When you sit down on a shady deck in midsummer with a burger and a brew, you are probably more in the mood for banjo music than financial statements. If you would prefer not to dwell on the peculiar economic and social factors that produced that burger in a forest clearing along a mountain highway, please just turn the page quietly and move on.
However, many of our longtime friends and frequent guests have asked us what is going to happen to Green Springs Inn & Cabins. They know that the time has come for the McGuire/Marsh family to move on. We are on the market. What will become of this odd restaurant and lodging duck that, in defiance of conventional business logic, has survived and even thrived on a mountain byway for nearly four decades?
The problem (or opportunity, if you think that way) is that buying Green Springs Inn is not just a business decision: it’s a lifestyle choice. For one thing, if you buy it, you need to live there. Absentee ownership will never work for a small business, particularly a restaurant business, in a remote location. For another, it’s not a one-man band. Ideally, management is a family affair or perhaps a multi-family undertaking.
But that’s not all. More roles come with the job. Green Springs Inn supports the Green Springs community and vice versa. The Inn is the default employer for neighborhood kids and their parents, a venue for community events, a fund-raising partner for the local school and volunteer fire department, and a steward of the surrounding Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. These responsibilities are not part of a typical business plan.
Another issue is the fact that Green Springs Inn is actually two businesses joined at the hip, like Siamese twins that do not much resemble each other. On one side, it’s a restaurant. If you leave out the matter of property, purchasing a restaurant does not require much capital but absolutely demands a ton of sweat equity. On the flip side, it’s a lodging business which has the opposite dynamics. Lodging involves land and buildings, which means a substantial cash investment. But once you have built a team of excellent housekeepers, much of the day-to-day management happens in front of a computer (as opposed to a hot stove, a cash register and a dishwasher).
With this complex picture in mind, we are dividing Green Springs Inn & Cabins into two business entities, each with a payroll, profit & loss statement and balance sheet. If you want one or the other, they are available separately. If you want both, let’s talk. Either way, you are looking at a Southern Oregon icon and a niche in paradise.
Meanwhile, as this improbable proposition circulates, we continue to offer great burgers, local microbrews and overnight sojourns in one of the world’s great forests. Come on by. Every visit is a great investment.