South Broadway Manor Bed and Breakfast opens
By Rachel Basinger
Published: Wednesday, January 16, 2013, 9:01 p.m.
Updated: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Scottdale native Pat Hill, who made a career for herself as a model in New York City, has decided to open up a piece of local history to the public.
At the beginning of December, the former estate built by coal and coke magnate J. B. Brennan in 1904 was opened as South Broadway Manor Bed and Breakfast.
Hill bought the piece of property in the mid-1980s by sheer accident during a public auction when the auctioneer thought she raised her hand to bid and yelled out “sold.”
Since that time, Hill has made the property a labor of love, collecting antique furniture, light fixtures, paintings and other home decor to fill all the rooms.
Just last year, Hill went before the Scottdale Zoning Hearing Board to ask permission for a change in zoning to utilize the home as a bed and breakfast.
After complying with several requests by the zoning hearing board, the establishment opened to the public at the beginning of December.
But husband and wife team Rick and June Bruckner were hired on as executive chefs and innkeepers a month earlier to learn about the history of the house and work out all the details of the opening.
Over the Christmas holiday, Rick Bruckner said they had several guests who stayed with them but the hard part about opening such a business at this time of year is that they are now entering the slow season for travelers and tourists.
“Right now we're working on marketing with local businesses and the Laurel Highlands Visitor's Bureau,” Rick Bruckner said. “We're close enough to places that draw tourism, like Fallingwater and Ohiopyle, but we want people to have a reason to come to Scottdale as well.
“This is such a unique town,” he said. “We have something different to offer people. It's a place where people can step back in time and get away from the hectic rush of life.”
As for why travelers should choose to stay at South Broadway Manor instead of any one of the nearby hotels, Rick Bruckner said they offer an experience rather than just a night stay.
“This is a luxurious home with first-class amenities, gourmet food and a welcoming environment,” he said.
With prices ranging from $125 an night to $145 a night, which includes a gourmet breakfast, Bruckner said they can offer all of the above with a price that's within range of the local hotels.
Each of the four rooms available have their own television, robes and slippers and a lock box. Most of the rooms have their own bathroom and a few of the rooms have an extra bed.
Rick Bruckner said they also have worked out details with several local tourist attractions, including Seven Springs, Laurel Caverns and Fallingwater, to offer different package options.
He added that it's a great place for the locals to just get away and be pampered for a night or two.
“We all need that from time to time, and it's really worth it for the economical cost of a room here,” Bruckner said.
Besides the bed and breakfast, the property also has another home on the property where the first floor is available as a small apartment for guests of local businesses. It includes a bedroom, a bathroom, a kitchen as well as a living room where customers can stay during their business trip.
Also, the property has a carriage house in the back that Hill is looking at expanding into at least two more rooms that would be available to the bed and breakfast.
In the near future, they plan to offer Reiki massages at the facility and hope to install an in-ground pool and a separate outdoor Jacuzzi.
There also will be a calendar of events offered to not only guests, but also any local individual who might want to take advantage, including different types of cooking classes, including gluten free and wheat free.
Bruckman also talked of different package tours, including a culinary tour where they would rent a limousine, take participants to the strip district in Pittsburgh to pick out foods and learn about different kinds of foods before returning to the manor and creating a feast with the foods that were purchased.
“It's all about the experience,” he said.
Rachel Basinger is a freelance writer.
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