By Bera Dunau Staff Writer
---- — For Robin and Fred Schneider, owning and managing the Landmark Inn Bed & Breakfast in Cooperstown is the culmination of a dream that began decades ago.
“We came to Coopersotwn about 30 years ago,” said Robin Schneider. “Fell in love with it.”
During this visit Schneider said that the pair stayed in a bed and breakfast. Being right out of college, however, she said that they were unable to relocate to the village.
After moving around for family commitments and careers, Schneider and her husband settled in Saranac Lake, where they lived with their two daughters for 13 years. After their youngest daughter graduated high school in 2012, however, the couple set in motion their efforts to relocate to Cooperstown.
They purchased the inn in early 2013.
Schneider, who previously worked as a sign-language translator in the public school system, is now a full-time innkeeper. Her husband maintains a full-time position in the insurance industry, but is also involved in the business.
Schneider said that the inn was a turn-key operation, and that she and her husband began their new careers almost immediately.
“The next morning we had a full house,” said Schneider.
Schneider said the Landmark Inn’s staff, who were already in place when they purchased the business, helped her and her husband.
“We just learned and watched from them,” said Schneider.
Still, the Schneiders haven’t been content to just leave things as they were.
“We made some changes to the inside of the inn to reflect our tastes more,” said Schneider, noting how they purchased all new linens, brought in more artwork and had the floors refinished.
Schneider said that part of the reason for doing this was that the business was not succeeding financially when they took it over.
“It was not doing very well,” said Schneider.
Schneider attributed some of this to the previous owners having moved to Arizona, saying that she felt it was important for the success of a bed and breakfast for its owners to be on site. Still, she did have some praise for the previous ownership.
“The previous owners did some great things here,” said Schneider. “I am always giving compliments to the previous owners.”
Schneider also expressed satisfaction with herself and her husband having waited until later in life to purchase a bed and breakfast in Cooperstown, noting how they had traveled quite extensively in the years between their first visit to Cooperstown and their purchase of the Landmark Inn.
“We have a better perspective of what our expectations are for a place to stay,” said Schneider.
One of the ways this experience has informed the way the Landmark Inn is now run is in how breakfast is arranged.
“A lot of bed and breakfasts still do one common breakfast table,” said Schneider,
At the Landmark Inn, however, there are ten separate tables in the dining space. Schneider said that because the dining area isn’t very large, guests still have the option of conversing in-between tables, and enjoying an experience like a common breakfast table. However, the separate tables ensure that guests also have the option of keeping to themselves.
“People have a choice that way,” said Schneider.
Another major development underway at the Landmark Inn is the construction of a residence out back for Schneider and her husband. She said that construction began in December, and that the house is scheduled to be finished in June. At present, the Schneiders live in a room in the Landmark Inn. When they move into their new residence, Schneider said that a tenth room would become available to guests of the inn.
“We do love it here,” said Schneider.
Schneider says that her husband is a big baseball fan. While she said that she is not as much of one, she did note how she enjoyed living within walking distance of Doubleday Field.
“It’s that great sound of the crack of the bat,” said Schneider, saying that she enjoyed being near the sounds of baseball and being able to easily see games. “It’s a very soothing game.”
She also said that she and her husband were looking forward to the induction of this year’s class at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
“Can’t wait to see what it’s really like,” said Schneider.
Schneider and her husband’s first summer of business was last year, when the Hall of Fame inducted no living players.
“Everyone’s been very nice here,” said Schneider, when asked about the community’s reception of her and her husband and their business.
She also said that business has been going well.
“We’ve been really busy,” said Schneider.
Schneider said that she’s enjoyed meeting the different guests who’ve chosen to stay at the establishment. She also said that there were some guests that she’d enjoyed so much that she hadn’t wanted them to leave.
“We certainly meet people from all walks of life,” said Schneider. “It’s almost like traveling.”
The Landmark Inn is open year-round. More information can be found by visiting the inn’s website, www.landmarkinncooperstown.com, or by calling 547-7225.