The Mountain Times

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Kokopelli Inn sells at auction for $55,000

KILLINGTON-Daniel Biecka was the high bidder Friday, August 24, with $55,000 winning the 15-room Kokopelli Inn on Route 4 in Killington. In 2010, the inn was appraised for $450,240, according to town records.

The lodge has a stone fireplace in large reception area, breakfast room, game room 15 en suite rooms with private baths, kitchen, spa room with a hot tub and half bath, living room, full service lounge/bar, enclosed porch and deck, according to Thomas Hirchak who conducted the auction. About a dozen potential bidders showed up for the auction, including locals and a few from out of state. Additionally, two representatives for Lake Sunapee Bank were present. The bank took over ownership after the inn went into foreclosure and was allowed to bid in order to keep the property, Hirchak explained.

The property was auctioned off 'as is,' and $13,300 in past due taxes will be owed by the purchaser, added Hirchak before the bidding began.

Hirchak started the bidding at $300,000, but was quick to admit that he didn't expect hands to be raised at that price, at least to begin. "I'm always optimistic," he said with a smile.

He tried starting at $150,000, then $100,000, then $75,000 and still no hands were raised. "I don't care where we start the bidding, it's where we end up that counts," Hirchak said dropping the opening bid to $50,000. "That's less than a car!" he added.
The new low of $50,000 did indeed get the bidding started, but it was a short run, with Hirchak getting it to $52,500 and then $55,000, which won the inn. During the process, Hirchak and the bank held a private meeting after which Hirchak announced that the bank would not be bidding.

The new owner, Daniel Biecka is from Unionville, Conn. He will be 32 on Sept. 15. He visited Killington 10 years ago on a ski trip and fell in love with the Green Mountains. "I just really like Vermont and we have been looking to buy a place like this in the area," he said. The inn is his first business to own.

Daniel and his brother, Bob Biecka, plan to restore the inn to "originally what it was," said Biecka. Flooding from Tropical Storm Irene severely damaged the inn last year, washing through the basement and a downstairs apartment. Despite the major repairs needed, Biecka was optimistic that they could have at least part opened by this winter.
In 1979, Killington's Tom Rabeck bought the house and adjacent barn on the 2-acres of land for $60,000, and then added the addition, which now includes the main entrance. "It's a steal of a deal!" he said of the auction price.

For the last five years, Chuck and Barbara Bursaw owned the Kokopelli Inn. The flood caused them an insurmountable loss, which included their business, home, and jobs, but also extended to their frequent customers. On their website they posted this brief description:

"We are also hearing the effects of the loss on the hundreds of our extended family, the Kokopelli tribe members… From our seasonal shares who visit every weekend to all our other guests, and our signature Pot Luck Dinner Friday crew, are who make up the Kokopelli Inn family. It breaks our heart to see that the Kokopelli Inn's wounds from Irene run so deep. We pride ourselves on providing an Inn that brings families together."

Tagged: Kokopelli Inn, auctioned