Episode 62 – Larry Fisher – Black Swan Inn, and Destinations Inn
An Escape From Reality
The Black Swan Inn and Destinations Inn are themed hotels created primarily for couples. Larry Fisher had a career in construction, founding Fisher Construction, and specializing in custom homes. “I've always enjoyed building things,” Larry said. He was very involved in all aspects of the building and creating his customer's dream home. “Having a hotel or having theme rooms wasn't in my future, that I knew of anyway,” Larry explained. It was his sister who piqued his interest in creating theme rooms after she convinced him to visit a hotel in Logan, Utah, that had created a hotel using theme rooms.
“Building custom homes you get into custom woodworking, but you could never get into really detailed extravagant things. I thought if we built one of these [hotels] we could do all these unique things and try things out. I thought it sounded fun and exciting,” he said. This inspired him to start looking around to see where he could put his dream into action. The current building where the Black Swan Inn is caught his eye. “One of my sayings is, you find what you are looking for,” he said. He had to convince the owners to sell the building. After some negotiation, he was able to buy the building and started planning.
Having never owned a hotel before, he reached out to the owners of the theme hotel in Logan to see if they would be interested in a partnership. Initially, they turned Larry down, but after a week they reached out and decided they'd like to be a part of it. They were partners for 5 years before the Fisher's bought them out in 2001. Larry feels like that was the key to success for them to start out strong.
They built the rooms in phases with the Cave room being the first. Larry credits his wife and their partners with the creative ideas and explained that he is more the “hands-on” making it happen, person. “In the Myan Rain Forest there is a treehouse and the jetted tub is in the treehouse,” he explained. “Nowadays it's easy to find ideas, you can look on the internet, back then, we had to go to the library,” Larry said about finding ideas for the rooms. Visiting Las Vegas and looking at the creativity there also helped them envision and craft ideas. They have also had individuals enter their lives at different times who have brought skills that have helped them create their visions.
Not wanting to turn the hotel over to someone to manage it, Larry decided he needed to back off from his construction company and manage the Inn full-time. They worked with the City and they were able to open each room as it was completed. Larry said it was immediately successful. “I love interacting with people, I'd love to just work at the front desk. I've made some great relationships with people,” he said.
Destinations Inn was purchased in 2010 as an existing themed room hotel and was the perfect compliment to The Black Swan Inn and the Fisher's vision.
Over the years Larry has received many ‘thank you's'. “There is something psychological about it, when you go into these themed rooms you feel like you are 1000 miles away,” he said, “the way I look at it a night at The Black Swan Inn costs about as much as a therapy session and it's a lot more fun.” Larry recognizes that it takes the couples to do the work on their relationships but the hotels provide a space for connection to happen and he's happy to be a part of that.
The hotel has employed all of the Fisher's six children over the years and two of them continue to work in the business with ideas of taking it over in the future. “I'm trying to free up some time so I can travel more and bring back ideas,” Larry says with a smile. He remains very involved in day-to-day operations, especially where it comes to the construction aspects.
Larry is also very involved in the community. He feels that social networking is very important to the business and being active in the community helps your business. “It's an honor and a pleasure to be a part of these different things,” he said. Having just had a close friend pass away he advises, “Don't take your relationships for granted. Love what you do and love the people around you. Don't take advantage of people. Spend the time with the people you love.”
Thank you to James at Disruptive Productions for editing the show and making us all sound good! Find out more at https://www.facebook.com/disruptiveproductions/.
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