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The Woods Inn has changed hands. Shown here are (from left) Andy, Nancy and Charlie Frey with realtor Kier Weimer and former owners Joedda McClain and Jay Latterman. (Photo/Meg Ulrich)

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New owners take over The Woods Inn

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 - Updated: 7:52 AM

By MEGAN ULRICH

Express News Staff

INLET -- When Joedda McClain and Jay Latterman purchased The Woods Inn here in 2003 they had a plan.

They would restore the historic inn, built in 1894, get it back up and running, and reestablish it in the community and the Adirondacks. The couple anticipated the whole project would take about five years and, once complete, they would return home to Pittsburgh.

Eleven years later, after a massive restoration and becoming active members of the Inlet community, their journey has come full circle.

On July 10, exactly 11 years to the day from when they signed the closing papers to purchase the inn, they signed papers closing the sale of the building and the lifestyle that goes with it.

Charlie and Nancy Frey of Rochester, and now of Inlet as well, have purchased The Woods Inn. Charlie has lifelong ties to the community, having spent much time at a family camp on South Shore Road, and is the brother of Inlet Supervisor John Frey.

Charlie, 55, after an extensive career in information technology, marketing and consulting, had an epiphany after the passing of his father last year. He realized his dream was in the Adirondacks.

He came up with a business plan and approached Nancy with it and, though she was cautious, she agreed to get on board.

"I knew the inn existed, but had never stopped. I stopped in and walked around, took some pictures, and got to talking with Joedda," says Nancy Frey.

A DREAM, A PLAN

With a dream and a business plan, Charlie found support from Nancy and their three grown children.

"Charlie was the driving force. Business is in the blood with the Frey family. I'm the insurance agent," says Nancy.

Are the Freys ready for everything inn ownership entails?

"We aren't entering this naively. I worked for six months on a business plan and now it's finally time to implement it," says Charlie.

And McClain and Latterman are ready to hand over the reins and move on from the lifestyle they've embraced for more than a decade. They will stay on at the inn through the fall to help the transition go smoothly, and then it's back to Pittsburgh, where they have a lot of family.

A HAPPY ENDING

"I feel very gratified. We've gotten the building into great shape and we've gotten the community involved here. I feel like this is a happy ending," says McClain.

"What was nothing is now a lynchpin of the community; not just a business but an active part of Inlet," says Latterman.

During their time at The Woods they have been involved with organizing the Adirondack Ice Bowl hockey tournament, dog sled racing, and One Square Mile of Hope and have been involved in the Inlet Business Association.

They are now, they say, ready to go home and be grandparents and see what's next.

"We've made great friends here and we will miss them. It will be strange to not wake up to the lake every day," says McClain.

LOOKING FORWARD

The Freys are excited to take over the inn and all that entails. Nancy, a teacher at Rochester Institute of Technology, will be traveling back and forth to Rochester to continue working and taking care of an aging parent and Charlie will be full-time at the helm at The Woods Inn.

He has big plans for the inn, including a pavilion on the side lawn and possibly sailing lessons. He also intends to rebuild an on-site cabin and winterize it.

But getting used to the everyday workings of the building and getting to know the staff are their first priorities. The Woods Inn employs 32 people when it's open full-time, the largest employer in the Town of Inlet.

During a time when commercial properties have been sitting on the market, The Woods Inn sale brings a glimmer of hope for property sellers in the area.

Kier Weimer of Select Sotheby's International Realty, Saratoga Springs, was the selling agent for the inn.

     

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