Frontier Nursing University (FNU) has hired a new Operations Manager for the Wendover Bed & Breakfast and Retreat Center. Wendover served as the headquarters of the Frontier Nursing Service (FNS) in the 1920s. The signature feature of the Wendover property is the Big House, originally built as a two-story log home for Frontier founder Mary Breckinridge. The Wendover property also includes several other buildings that house guest rooms and retreat or meeting spaces. Steeped in the rich history of Frontier, Wendover Bed & Breakfast and Retreat Center is now open for personal stays and group retreats.
A Hyden, Ky. native, the new Wendover Operations Manager Debra Turner has an invaluable background in all things Frontier. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services and worked for the Leslie County Board of Education for 11 years prior to coming to Frontier.
Recently, the Wendover B&B staff began partnering with consultants from Snug Hollow Farm B&B to revitalize Wendover’s services, amenities and operations. Debra shared some thoughts about her new role at FNU.
How long have you been with Frontier Nursing University?
11 years (as of May 2018).
Where are you from originally?
I am originally from Hyden, Ky. I was an FNS baby born in the old hospital built by Mary Breckinridge – the same building that currently houses the administrative offices for the University (Morton Gill Building). Both my sons are also FNS babies born at the newer Mary Breckinridge Hospital in Hyden.
Why did you accept the new position with the bed and breakfast?
As a child I attended Christmas plays at Wendover and the nurses were who we went to when we were sick or injured. FNS is part of my heritage. I would like to see the B&B grow and thrive and become a popular retreat center, a place for people to celebrate events and and a tourist attraction continuing to celebrate the life and mission of Mary Breckinridge and Frontier Nursing Service.
What are your goals for Wendover?
My goal is to provide world-class hospitality to guests while maintaining the integrity of the history.
How has it been working with the consultants from Snug Hollow Farm B&B?
The ladies from Snug Hollow are very knowledgeable about the hospitality business and are great to work with.
What are some of the most significant changes visitors to Wendover will notice?
There will be significant changes to the Big House including restoration of the upstairs bedrooms including new, luxurious beds. In the bedrooms and downstairs the furniture will be freshened and arranged so everything will match and clutter will be eliminated. Historical items will be grouped and placed in appropriate areas to better showcase their story.
The bedrooms in the Barn and Garden House will be redecorated and beds will be replaced with new comfortable mattresses and linens. The building that is now the Guard House will be remodeled and redecorated and will serve as the check-in, check-out information hub and my office. The historical displays in the downstairs Barn will be expanded and improved with the addition of items that haven’t been showcased before. The gift shop will have many items added as well.
Guests will have a unique, satisfying experience with hospitality that will leave them wanting to come back for more.
What is your favorite thing about your new role?
I’m a visionary, a planner and organizer and love the challenge of improving the processes. It doesn’t hurt that I have a fantastic view of the grounds and the Middle Fork of the Kentucky River from my office window.
Anything else you would like to add?
An important factor in the process is marketing to bring in guests and to keep them coming back. We are currently working on a logo, a new brochure and an active marketing plan.
Thank you, Debra, for your dedication to making beautiful Wendover a place people want to come to over and over again.
To make a reservation, please contact Wendover Bed & Breakfast Inn and Retreat Center at 859-899-2707 or visit frontier.edu/about-frontier/wendover-bb/.