The internet is a magnificent tool which can help you reach the world to share your business, products, and ideas. Here at Bluehost we work to enable people everywhere to harness the power of the web by providing them with web hosting, website builders, design services, marketing services, and much more. The possibilities are truly limitless!
We recently produced a vignette featuring two of our amazing customers who own a beautiful luxury hotel in rural Idaho. Their business is booming in large part due to their classy website which allows them to connect with people all over the world and which drives so many reservations that they are booked months in advance. When it comes to what an online presence and the right tools can do for your business, they are a true success story. Here’s how they built a dream hotel and how their website is enabling patrons from all over the world to find them.
Meet the Hunsakers, owners of The Harkness Hotel.
Aaron and Arianne converted a 110-year-old building into a luxury hotel located in southeastern Idaho.
“It all started as a joke,” Aaron says.
After their wedding, Aaron and his wife Arianne stayed in a little bed and breakfast that “looked good online.” When they arrived, however, they discovered the place was tacky and run-down. Disappointed, they joked that they should start their own hotel and offer people a charming and cozy place to stay.
Aaron explains, “Once we had the idea though, we thought: This might work. Let’s go for it!“
They knew they wanted to live in Idaho, so that was the first place they looked.
“We came and looked at ten buildings and finally decided on this one. It had the most potential; even in the condition it was in, which was a little bit overwhelming,” says Arianne.
McCammon Investment Company Building, built in 1906.
Most people told us the all the building needed was a gallon gasoline and a match,” says Aaron as he thumbs through some photos.
Known as the “Big Store Building” in its early years, the massive two-story structure was built by the McCammon Investment Co., with H. Harkness as company vice-president. The main floor housed a large general store while the upstairs was McCammon’s first hospital.
The building also served as a bank and the current hotel lobby still has a steel bank vault.
Renovations inside of the building proved especially daunting. The first challenge was to remove five layers of linoleum and carpet to get down to the original hardwood floors. Under some of that flooring, Aaron’s crew found pristine copies of newspapers from the 1920s and 1930s.
“We were able to see passed the damage that had happened over the last few decades,” explains Aaron, “We basically gutted it and started over. It has been very satisfying mixing modern design with the historical aspects of the building.”
The original banister was preserved, some of the furniture was made from existing lumber in the building, and the recovered newspapers were displayed as art. After more than a year of construction and renovations Aaron and Arianne opened their hotel, which is absolutely stunning.
This is The Harkness Hotel, which opened in July 2014.
“We say it’s unexpected luxury because our location is a very small town in south-eastern Idaho.”
It’s beautiful, isn’t it? The Hunsakers realized their dream and built an historic and luxurious hotel in the vicinity of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks and not far from pristine Bear Lake. The only problem: they are in rural Idaho. How will people find them?
“We knew that we needed a website from the beginning,” says Arianne, “I didn’t have any web-design experience. Building a website for our business was a bit daunting, but we chose Bluehost because they have a lot of resources to help us with that process.”
Having a website has enabled Aaron and Arianne to market their hotel with it’s small-town allure to thousands of people in many different places.
“Our guests discover that this isn’t just a place to stay but it is a place to have an experience. We have been able to communicate that through our website and people have really responded well,” says Aaron.
Visit their website and learn more about their incredible journey and book your first stay at The Harkness Hotel!
This ability to reach customers, viewers, and friends from all over the world through reliable technology is what we are all about. Watch our video below to see more of the beautiful Harkness Hotel and meet Aaron and Arianne. To grow your business and access the limitless potential of the world wide web contact us today and we’ll help you get there!
The Harkness Hotel