If the walls of the historic 6000 square foot Bush House Estate could talk, they would tell a tale that started in the mid 1800’s and continues today with the latest renovation of the mansion and property as it is being transformed from a forgotten, overgrown gem in need of much TLC into one of the most beautiful premiere wedding/event/bed and breakfast venues in northcentral PA.
Charlie Bush and his wife Carmen had a vision for the old family estate in Muncy, PA when people suggested fixing it up to rent out for parties. Ready to start a new venture after careers in the music industry, real estate and most currently in equine rehabilitation, Charles and his wife decided to give the property a new life and let it be filled with new memories, and a new business.
Charlie Bush explains, “I have so many wonderful memories of growing up here in such an historic place filled with beautiful, unique treasures from around the world including a 3 story cantilevered spiral staircase, wallpaper from Marie Antoinette’s boudoir, Italian marble fireplaces and a sprawling mural of a feast in merry old England hand-painted by renowned artist N. Ross Parke in the early 1900’s. I couldn’t just watch it slowly fall apart, I wanted to restore its glory and share it and its story with everyone.”
Initially, Bush secured a substantial line of credit to begin renovations in mid 2015. He quickly exhausted this as unseen complications in such an old property quickly added up. Additionally, after “testing” the outdoor space, they found major drainage problems during rainstorms where the tent was to be placed. Bush realized he needed to secure a sizeable loan to continue renovations and fix the new found problems. He contacted the SBA for assistance and they referred him to the Lock Haven SBDC to develop a detailed business plan and financial forecasts for his new venture.
Says Bush, “I contacted the SBDC for help in writing a solid business plan. What we got was so much more. The SBDC was a fantastic resource for us and she went above and beyond to help us really focus on every aspect of what we need to do now as we are starting up this new business, and what we need to do in the future to grow into a sustainable business. We got so much more than a written business plan, but in fact, ended up with a real roadmap for our needs now and in the coming years.”
With their completed business plan, financial forecasts, sales/marketing plan and new found direction and focus, Charlie and Carmen Bush secured a $650,000 loan and a new $50,000 working capital line of credit to complete the planned renovations and launch Bush House Estate, their full service event/wedding/catering venue and historic bed & breakfast. This was in addition to their own investment of of nearly $1.25 million. Their new business also created 3 new full-time positions and 2 part-time positions. Events are currently taking place and a Grand Opening is planned for September, 2016 with anticipated sales reaching nearly $200,000 by YE 2017. This beautiful old estate will now have new stories to tell.