Benham Schoolhouse Inn brings in tourist and adds a unique touch to Harlan County

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BENHAM, Ky. (WYMT) - In Harlan County, tourism officials work hard on bringing people to the area. But, when visitors come they need a place to stay.

On the outside, you might just see a brick building but what is inside makes the place stand out. The Benham Schoolhouse Inn is an old school converted into a hotel.

"I never thought I would be in the hotel business or event planning but I kind of feel like it is my calling now," said President of the Appalachian Hospitality Group Travis Warf.

In 2016, the Appalachian Hospitality Group took over the inn when it was in danger of closing. Warf was put in charge - a job he never thought he would do.

"I have no prior experience in the hotel business," said Warf.

But what Warf and other employees are doing at the hotel seems to be working. Wednesday, there was no vacancy and that is the story for many days in July.

"It's all rewarding," said Warf.

Warf's history with the Benham Schoolhouse Inn is one of a kind much like the brick and mortar itself.

"I started right after my sixteenth birthday, I wanted to work. I was eager to work," said Warf.

He washed dishes and stuck around for a couple years despite being a teenager. Years later, Warf came back.

"I love this area. I love home," said Warf.

In the past two years, several memories stick out.

"The most amazing thing I think we've done since I've been here was the special needs prom," said Warf.

For Warf, his work is more than just a job. He believes in breathing life into the old structure and making all the guests feel at home.

The school was built in the 1920s. You can read more about the history of the building here.



 
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