Innkeeper makes life in vibrant community


KENT - Ira Goldspiel came to Kent five-and-a-half years ago, vaguely thinking about buying a home here, and fell in love with the area.

He had been living in New York City and San Franciso, working in retail, merchandising and product development for clothing companies such as the Gap and Armani Exchange.

He loved his work, and the opportunities it gave him to travel around the world. But when he turned 40, he decided that it was time to slow down and plant some roots.

"I wanted to do real estate and I wanted to settle down," said Goldspiel, who is now an associate at Sothebys International Realty in Kent and also the owner of an old-fashioned country inn, The Inn at Kent Falls.

"I am very lucky, psyched and thankful to have wound up in Kent," he said.

It was almost as though fate was leading him to the town, and his futre career as an innkeeper. It was during that initial house-hunting trip when he found the Inn at Kent Falls.

The inn had been "grandfathered" in: Kent zoning regulations no longer allow for six-room inns. The cozy bed and breakfast, he knew, would couple perfectly with the career he hoped to start in real estate.

"I loved the lines of the place," Goldspiel recalled of his initial impression. "I could see right away where my space would be and how I would set up the guest rooms."

After a major overhaul, the Inn at Kent Falls was up and running and Goldspiel soon found that matching the inn with his work in real estate was a very wise idea.

"There is an awesome synergy between real estate and running the inn," Goldspiel said. "I have clients who wind up staying at the inn and I have had guests who have fallen so in love with the Northwest Corner that they end up wanting to look at houses."

During his five years in Kent, Goldspiel has tried to give back to a community that he feels has given him so much. He has sponsored events for Women’s Support Services with the help of the Chamber of Commerce. Last year he held a fundraiser for the Kent Children’s Center.

This year, for the inn’s fifth anniversary, he will donate 1 percent of his net sales for the year to the Kent Center School Scholarship Fund.

"I have had a lot of Housatonic Valley Regional High School students from Kent who have worked for me over the years," Goldspiel said. "They are some very nice young adults who work very hard. This is my way of giving back to all the kids who have helped me out here. It’s awesome, I love it."

Future plans include a fundraising dinner to support Kent Affordable Housing initiatives.

It’s the least he can do, he feels, for a town that has embraced him.

"One year a friend of mine and I had the idea to do a potluck dinner for the annual tree lighting," he said. "I was really nervous, because I didn’t know how many people would show up. So when a large chunk of the town’s population attended, it felt really good, it was really heartwarming."

Goldspiel is offering special rates to returning guests at the inn from now until April. To contact The Inn at Kent Falls call 860-927-3197 or visit the Web site at theinnatkentfalls.com.

 

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