Bicycling through the beautifully lush landscape of Wisconsin, among its many trails and paths, a weary outdoors enthusiast or traveler will find a most welcomed respite at Pedal’rs Inn Bed and Breakfast in Wales, WI.
This four-suite, turn-of-the-century Victorian home, nestled along a scenic biking trail, is owned by Dee and Rick Nierzwicki, innkeepers who pride themselves on providing amazing service, personalized touches and overall luxurious comfort for their guests.
Dee and Rick bought the home that would become Pedal’rs Inn in 2000. After nearly four years of renovation, the bed and breakfast opened in June 2004. Since then they have raised two children and opened their inn to guests from around the world.
Actively striving to improve her guests’ experience, Dee firmly believes “we need to really reclaim hospitality.” It’s no wonder that the bicycle-themed inn was recently named the best B&B in the Milwaukee area.
Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?
A: We had stayed at different inns before in the area. There was just an enticement towards innkeeping because of our previous stays.
Q: What prompted you to buy the Pedal’rs Inn?
A: We had biked on the trail before, so we were familiar with the home. The house was actually vacant. The previous owners had sold the house to a church. It was quite a large property and the church sold most of the land, but kept two acres with the house. When we looked at it, it was right before Christmas – not an ideal time to buy a house.
It wasn’t until a Christmas craft sale the church was holding within the house that my husband said, “Ya, we could live in this house.” We put in an offer and little did we know that there was already an offer being considered, but they had gotten cold feet. So the church accepted our offer.
Q: What is your signature breakfast?
A: It’s really our signature breakfast style. We offer a four-course breakfast, including a dessert at the end. However, I’ve never given away my scone recipe. I have different variety – Pumpkin Raisin Spice, Blueberry Zesty Lemon, Strawberry Cream Cheese and even a savory Feta Chive flavor.
Q: Where are the majority of your visitors from?
A: We’ve seen a change. When the economy was at its height, guests were from across the nation. More from the East Coast, more from the West Coast. Now they are more from within the state of Wisconsin.
With St. John’s Northwestern Military Academy nearby, we do have a lot of international guests. Some from Mexico, S. Korea, China, Africa. We had guests that were traveling from The Netherlands. Professors of architecture. They were traveling around, picking particular places just on their architecture.
Q: What’s the best thing you’ve done for your business?
Q: What the biggest challenge you’ve had to overcome?
A: There’s a lot of physical challenges, like rebuilding the building, and financial challenges. Limited confidence or support from people close to me. Skepticism. That being said, the biggest challenges are usually just the ones that I bring on internally.
I can’t say the guests have been a big challenge because I’ve had just phenomenal guests. They will come back with gifts. They will send me packages or huge reviews on Trip Advisor. My guests are wonderful people.
Q: What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned in the industry?
A: To keep a sense of humor. You have to love what you do. You have to be able to learn from others who’ve been in the business before you. And to be positive.
Q: What motto do you live by?
A: It comes from the Christian song “Legacy” by Nichole Nordeman: “I want to leave a legacy. How will they remember me? Did I choose to love? Did I point to You enough to make a mark on things?” I try to live my life in an honorable way.
Q: What unique about your inn?
A: We are more about accommodating our guests – making our guests’ stay memorable. While staying at an inn I was visiting with the innkeeper who had candy dishes here and there. When she offered a piece to me, I said, “No, I don’t like hard candy. I like chocolate.”
Overnight she had updated all the candy dishes with chocolate. It’s that personal touch – customizing a guest’s stay.
We have a lot of bikers and hikers. They don’t carry a lot of gear, so usually when they get here, I ask if they would like me to wash their clothes. Personal accommodations.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not at work?
A: I don’t have a lot of free time. When I do I’m with family. I have two children – a son who is 20 and a daughter who is 17. When the weather is nice, I go cycling. When it’s cold, I go hiking. I really like being around people if the weather just isn’t accommodating. I also enjoy some time dancing in my kitchen.
Did You Know?
In 1895, the Elias family, the founding family of Wales, built their distinctive new home on Main Street, which still stands majestically in their original Victorian Style in downtown Wales.
The Elias family home later became residence tot he George Webb family, the business entrepreneurs and creators of the well-known George Webb casual restaurant chain. Now known as Pedal’rs Inn, the home continues to provide the century-old tradition of hospitality to local visitors. ********************************************************** If you would like to have your inn or bed and breakfast featured on Suite Exchange please email Jennifer Durrant at email@example.com