Transforming an Abandoned Inn: The Joshua Tree House Story
Sara, 36, and Rich, 37, Combs unexpectedly found themselves purchasing 38 acres of empty canyon in the Arizona desert, embarking on a risky yet exciting project. In 2015, the couple left their web design jobs to establish The Joshua Tree House, a hospitality business. They now offer two properties for guests to book in Joshua Tree, California, and Tucson, Arizona, with plans to open another property in Marfa, Texas in the future.
The Combs acquired the 38-acre property, which included an abandoned inn, for $615,000 and a signed copy of their book. The inn had been vacant for a decade and consisted of a main building spanning 7,500 square feet, along with two additional houses, totaling over 10,000 square feet. To finance the renovation, the couple faced challenges as traditional banks were hesitant to provide loans for an existing gutted property. However, they secured a hard-money loan and invested over $500,000 in renovations, utilizing credit cards, borrowing from family and friends, and receiving free products through social media partnerships.
The renovated inn, known as The Joshua Tree House: The Posada, opened its doors in September 2019. The design incorporated elements of the surrounding nature, with furniture and art sourced from the local community. The inn offers a range of rooms priced from $200 to $600 per night, including a seven-bedroom option for guests to book the entire property starting at $2,200 per night. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a hot tub resembling a hot spring, a grove of olive trees, a canyon pool, a walking trail, and a fire pit.
Looking ahead, the Combs aspire to make the inn self-sufficient by incorporating solar panels and rainwater harvesting, while still maintaining a connection to the electricity grid as a backup. They also have plans to expand The Joshua Tree House brand by establishing additional inns throughout the Southwest. However, for now, they are focused on their personal lives and relishing the daily experiences they encounter.
In conclusion, the journey of Sara and Rich Combs in transforming an abandoned inn into The Joshua Tree House showcases their determination, creativity, and passion for providing guests with a unique and reflective experience. Their story serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry, highlighting the rewards that come from taking risks and pursuing one's vision.
Implications for New Businesses: Learning from The Joshua Tree House
The story of Sara and Rich Combs' transformation of an abandoned inn into a successful hospitality business, The Joshua Tree House, provides valuable insights for new businesses.
Embracing Risk and Innovation
Their journey underscores the importance of embracing risk and innovation. New businesses, particularly in the hospitality sector, can learn from the Combs' willingness to take on a challenging project and their innovative approach to creating a unique guest experience.
Building Sustainable Business Models
The Combs' future plans for self-sufficiency, including the use of solar panels and rainwater harvesting, highlight the growing trend towards sustainable business practices. New businesses should consider incorporating such practices into their business models.
In conclusion, the story of The Joshua Tree House serves as a compelling example of how risk-taking, innovation, and sustainability can drive business success. Aspiring entrepreneurs can draw inspiration from the Combs' journey, understanding that while challenges may arise, the rewards can be significant. By embracing these principles, new businesses can position themselves for success in today's competitive and ever-evolving business landscape.