If you ask the Innkeepers at Anchorage Inn Bed & Breakfast about the awards they have won, Dave and Dianne Binder are modest and hesitant to point out all of these B & B awards, but if you go to their website (www.anchorage-inn.com/), you’ll see many listed, including awards from Trip Advisor and Bed and Breakfast.com. Dave seems less humble when pointing out, “Our pumpkin, Dexter, came in third last year in the Coupeville pumpkin contest.”
In June, the Binders will celebrate their 16th year as owners of this iconic B & B that was built 25 years ago but at first glance looks like a Victorian original. Everyone who has stayed at the Anchorage Inn is quick to notice and appreciate Dave and Diane’s humor, hospitality and great breakfasts, in addition to providing attractive and comfortable rooms and suites, and a separate small house for families and gatherings.
Dave and Dianne left their Silicon Valley high tech engineering and accounting careers behind 16 years ago and chose a new lifestyle that had been in their thoughts for a long time.
Some special Whidbey magic sealed the deal. When the Binders were having their first look at the property and realized the price was more than they could handle, the owners surprisingly explained, “We're looking for someone to make payments directly to us, not a bank." The owners of the inn were impressed with the amount of research and knowledge the Binders had gained about becoming innkeepers and wanted to work with them so they could obtain the property.
It took a year to work out all the details, and in 1997 they settled into their new home and new business. Dave explains, “Our goal was always to offer a high class, yet affordable inn, for everyone to enjoy.”
In addition to creating their own business, the Binders formed the Coupeville Lodging Association which now includes 20 B & B and lodging owners in the Central Whidbey Area, whose mission is to provide information for travelers and support for the B & B owners in the region.
The Binders have been pleased with how quickly they merged into their new community. The very first day they became innkeepers Dave recalls, “Passing traffic honked their horns and waved, and folks even left flowers on our doorstep. Within days we were members of clubs and organizations and, in a short time, we knew someone nearly everywhere we went.”
Dave and Dianne have also initiated Inn Keeping 101 classes for those interested in following the road traveled they traveled. Dave says, “We have had 15 couples take our class, and they all said they know they can make wiser decisions about their next steps.”
Dave and Dianne plan to continue improving the quality of the Anchorage Inn experience. They are completing some major improvements including upgrading three of the bathrooms and adding bubble tubs, and soon they will be upgrading the kitchen where all of the great breakfasts are prepared.