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Deerfield Innkeepers Anticipate Reopening in Fall
madeleine lane 12 staff writer
March 2, 2012

The Deerfield Inn will not reopen until early next school year, according to innkeeper Jane Howard.

“Surprises in both buildings have slowed things down tremendously,” said Ms. Howard. “The extent of the damage was well over the percentage allowed for this old building to be grandfathered for things not up to Massachusetts code.”

Ms. Howard and her husband Karl Sabo are keeping a positive outlook. “We are trying to look at it as an opportunity rather than as a disaster,” she said.

They are using it as a chance to make many changes, including converting one of the rooms destroyed in the flood handicapped accessible, creating a new event space on the Terrace and a larger tavern area for Champney’s “with a big bar to sit at and fireplaces.” They are also improving their kitchen facilities with new cooking equipment and a pizza oven.

“A clean slate can be very positive as we have the time to revisit systems and procedures, work on new website designs, and a test kitchen at our house is allowing us the chance to work on new menu designs with our chefs,” Ms. Howard said.

Though they are making positive headway, it will be months before they consider reopening.

“It’s important not to rush into an opening without everything in place,” said Ms. Howard.

“We still don’t have a timeline for completion, but it is looking as if we will not be able to take reservations in September,” Ms. Howard explained. “It will, in addition, take many weeks once the work is completed and we receive our certificate of occupancy, to hire and train staff and to clean up and put everything back together.

“The inn is so sad standing empty, but its duende will be restored quickly once there is life and activity and laughter again,” Ms. Howard said. “It will be better than before when we finally get there, and we are so grateful for the positive thoughts and words of good cheer and encouragement from our guests whom we have been missing so much.”