Couple opening new B&B on Marion County Lake

Solitude. Isolation. Seclusion.

That’s what the owners of Marion County’s newest bed and breakfast, The Outdoors Inn, hope visitors will enjoy at their location at 25 Jerome St. at Marion County Lake.

The Outdoors Inn is owned and managed by Rick Sardou and Linda Goodwill.

“I moved up here to this house in 1979,” said Sardou, a well-known local carpenter.

Goodwill, who worked in medical research for more than 30 years, moved to Marion four years ago from New Mexico.

On Memorial Day weekend, the couple opened one of two homes they own to their first guests.

While both admit having no experience managing a bed and breakfast, Goodwill said they did extensive research.

“I ordered a book that gives regulations, so we’ll be following that pretty closely,” she said. “It has the guidelines as far as what you need to set up for customers, insurance and the amenities you need.”

The idea to open a bed and breakfast was simple economics.

“In 2000, I got a wild hair and built an eco-block house for resale, but it hasn’t sold so that’s where we live now,” Sardou said. “I got to the point where I needed to sell one of them and actually did a year’s lease-to-purchase on this house, but that just didn’t work out.

“I had another renter for three months, but that didn’t work either,” he added. “We jumped in here and cleaned everything really well and figured this would be a good way to get some income out of this house.

“This is just an ideal setting for a bed and breakfast.”

Not only will customers have the quiet afforded by the wooded lane, which features no through traffic, they’ll enjoy a fully furnished house without the owners living in the same dwelling.

“Our customers basically have the whole house,” Goodwill said.

The couple’s initial challenge was getting things in condition to meet their standards.

“Furnishing and getting the accessories was a huge challenge,” Goodwill said. “Getting this place up and running and getting our name out has been a lot of work.”

Nestled in the trees, the log-cabin-style home resembles modern Ponderosa Ranch house from the television series “Bonanza.”

“We have the place set up so we have four sleeping rooms and can accommodate eight to 10 people,” Goodwill said.

Those people will have access to a fully furnished kitchen, laundry room and family room with central air conditioning, a fireplace and a secluded backyard deck and patio area complete with barbecue.

“We have two baths-one downstairs, which is totally private, and one upstairs, which is used for two rooms but has a lockable door on each side,” Goodwill said.

Each bedroom is equipped with television and telephone access.

The cabin is furnished with antiques as well as numerous one-of-a-kind carvings from the couples’ R&L Creative Carvings business.

“Our guests will get personal one-on-one attention and I think they’ll like that,” Goodwill said. “The more personal the service and the friendlier the environment, the better we think people will like it.”

Sardou said a night’s stay will cost anywhere from $40 to $85, depending on which room the client chooses to occupy.

“If our guests want more than the standard continental breakfast, which is included, they can put in a request for a cooked breakfast,” Goodwill said.

“If people want a full-course meal, three meals a day, I’ll be happy to do that at an extra cost as long as they give me some advance notice.”

The couple is used to the quiet, peaceful neighborhood surrounding Marion County Lake and hopes those characteristics are something others will see as an asset.

“People will be able to see things around here they don’t get at other places,” Goodwill said.

“I think our location is a big plus for us,” Sardou added. “We’re trying to make this a private area. We put up a fence so people can sit on our back deck and be alone, plus we’re putting up a 100-foot fence on the other side to keep their privacy as well.”

Guests also will be available to purchase the works of local artists.

“We have some really talented artists around here that do some unique quality stuff,” Sardou said.

Pets will be welcomed, too.

“We have a small kennel with a dog house in back and small pets will be allowed inside,” she said. “We will need a small deposit for indoor pets, but that’s fully refundable if the pets don’t have any accidents or anything.”

Goodwill said their rates can be adjusted according to the length of their guests’ stay.

“We’ll rent by the day, week or month if necessary,” she said. “We can also do special rates for longer periods of time.”

The couple hope The Outdoors Inn becomes synonymous with hospitality.

“I think our hospitality is going to be one of our signatures because we’re set up with all the conveniences,” Goodwill said. “We’ll be close enough we’ll be able to give personal attention, yet far enough away and separated from our clients that they can be alone as well.”

Sardou hopes this fall will bring an influx of hunting enthusiasts.

“We’ll be getting together with some of the local guides to let them know we’ll have space available,” he said. “We’ve also signed up with the Marion Chamber of Commerce.

“Margo (Yates) has just been great,” he added. “Word of mouth and our flyers has really gotten things going and everyone seems enthusiastic about us opening up.”

The Outdoors Inn can be reached at 620-382-3228 or by e-mail at

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