Josh and Crystal Shearer used to own an architectural sign company with Josh’s father for 25 years and Crystal was a high school math teacher for 11 years before they moved to Idaho to make a big life change. With their two children Jessie (13) and Noah (10), they moved to Idaho in 2014 when they decided to make renovations a full time job to allow for more time spent with their family. But over time, the renovation life became harder as DIY renovation tv shows became more popular. That is when they transitioned to Airbnb. While still renovating homes, they furnished them instead of selling them.
Two years after starting the Airbnb venture, they had the opportunity to purchase a motel in Cascade, Idaho. It was in need of a partial renovation finish, so they took the chance. Once finished with the project, The Cascade lake Inn, they started looking for another project! This is when they found the former Indianhead Motel in Weiser by accident. Josh saw it on a map and called the owner. “They got along from the first conversation and began talking about what it would look like for us to buy the property. Cal, the previous owner, is a wealth of knowledge. He has been a fun person to get to know throughout this chapter in our adventure story,” said Crystal.
Being the new owners of what is now the Weiser Motel & RV Park, they started by removing the carpet from all the rooms and replacing it with luxury vinyl planks because it is easier to keep clean. This flooring gives the place a new, updated look. They also bought new bedding sets, upgraded to larger televisions that are Roku tv’s and have Netflix available to all guests. They also changed out towel racks for larger ones, painted the ceilings to brighten up the rooms, and changed out all of the lighting for brighter, updated fixtures. The Shearer’s also added carts with mini refrigerators, k-cup coffee makers and everything you need to make a great cup of coffee. “New wall heaters, artwork created in Idaho, new shower curtains, luxury soaps, makeup removers, and candy from Weiser Classic Candy are in every room. We put in a new ice maker and have a new vending machines on the way!” she explained. Each room has its own keypad on the door with a unique code when guests book their room. “This allows people to socially distance as they choose! We can do everything over the phone and guests can use their code to enter the room.”
“The renovation of this property was fun. It took us a while to come up with the theme that we wanted to focus on. We debated doing a lot of retro styles, pictures of old motels, etc. We tried to fill the rooms with pictures and historical memories of Weiser through the years. That turned out to be a lot harder than we had hoped and we were unable to get anyone to return our calls about historical images and such. Through that process, we decided to focus on Idaho as our theme. Every room is filled with artwork from old postcards to Idaho cities. The canvas prints above the beds are all scenery pictures from around Idaho as well. The shower curtains have mountains on them and the “welcome” gift in each room is locally made candy. We are working to get local coffee in the rooms as well,” explained Crystal.
The biggest challenge for the family has been figuring out how to best upgrade the older amenities. A lot of “typical” renovation jobs were not possible with this building being built with cinderblock. They had to get a bit more creative with their upgrades and after spending hours upon hours debating and searching for the right items, they feel their choices will work out great. The biggest reward for them has been the people they’ve worked with. They’ve had the help of their children plus Crystal’s dad, John Purvis, Cal Monis who is the previous owner, who stayed to help with renovations. He was able to offer invaluable insight. Their greatest accomplishment has been adding the new sign. Josh designed, created each piece, and assembled the sign in their own garage. It took him weeks to work it out exactly how he wanted it. It was an exciting day to finally light up the sign and see it from the road.
The ”soft” opening of the Weiser Motel & RV Park happened on November 1st, once the new manager, Laura, was able to move in as a live-in caretaker. “She is an amazing woman who is excited for this new opportunity to meet people and run the motel.” The motel is open now and the RV Park will be open in April of 2021. The Shearer’s would like folks to know that they offer a clean, safe, and family friendly place to stay. They do NOT allow pets, no exceptions. Their goal is to continue to add local products and services to help the community’s businesses as well.
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Cascade Lake Inn: thecascadelakeinn.com