NEWFANE – A handful of veteran military members are going to relax in style tonight, thanks to a local inn’s participation in a national program offering free rooms to vets on the eve of Veterans Day.
This is the third year that Brookins Inn and Suites, 2697 Maple Ave., has participated in the “B & Bs for Vets” program, although this is the first time it has donated all five of its rooms for this cause.
“We always thought this was a great idea,” said Dan Mandaville, who owns the inn with his wife, Beverly. “The association we belong to, the Professional Association of Innkeepers, encourages its members to donate one room, and we decided to donate all five this year. We encourage other bed and breakfasts and inns to get involved. We’d like to see this program grow.”
The program was launched in 2008.
“We had done this before, so we made sure that we had some new participants,” Mandaville said.
He added that his rooms were all booked within 48 hours of the announcement on the national organization’s website weeks ago.
“We will have a wine and cheese reception for them when they arrive and serve a continental breakfast for them (the next day),” he said. “We will work hard to make their stay memorable.
“These men and women give up months and years of their lives to defend our country, and this is just a small thing that we can do for all of their service,” Mandaville said.
The Mandavilles opened their inn in 2010, converting a once-abandoned 1892 structure into three grand suites and two beautiful guest rooms, with all of the amenities.
Built by DeLisle Brookins, the inn was once an important stop on the Lockport-Olcott Trolley System, which transported thousands from as far away as Buffalo during nearby Olcott’s heyday.
Brookins also built the Olcott Beach Hotel, a historic stage for such big bands as Tommy Dorsey, Glenn Miller and Louis Armstrong.
The Mandavilles, who are Olcott residents, are retired from the insurance business and purchased the 1892 building at auction.
It took a year to completely gut it. After their initial renovation, the building housed two rental apartments upstairs and a deli downstairs, but when the deli closed, the couple decided to create the inn and began work on the conversion in early 2010.
For more information, visit www.brookinsinn.com.