Kings Courtyard Inn Celebrates 35 Years As A Family Owned Hotel

A family owned hotel living in a chain hotel world— and why it works.

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What do you think of when you think of community? What about family? Does the importance of supporting local businesses have value to you? Does the phrase southern hospitality mean something to you?

 To family owned business, Charming Inns®, it’s everything.

 Charming Inns® is a family-owned and operated collection of historic inns and restaurants in the beloved city of Charleston. Founded in 1982 by Richard (Rick) Widman, they take pride in honoring the unique histories of each of their one-of-a-kind properties. In November of 1983, Rick played a crucial part in the major revitalization of King Street by opening Kings Courtyard Inn. This quaint hotel was the first to provide lodging on the iconic Charleston street. “It was an unforgettable celebration that included a ribbon-cutting, a lot of family and even Miss Universe in attendance”, he recalls. Rick describes hospitality as the ability to help guests to ‘create special memories,” and that definition carries over into everything they do. Often times, corporate company core values get lost in translation or simply lose their esteem as they become overlooked by not-so-engaged employees. Words like integrity and leadership become faded into the busy day to day life of a hotel employee.

Charming Inns® operates differently. Core values are learned and appreciated early on, because of one word— family. The essence of the company values has transcended into the personal lives of the Charming Inns® work family. Whether it is giving back to the Charleston community, celebrating the history of the inns or simply using their local voice, the Charming Inns family offers so much more than a place to stay.

 Each and every member of the team has a story. These are just a few.

 Noreen Marchant, Wentworth Mansion Innkeeper, 8 years

 How has working for a family owned business made an impact on your life?

 In April of 2010, I received a call from an employee at Wentworth Mansion. He mentioned that the Innkeeper position was available at Wentworth Mansion and he thought I should apply. So, I sent my resume off to Rick Widman; shortly thereafter we met. I was really impressed that he brought up balancing work and family life. I remember that he used the term “family first”.

Because of the value, “family first”, I am a better manager. I am able to balance my personal life and my work. I am grateful to work for people that genuinely care about me and I really try to give that back to my employees as well. If an employee has to go visit their child at school or attend a game, we work together to make it happen.  

Describe your experience in one word.

When summing it all up in one word, rewarding comes to mind. Working for a family run business you go thru the highs and lows together. When we lose, we are not alone in the defeat. WE all feel it. When we win, we celebrate in victory together. We are proud of each other’s accomplishments and we are there for each other in times of sadness.

 

Ginny & Mark Severs, Circa 1886 Special Event Coordinator and Manager, 20 years

 How has working for a family owned business made an impact on your life?

We started working with Charming Inns a little over 19 years ago. My boyfriend at the time was a bellman at the hotel and I began working as a hostess and office assistant at the restaurant on the property. He and I had a very good working relationship which strengthened our personal relationship as well. We grew up, grew within the company, and moved on to bigger roles. We got married, got promoted, had kids, worked hard, and partnered in a second restaurant. We have always had support and encouragement from our Charming Inns family not only to succeed as an employee but to succeed as a couple and a family. It is so important to us to work for a company that recognizes the importance of family.

 Mary Sargenton, Head Cook, John Rutledge House Inn, 29 years

 How has working for a family owned business made an impact on your life?

 It makes me feel like a part of the Widman family. A lot of employees come to me for advice. I love my job. I have been with my job family for 29 years and there is a lot of love among us.

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The Director of Operations, Michelle Woodhull, daughter of Rick Widman also reflects on the Charming Inns family, “Our work family members and their stories are at the core of who we are as a company. They look forward to welcoming, sharing and serving others, in hopes of creating special memories for years to come.”

 35 years later this November, Charming Inns honors the inception of their first property, Kings Courtyard Inn. In the spirit of celebration, they are launching a 35th Anniversary Giveaway on November 1, 2018 and winners will be announced on December 10, 2018. The giveaway includes a 2 night stay, an Explore Charleston VIP pass to the city and so much more. Enter to win here.

 

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