KELLOGG, Idaho - There's a new place to sleep in the Silver Valley, where you can lay down your head for as little as $25 a night. Closed for years, Kellogg's historic McKinley Inn is back open, resurrected as a hostel.
"This is the first building that really caught my eye when I came to Kellogg," said inn proprietor Pat Ryan.
A regular visitor to the area, Ryan looked past the leaky roof, damaged drywall, and faded paint and saw a vision. He got to work last fall, building hostel-style bunk beds in shared rooms, sprucing up private rooms and turning the historic landmark into a thrifty place to spend the night.
"I just wanted to have something affordable for kids and to rejuvenate this uptown," said Ryan. During the make over, mementos from the 1920-era building's saloon days resurfaced like an old piano and cash register.
"I have a lot of people who used to frequent here stop by; they tell me stories, and they're glad to see it open again," said Ryan. Stories including rumors that the old mining haunt may even have ghosts. "I'm not a believer really, I guess I could be. I don't want to be," joked Ryan.
This venture is a change of pace for the former builder who spent years working on designs and erecting custom homes. When the construction business came to a grinding halt, Ryan got creative and chose affordable tourism recruiting a ski buddy.
"You see on TV all the time, those guys in the Midwest going: 'Hey, what do I do?!' and finally realized, 'Hey I'm that guy' and had to get a little practice on something else," said Todd Still who also found himself without construction jobs.
As the inn tries to expand with food, beer, and wine service, it's still falling back on old skills.
Still will soon be creating tasty treats like Baja tacos for guests.
"I've got some good recipes, it just took me a little while to remember all of them from 15 or 20 years ago," added Still.
Since the historic McKinley Inn has only been open since January, it's too early to tell if the hostel will relive its glory days. One man is hoping for an encore.
"It's done a lot of business, that's all I can say!" said Ryan.