Have you been thinking about planning a weekend getaway? Maybe it’s your anniversary, or you just need a mental health break and some time to yourself? Consider Knotty Pine for your next escape into the beautiful landscape of Northeast Iowa.
Knotty Pine Guesthouse located just outside of Ft. Atkinson, Iowa is owned and operated by Jeremy and Stacy Merrill. While you may not actually meet them during your stay, they always invite feedback from their guests!
The Merrill’s didn’t initially intend to be business owners. They were skeptical that anyone would be seeking to stay in their cabin in the middle of nowhere. They were, however, surprisingly wrong! Their business started a couple of years ago after Jeremy's father passed away and his mother moved into town. They found themselves with an empty log cabin on the land where they also reside. This cabin packs a lot of history. Jeremy’s father built the cabin, and the couple knew they wanted to buy the cabin to pass along to their children someday. In what was initially an effort to generate income, they decided to advertise it as a vacation rental. Little did they know, two years later they would have frequent repeat guests, including guests traveling from as far away as the Netherlands, and a waiting list several parties deep waiting for a weekend cancellation!
The couple has been blessed to have a fairly smooth sailing business operation, with few hiccups. The main struggle they encounter is striking a balance between work and home life. The Merrills run multiple businesses together and are constantly on the lookout to find their niches within them.
While they get frequent visitors from the Des Moines, Chicago, and the Minneapolis area, Jeremy and Stacy were excited to have their first guests book from overseas (traveling all the way from the Netherlands and New Zealand, respectively)! They noted, “So many of them [our guests] want to sneak away for several days and disconnect. Some tell us they never leave the cabin, while others tell us they come here just to spend a few days in the driftless region because there is so much to see and do!”
For the Merrills, customer service is key. The couple makes it their mission to try and make all of their guests feel special and welcome. When you visit, you will notice and appreciate the cleanliness, coziness, and attention to detail that they put into their guest cabin. Jeremy and Stacy make sure that the cabin is as neat as a pin, and their warm personalities are genuinely palpable. They run their business by the golden rule: treat others the way you would like to be treated.
While they certainly don't want to grow too big and lose touch with their core values, the addition of another cabin may be in store in the future. We'll just have to wait and see.
Until then, book your next stay at Knotty Pine Guesthouse, and prepare for complete relaxation in beautiful Northeast Iowa.