CHEERS — Hip Hip Hooray!
This column salutes REAP businesses that are
finding ways to increase their success.
Nebraska’s Good Life Draws Couple from Niagara Falls to the Halsey Stockade
Goodier is a recipient of one of the Women and Company Micro-enterprise
Boost Program cash equity awards given through REAP in April (see
cash awards article
in the May REAP Business Update. Diane, husband Chuck, and their two boys
are new to Nebraska. They hail from the Niagara Falls region of New York.
The Goodiers wanted to leave the hustle and bustle of the Northeast and
settle into a quieter lifestyle in Nebraska. They had no ties to Nebraska;
they just felt a calling to re-locate here. And they are happy!
Diane and Chuck were able to buy the Halsey Stockade Inn from a couple who
wanted to retire. They took over operations last fall.
The Inn has a deluxe furnished cabin, 11 sleeping rooms, six campsites, a
hot tub, and breakfast bar for customers. It was a perfect fit for the two
since both had been involved in hotel and property management in New York.
Eugene Rahn, Senior Business Specialist with REAP in North Central Nebraska,
worked with the Goodiers to prepare their business plan and financials and
to help locate the financing to make the deal possible. The Stockade Inn is
just outside the 90,000 acre Nebraska National Forest, so they are well
situated to serve tourists from all over the state and country.
The couple immediately got involved in organizations that will help promote
their business. Diane is the committee chairperson for the 2nd Annual Junk
Jaunt, a 220 mile perpetual yard sale with fun and treasures galore,
scheduled Sept 23-25, 2005. And they have joined the effort to refurbish or
rebuild the swimming pool in the forest, now 75 years old and the only pool
in the country located in a forest.
With the equity award from REAP, Diane plans to start a convenience /gift
store for campers, locals, and tourists by renovating an existing building
on the property. She hopes to attract other rural businesses to sell
farmer’s market goods and produce on-site during the season this year.
In addition to their work as inn-keepers, the couple brought some related
vocational expertise with them, as Diane provides tax preparation services
from her office at the Inn and Chuck is an experienced heating and air
While they have missed some of the amenities of city life, such as the
specialty shops and gourmet dining, they have no regrets on their move so
far. They love the wide open spaces of the sandhills, the friendly people in
Nebraska, and the opportunities available to their sons in a small rural
They love watching the sunrises and sunsets and seeing tumbleweeds blow down
the street once in awhile, just like in the movies. Hats off to the Goodiers
for a successful start as new business owners and for getting to know REAP
in Nebraska. Check out the
www.halseystockadeinn.com website; it can tell you more!