Port of Quincy hears proposal to purchase Cave B Inn
The Port of Quincy commissioners heard a proposal by Vince and Carol Bryan, the owners of Cave B, during a special meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
Cave B would like the Port of Quincy to purchase the inn and round-house portion of the business.
The Bryans wish to sell the property to a local party that would use it to benefit the City of Quincy and tourism.
Several months ago, the Bryans put the inn on the market and were in the process of selling it, when they discovered that it would not be used for tourism and the promotion of Quincy.
“Some people just want it for themselves,” said Vince Bryan. “This belongs here. It is a part of this county. Everyone should be proud to take customers and family there. If it were owned by someone else outside of the community, it would go away.”
Currently, the inn is being run by Columbia Hospitality, a management group from Seattle. For the past couple of years, the management group has not been promoting the facility, particularly the yurts that were built a few years ago. If the Port were to buy the property, the management group’s contract would end and in-house advertisement and management would take over.
“We pay the management company for sales and outside marketing,” said Bryan. “We have a strong marketing team ready to go.”
“The Bryans wanted to let them do their job,” said Ron William, director of culinary and wine operations at Cave B, “but they missed the mark on this side of the mountains.”
The Cave B staff see untapped potential for the facility.
“People come for an experience,” said Patrick McFarlan, managing director for Cave B. “It needs rebranding as a world-class experience that can’t be duplicated anywhere else. People are looking for the promise of an experience and a story well told. That’s what branding is about.”
Cave B wants to make itself a local, regional and worldwide destination that would bring tourism dollars into the area. They believe that the purchase of the property by the Port would free up the money being spent on the management group for other building projects on the grounds.
“Wine is a lifestyle,” said McFarlan. “What we are doing in the process of developing the area, we want to do with tourism in mind.”
They also want to market themselves more to the local population.
Currently, the inn boasts business from Boeing, BMW and state-run colleges, as well as some local groups.
But some of the commissioners aren’t sure they want to invest in what could be a risky business deal.
“What worries me about the whole thing is if there is one hiccup, how much would it set us (the Port) back monetarily?” said Pat Connelly, Port of Quincy commissioner. “If something happens 20 or 10 years down the road, I feel responsible. The risk is great. This is a huge investment for the Port to do.”
Cave B is proposing a deal with safeguards in place, that if things were to go wrong, the taxpayers would not have to pay for it.
“If we agree to look forward, I’d like to see why it would not be a risk to the Port,” said Port commissioner Curt Morris.
The Port of Quincy commissioners will consider the matter further at a public meeting to be held on Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Round House at Cave B.
Cave B will give a presentation explaining the financial benefits to the Port that the purchase would make.
The public is invited to attend and to give their comments.