Sunday, March 16, 2008

Rio Nido Inn for sale ... THANK GAWD!!!

Hooray! The Rio Nido Inn on Canyon 2 Rd. in Rio Nido is on the market, for $1,018,000. Naturally, I discovered this while browsing Craig's List (for more information, the ad is located at: This once-beautiful, historical treasure -- which hearks to Rio Nido's swankier days as a major resort which attracted tourists & major musical acts every weekend -- has been trashed & abused by its scum-lord (oops, I mean, slum-lord) owner, Jim Friedman.

Mr. Friedman rents out the rooms to ex-convicts & meth-heads who apparently don't inconvenience him with complaints about the mold, broken windows, & lack of heat & hot water. Ugh, this total sleaze bag works as a psychologist for San Quentin, & also owns the infamous Faerie Ring campground on Armstrong Woods Road, which is on the verge of being shut down by the county due to septic system violations. The only reason that the County hasn't shut down the campground entirely is because its year-round, low-income residents (who, by most accounts, are decent, law-abiding folks who simply can't afford market rents) would be forced into homelessness.

I would be totally THRILLED to see the Rio Nido Inn in new hands. The Inn has huge potential for a buyer who appreciates the architecture, wants to restore it with loving care, & who has VERY deep pockets. The place is also stuffed with beautiful antiques which have somehow survived the traumas inflicted by the current owner. Even in its current, lamentable state, the upstairs rooms & common area are comfortable & utterly charming. As recently as three years ago, the place was shabby, but still fairly nice. Then the place flooded & I think the owner totally gave up.

The Inn is also next door to the Rio Nido Road House, which features a well-run restaurant, bar, & public pool & which are undergoing major improvements courtesy of the new owners, Brad & LeeAnne. Meanwhile, Rio Nido is a beautiful & close-knit up-&-coming community with increasing numbers of year-round residents, including some young-ish & active retirees & families with young children. We also have an active homeowners association which hosts huge barbecues with music & children's activities throughout the summer.

Since I live in Rio Nido & love my little town, despite its little pockets of urban blight (um, rural blight?), seeing this place up for sale thrills me beyond belief. I'm also hoping that the folks who buy it will actually LIVE in this community.