November 28, 2012

Yurok woman runs national park inn

Spirit of Enterprise: Yurok Woman and Husband Run the Historic Requa Inn in Redwood National Park

By Lynn ArmitageEven as the U.S. economy struggles for resurgence, hundreds of thousands of undaunted Native Americans are pursuing their dreams. The most recent Census data tells us there are nearly 237,000 Native-owned businesses in this country that have rung up $34.4 billion in receipts. In this new biweekly series on Indian Country Today Media Network, we will profile the inspiring stories of these Native business owners, who work tirelessly and fight the good fight every day in the marketplace.

Name: Jan and Marty Wortman
Title: Owners of the Historic Requa Inn in Klamath, California
Type of business: Bed-and-breakfast
How long in business: 2.8 years
Original investment: $875,000
Advice for other business owners: “Forgive yourself for making mistakes because you are going to make a ton of them!”

When Jan Wortman was growing up on the Yurok Indian Reservation in Klamath, California, she and her family used to drive by the Historic Requa Inn and say, “Wouldn’t that be neat if we owned that place someday?”

Someday finally arrived, at least for Jan. She and her husband, Marty, bought the Inn back in February 2010 after relocating from Portland, Oregon. “When my daughter Geneva moved home to the reservation, we decided to move back, too,” she said. They were looking for a business, and, as fate would have it, the inn was up for sale. “The asking price was $1.2 million. We got a steal for $875,000.”
Comment:  For more on Native businesses, see First Movie Theater on Pine Ridge and Lakota Casket Company.

Below:  "Jan sips a glass of wine from a balcony of the Requa Inn overlooking the Klamath River."

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