Inn of the Six-Toed Cat
The Inn of the Six-Toed Cat in Allerton was built as a hotel in 1909 and over the years has had many famous guests, including a few presidents. Excellently maintained, the hotel was converted into a traditional bed and breakfast that features exclusive artwork, authentic décor and fine cuisine.
For the past seven years, the Inn, named after a breed of cat that has six toes, has been a tourist attraction, but when the previous owner closed the business a little more than a year ago, it had a negative effect on the tourism industry in the surrounding area.
Cheryl Joyner, a church administrator, had connections to the Allerton area but was living in North Carolina with her husband, an electrical control specialist, and children when she heard that the Inn was available for purchase.
The Joyners contacted the SBDC for assistance in obtaining financing to purchase the Inn. The Joyners had already moved from North Carolina and taken over operation before finalizing the purchase. They completed an SBA loan application and submitted it to the bank. There was some difficulty in getting the financing due to the unique characteristics of the business and the difficulty in establishing collateral value for the assets. The other challenge was developing projections based upon past sales-since the business had been closed for a while, it was difficult to know how customers would respond to the business re-opening.
The Inn is now operating and regaining its reputation as a unique place for tourists throughout Iowa, which is having a positive effect on other tourist attractions in Wayne County. The Joyners are now considering other new ventures in the community and are trying to encourage other people to start new businesses that can become tourist attractions.
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