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Innkeepers “Tripp” Into Retirement

L to R: Craig Sanders, president; Loretta and Gary Hoagland, owners; new retirees Susan and Wayne Tripp

L to R: Craig Sanders, president; Loretta and Gary Hoagland, owners; new retirees Susan and Wayne Tripp

Innkeepers Wayne and Susan Tripp are trading in the comfort and beauty of Florence’s River House Inn for a new motorhome and time with grandkids.

After five and a half years as hosts/managers for Hoagland Properties, the local hoteliers that own both The River House Inn and The Old Town Inn, the Tripps will be “trippin’” around the country from their new retirement headquarters near Beaverton, OR.

During their tenure, The River House Inn won TripAdvisor’s prestigious Hall of Fame award for achieving the coveted Travelers’ Choice Award for five years in a row. The Tripps leave The River House Inn as TripAdvisor’s third-ranked accommodation in Florence.

“We’ll miss the guests,” said Wayne. “We have loved getting to know so many great people. When they come to Florence, they’re here for fun. It’s rare to find a grumpy guest; but if they come in that way, they rarely leave that way. Most of our guests seem to be return guests, and we got to know many by name.”

Online reviews confirm it, often commenting on the managers’ friendliness and helpfulness. One guest, a 70-year- old retired New York City policeman, was on a British Columbia-to- San Francisco bike ride to raise funds for a post-9/11 childcare facility in New York City. Eight miles south of Florence he called Wayne saying his bike broke, and that Wayne was the only person he knew in Florence. One thing led to another, and they ended up in a Eugene bike shop for the needed part. The next day, the cop treated Wayne to a sandrail ride at Sandland Adventures out of gratitude for the outstanding customer service.

“We treat everyone like family, whether they need advice, comfort, or some teasing,” said Wayne. He described one of the lighter moments as a time when a motorcycle club of Harley-Davidson owners was checking in, asking one particularly burly fellow how his Honda was running—twice. The temporarily indignant rider, and his crew, promised pay-back for the slight, then left smiling and waving after their stay.

“No alarms, no doorbells, no schedule,” said Susan. “We’ll get to see more of our family and come and go as we please; but is sure has been fun, and we’ll be back frequently. We have absolutely loved Florence.”

 

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