. “I think we both started thinking about how we could both be more a part of the community,” Markwood said.
“We both wanted to do a restaurant background or something with housing. When this came open it was kind of the ticket of what our ideas were,” Williams said.
Williams worked at the Billy Motel for the last year under the apprenticeship of Owner Joy Malinowski. “She trained me in pretty much what I know now,” Williams said.
Williams commented that Malinowski showed him how to run an office, properly make a room, and to help a guest have a pleasant stay. “What really attracted me to hospitality is you get to actually interact with your guests. You meet great people and make great friends,” Williams said.
What may have created a competitive air between two business owners in the same market, instead a collaborative effort blossomed. Both Williams and Markwood commented on Malinowksi’s excitement and support of their new venture.
The new owners also expressed the gracious welcome they received from their neighboring business owners in Davis.
It is apparent that Williams and Markwood want to make the inn their own but are in no rush to make any hasty changes. “We are taking our time. We don’t want to move too quickly and change everything,” Markwood said.
Bright Morning Inn will keep its name, as well as all the staff that worked under Moore’s leadership. “We are going to take some time to learn what she was doing right so that we don’t mess it up,” Markwood said.
The breakfast at the inn is a town favorite. “We may expand breakfast hours fairly soon,” Markwood said. Talk of a dinner menu with a wine and beer available is developing. The owners would like to renovate the eight rooms that populate the inn at some point in the future.
“When we started talking about, the amount of support we got from people in this community was really unbelievable. That really pushed us over the edge to be willing to take the risk, because I had never experienced that before,” Markwood said.
Markwood and Williams are usurping ownership at an opportune time: during a slower period right before the holiday rush. “We have a relatively slow time, which is nice to learn the breakfast, to learn how to clean the rooms properly,” Markwood said. Both Williams and Markwood are first time business owners.
Previous Owner Susan Moore purchased the Bright Morning Inn from George Bright. Bright began the inn in 1988 as a place for the parents of students who were enrolled in his therapeutic program to stay.
The building was originally built as an inn. “All I know, the inn was a boarding house. It probably served the men that worked on the lumber mills along the river,” Moore said.