ASHLAND, Ky. — On a serene block of Bath Avenue, just a short walk from Central Park, sits a house that was once home to Kentucky Governor Simeon Willis and his family. This coming Sunday, the home will officially open as the Governor's Inn Bed and Breakfast.
A ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 1 p.m. with tours of the home, located at 1612 Bath Ave., to follow until 4 p.m. Finger foods and desserts will be provided by Elite Catering and guests can enter to win a free night's stay.
Owners and Innkeepers Tina Campbell and Alan Ray have worked to transform the home into a relaxing getaway located just minutes from Ashland’s biggest attractions.
Originally from Hazard, Campbell moved to Florida for over 20 years where she “managed high rises and did condo conversions,” she said.
Now, for their retirement, Campbell and Ray will reside on the third floor and manage the Governor's Inn Bed and Breakfast in a town they both love near many of their family and friends nearby.
“We feel Ashland has everything to offer,” Campbell said. “It really is a small town, but you really have a lot to do here and that's the reason we decided to retire here.”
When traveling Campbell always stays in bed and breakfasts. “I just find them more peaceful, relaxing and I love the historical features,” she said.
Campbell was still living in Florida when the Governor's house went on the market four years ago. It was a perfect opportunity with her desire to open a bed and breakfast, love of Kentucky and interest in historic homes.
“I actually made an offer from Florida, site unseen, making it contingent on me taking the next flight out to come and view it an make sure it was ok,” she said. “I basically bought it immediately.”
Campbell knew the location, jumped on the opportunity and took the next flight out of Florida to view the house. Though her intention has always been to transform it into a Bed and Breakfast, constant traveling between Kentucky and Florida made it difficult.
“That's just been one of my dreams probably going on 15 years,” she said.
In November, the paperwork part of the process began and in January the home began to transform before their eyes. With just a few small details left until the grand opening Sunday, Campbell is excited to be back home in Kentucky living her dream of being the innkeeper of the Governor’s Inn Bed and Breakfast.
The Inn has four rooms, complete with a queen or king size bed, private bath, flatscreen TV, blue ray and dvd player, refrigerator and turkish robes. Each room is named after a previous owner. The Stewart and Blazer rooms are located downstairs right next to the dinning area and just a few steps from the living room.