Around the Northeast Kingdom

A new life for Janski Inn

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by Matt Wilson

NORTH TROY — As restrictions on crossing the Canadian border ease in April, many local businesses expect to see more visitors from the nation to the north.  Sarita Khan, who owns and manages multiple properties in the area, hopes that more folks looking to retreat from urban day-to-day life may again come to visit the Northeast Kingdom.

Already the owner of Vermont Salt Cave Spa in Montgomery, Mrs. Khan recently opened Janski Manor, a former bed and breakfast now doing business as a vacation rental.  The property, located along the road leading to the border crossing in North Troy, had seen better days before Mrs. Khan had the interior renovated and redesigned.

With help from friend and handyman Ray Hamel, its floors were replaced, walls repainted, and facilities in the domicile entirely updated over a six month period.

The building was the property of a mill owner in the late 1800s, a history that can be seen in the fine woodworking and ornamentation present in the home.

“Back then, if you owned a mill, you’d have quality lumber at a good price,” said Mr. Hamel. “You can tell from this house.”

In addition to helping with the renovations, Mr. Hamel knows a great deal about the house’s history.

After a small fire near the turn of the twentieth century, the structure of two houses was combined into a single, larger home while still in the possession of the mill owner.

In the 1950s the location began to serve as an inn and in the 1960s it became a bed and breakfast. For over fifty years, North Troy Inn lodged those coming to the town across an open Canadian border.

Someone bought the building in 2018 and stopped receiving regular guests.  It lay dormant for the following three winters.  After the aspirations of other owners who briefly held the property failed to see fruition, Mrs. Khan and her husband, Nafis, decided to repair the estate.

They plan to make it into a vacation rental for larger families and business retreats.  The Khans moved to Vermont in 2001, and her fondness for the state has only grown.

“There’s just something special about this place,” she said recently.  “This part of Vermont is so beautiful.”

She aims to share her appreciation for the Northeast Kingdom with visitors from abroad who come to Janski Manor, whether for a family reunion or a group getaway.  With seven bedrooms available for up to 14 guests, the property certainly can host a large gathering comfortably.

Currently, Canadian citizens and foreign nationals who are fully immunized may cross the border for discretionary travel, but after April 1 pre-entry tests will no longer be required for those who are fully vaccinated.

The North Troy area has seen an influx of local sightseers from both Vermont and its neighboring states, and broad platforms for vacation rentals like Guesty, Lodgify, and AirBnB continue to increase in popularity.

As these services bring more traffic from outside the region, and restrictions fade in a return to pre-pandemic norms, hospitality providers such as Mrs. Khan look forward to welcoming vacationers wishing to stretch their legs in traveling to North Troy and Janski Manor.

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