New Hampshire – After 29 Years, The Highlands Inn Changes Hands

Author: , June 14th, 2012

Just got this from The Highlands Inn, one of the pre-eminent women’s inns in the country, in Bethlehem, New Hampshire:

Dear Friend,

New Owners of the Highlands InnIt’s almost exactly one year since I announced my plans to sell The Highlands Inn in preparation for my retirement. And now, I am very happy to tell you that Jenny Wackerle and Gia Koumantzelis will soon become the new owners!

First, I want to introduce Jenny and Gia to you. For years, they have dreamed of the possibility of buying the Inn. They are of course thrilled that it’s happening, and so am I! Jenny and Gia have been frequent guests at The Highlands Inn for the past 19 years. They are both social workers, live in Newburyport, MA and are celebrating 21 years together this June. They were married in 2006, and spent their honeymoon at The Highlands Inn. Ellie, a sweet and enthusiastic 5-year-old dachshund mix, joined their family in 2010, after she found them with the help of a New Hampshire shelter. Jenny and Gia enjoy hiking, golf, going to Indigo Girls concerts, and spending time with family and friends.

Jenny and Gia have become my friends over the years and are very excited about becoming the Highlands’ next Innkeepers. In their own words: “We have always loved spending our free time in this special place. The Highlands Inn has always felt like home, because of Grace’s warmth and hospitality. Our goal is to maintain the spirit of The Highlands Inn, and to continue the wonderful work Grace has done over the past 29 years. We feel so fortunate and honored to be accompanying The Highlands Inn into her next chapter.”

I am confident that Jenny and Gia will preserve the comfortable, welcoming atmosphere that has become a hallmark of the Highlands. When I put the Inn on the market, I made a commitment to maintain the Highlands as an inn for women. Jenny and Gia share that commitment. At the same time, they will bring new energy and fresh ideas to the Inn. Don’t expect any sudden changes, however! We all will work to make the mid-July transition as seamless as possible. To that end, I will be working closely with Jenny and Gia over the next few months to familiarize them with all the details of running the place … and there are many! Also, Jackie who has been here over 20 years, and Sheena over 4, will be here to help ease the transition.

It has been my privilege to provide this special place for women for close to 30 years. I am profoundly grateful to all of you whose support has helped create this “lesbian paradise,” and I hope that we can count on your support in the future. Many thanks also to our staff. It’s been wonderful to be able to serve the lesbian community and to meet women from all over the world. I’m sure I’ll miss it! However, as living in New Hampshire constantly reminds us, “to everything there is a season.” I look forward to placing The Highlands Inn in Jenny and Gia’s capable hands so that women may enjoy the Inn for many years to come.

Very Best Regards,

Grace Newman
Innkeeper