After 16 years in business, the Claremont House Bed and Breakfast has closed and the home as well as the business are for sale.
“We are grateful for our family, our loyal employees and kind volunteers who worked with us over the last 16 years to create the amazing atmosphere and unparalleled hospitality that the Claremont House Bed and Breakfast is known for,” said proprietor Holly McHaggee.
One of the pleasures of running a bed and breakfast, she said, was the guests they met.
“Whether they were coming to town to visit family, to compete in a tennis tournament or simply to get away from their routine — many of our guests commented on the amazing locals they met,” she said. “We had a 94-year-old master carpenter stay with us on a tour of the Southeast with his daughter and son-in-law. He raved about his stay with us and felt Rome was the best stop on their three-week adventure.”
They particularly enjoyed hosting professional cycling teams during the Tour de Georgia which ran through Rome, her husband Chris McHaggee who co-ran the business is still an avid cyclist.
“I vividly recall a young Australian cyclist enjoying a cup of tea in our kitchen. He told us it reminded him of being home with his mom,” she said.
“It is hard to walk away from the work and property that brought us such joy over the years,” she said. “Our business thrived thanks to the amazing support of the Rome tourism and business community. We very much love the Claremont House and unfortunately we were not able to fulfill our opportunity to complete the purchase.”
They utilized local resources for small businesses available through UGA’s Small Business Development Center to try to secure a commercial loan and she applauded the center for their assistance.
“Ultimately we were under-capitalized from the beginning. We conquered many challenges with hard work and creative problem solving — and plenty of capital — but time was not one of them,” she said. “Sadly our business was not financially successful enough to convince a bank that we were worth the risk. It feels like we lost our dream due to a technicality and that really stings. However, we have many other blessings and sometimes you just have to accept that it is time to move on.”
So, for now, Chris McHaggee is the assistant manager over at the Courtyard by Marriott and Holly McHaggee is putting her focus toward enjoying time with their three young daughters.
The business itself is in a state of flux, she said.
“We are dealing with this as a soft closing. We are hopeful that we may sell the business with the property, but it is possible someone may choose the Claremont House as a private residence,” she said.
But if you’ve wanted a mug or tea towel, they’re still available through the Claremont House Facebook page, she said.