The longtime owners of the Anchor River Inn sold their property. The inn has been in the Clutts family for decades. They helped take a small motel and café and mold it into a larger business including a restaurant, lounge and convenience store.
Jesse Clutts and his wife have managed the property for the past 10 years. But it’s been part of his life since he was 12-years-old.
“I was the groundskeeper picking up garbage and bagging ice, and I asked mom and dad for a raise and they said 'we'll give you a promotion,'" Clutts remembers. "They made me the heads groundskeeper so I was the heads groundkeeper over myself.”
He worked multiple jobs in the business before running it. But he said, he and his family decided to sell it this fall. His father’s health is declining and Clutts is moving his family down to Florida to be with him. He adds it has been a slow few years, putting the option of continuing to own the business remotely out of the question.
The Anchor River Inn business closed down earlier this summer but the new owners will be on site by the end of this month. The inn will likely reopen shortly after. Still, Clutts said the sale is bittersweet.
“This has been my entire life," he said. "I've described it before as losing a member of the family. It might not be a member of the family that you always got along with. But it’s that close--the relationship with the business. So it's gonna be tough to leave.”
Clutts said the family always tried to have a positive impact on the community.
“Whenever there was a death in the community, my parents would always just open the doors and just have families of the people stay in the motel," he said. "They never charged them and never made a thing about that. They just say, here's a place to stay."
The Clutts are hosting a goodbye party on Saturday night to raise some extra money for the family. The new owners will be announced during the celebration. Clutts and the realtor managing the sale confirmed that the new owners do not plan to change the business.