When Robin Evenhouse bought the old storefront on Main Street in Eden, a few doors down from her home, she wasn't sure what she would do with it.
"I wanted to make it something that would help the community, relatively self-sustaining," said Evenhouse, who worked in Chicago and New York before returning to her hometown.
She was brainstorming with a friend.
"There is absolutely no place to stay here," he said.
People come back home to visit family, but there may be no room to stay at their parents' house, or they may have outgrown their childhood bedroom.
So she turned the 1,750 square-foot former Vara's Dry Cleaning into an inn: The Fields of Eden Inn.
Number of rooms for rent: three. Since she works full time running Evenhouse Printing in Hamburg with her brother, she wanted something that would not take away from her day job.
Guests make reservations online, and receive a digital key code, which gives them access during the length of their reservation. The only thing they have to bring is their luggage.
"The whole concept is there is no staff," she said. "It's just like you rent a cabin. You come and go as you please."
Rooms, which run about $160 a night, are cleaned daily. Each has a 55-inch TV, fireplace, sitting area, queen size bed and radiant floor heating, and a kitchen center including a sink, microwave and refrigerator. Two of the three have jacuzzi tubs.
Evenhouse said she envisions some guests stopping as they pass through town. The Thruway is about five miles away, and a guest could be going to a hockey game downtown or skiing in Ellicottville, she said.
The inn, she said, is "centrally located, it’s a nice country, small town."
Her first bookings – for a weekend in June – include a bride in one room, and people going to a family reunion in the other two rooms. And she expects to be busy during the Eden Corn Festival weekend in August.
"I think people need to see it to believe it," Evenhouse said.