Whitney’s Inn at Jackson
Major Renovation Project & the Re-Opening of Shovel Handle Pub
|Whitney’s Inn at Jackson has new owners and is receiving some much needed attention with a $250,000 renovation currently underway. Don and Joyce Bilger, owners and innkeepers of the Inn at Jackson have purchased Whitney’s Inn and have some big plans for the future. The property encompasses twelve acres with a pond and includes the Main Inn, the Liftline Lodge, two cottages, an 1842 farmhouse and the Shovel Handle Pub.
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With the help of some of the valley’s best tradespeople, the Bilgers are planning to complete the renovation project at Whitney’s Inn by December 24th and open for business on December 26th. Each of the 26 guestrooms will feature new hickory log, pine log and Adirondack style furniture and décor, all with private baths, some with fireplaces. All of the rooms will have cable television, DVD players, CD alarm clocks, and wireless Internet and many will have fireplaces. Guests can choose from standard, classic and luxury rooms to family suites or two bedroom cottages. The common areas of the Inn are also in the process of getting fresh paint, wallpaper, carpet, artwork and much more. Lisa MacAllister, a local designer from Jackson is working on this project as well, having been intricately involved in the earlier renovation of the Inn at Jackson.
“Joyce and I enjoy and take pride in renovating older historic buildings such as the Inn at Jackson. Whitney’s Inn was a wonderful opportunity for us to take a treasured piece of Jackson history and bring it back to life. Whitney’s Inn will offer the perfect complement by providing us with a diversity of accommodations for our guests. Whitney’s Inn will cater to both families and couples, while the Inn at Jackson is geared more towards couples with its Victorian style ambiance.” said Don Bilger, owner and innkeeper of both properties.
Whitney’s Inn at Jackson has had a long history of welcoming guests to its mountainside resort next to Black Mountain Ski Area. Built in 1842, the former Moody Farm was bought by Bill and Betty Whitney in the fall of 1936. At the time of the purchase, the Whitney’s paid an extra $250 for a rope tow ski lift on the property. The lift soon became famous and known as the Shovel Handle when Bill decided to improve its design by attaching 72 shovel handles to the overhead cable for skiers to hang onto. The current pub was named after this innovative overhead ski lift used at Whitney’s ski hill during the winter seasons.
“As most people know, the Shovel Handle Pub has been closed to the public for the past few years. We’re re-opening the pub in response to the overwhelming desire expressed by the locals in Jackson and in the valley. In order to do this, we are thrilled that Pam and Marty Sweeney have agreed to join us in bringing the pub back to life. Our plans are to return the Shovel Handle back to its longstanding tradition of being a favorite gathering place for new and old friends” finished Bilger.
Longtime residents of Jackson, Marty and Pam Sweeney are best known for having owned and operated the popular Wildcat Inn and Tavern on Main Street in Jackson for over 30 years.
“Pam and I are very excited to join Don, Joyce and the crew at the Shovel Handle Pub. We’re looking forward to seeing all of our old friends, ski clubbers and new guests. Locals will recognize some familiar faces behind the bar and serving in the pub. I hope everyone gets a chance to stop up and see what’s happening” said Marty Sweeney, Head Chef at the Shovel Handle Pub.
The Shovel Handle Pub has planned a tentative opening for December 26, with a limited menu of après ski comfort food and live entertainment on selected days. The pub will be open daily during the holiday week, then Wednesdays through Sundays from 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm.
Guests of Whitney’s Inn at Jackson will also be able to dine on site at The Birches Restaurant in the Main Inn. Chef Rick Bertrand has been at Whitney’s Inn for the past five years. Originally from Watertown, MA, Bertrand is a graduate of Johnson and Wales Culinary Institute and formerly worked for seven years as a chef in Boston. The Birches restaurant will offer a traditional New England style menu featuring various specials each night, with an emphasis on all natural products.
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