ARCH CAPE — Before buying the Inn at Arch Cape, Heather Newman and Chris Anderson knew the Oregon Coast just as another faraway place on a map.
A year ago, the couple were living in Dallas, Texas, both working in highly intense marketing jobs.
“We were working 60-hour work weeks. We would come home from work and sit on our laptops,” Newman said. “We needed a change.”
That’s when Anderson and Newman decided to take a chance and pursue a dream venture: owning and operating an inn.
They didn’t know much, other than they wanted a place near water. When the two saw the former owners, Tracy and Henry Hooper of Gearhart, selling the Inn at Arch Cape earlier this year, they immediately booked a flight.
They toured the five-bedroom hotel on a typical rainy day in May, and were mystified by the area’s beauty.
“Once we saw this property, we immediately put our house on the market,” Newman said. “This place is special.”
Newman and Anderson have been working to revamp and modernize the space since May. The original structure was built in 1939 by Ernest White, and the building has since acted as a post office, general store and hotel.
Until this year, Newman and Anderson had no experience running an inn. But what they do know is marketing, and Newman said she was excited to help solidify the inn’s identity.
“There was already so much working for us when we took it over, so we are just trying to create more of a Pacific Northwest feel to it,” Newman said. “We want to keep it woodsy but modern.”
To do so, Newman and Anderson are slowly changing out older furniture with antiques from local stores. Every room now has flowers and candy from local vendors, and they intend to make more partnerships in the future.
So far, the two love the fact they get to meet so many new people. Taking on the challenge to make such an established inn their own has been rewarding.
But much of this experience has been learning on the fly. Because the Inn at Arch Cape is run by just the owners and one housekeeper, Anderson said they have to be ready to learn and do anything.
“One of the hardest things is getting help to fix things (on the North Coast),” Anderson said. “When the shower’s running hot, or the TV’s not working, you have to figure out how to fix a lot of stuff yourself.”
There are few new challenges they have learned to overcome that weren’t issues in Dallas. Since moving here, Anderson learned how to chop wood for fireplaces — a skill not sought after in a place where the temperature trends closer to 100 degrees most days.
Not having as many resources closely accessible has also been a change for the couple.
“In Dallas, we had a Home Depot 10 minutes away. Now we have to plan our trips into town so we don’t drive to Warrenton all the time,” Anderson said.
But when they look back at those 60-hour work weeks in Dallas and compare it with the remote serenity of ocean living, Newman said it is worth the sacrifice.
“It’s strange to live in a place where people vacation,” Newman said. “But this is paradise. Every day we are proud of ourselves for taking the risk, and feel so lucky to live here.”