SCARBOROUGH INN MEMORIES – Part II, Ocean City, NJ

Gus & Carol Bruno, Scarborough Inn, Ocean City NJ
For a time, the Scarborough Inn served as official lodging
for the soloists performing with the Ocean City Pops.  I discovered a photo of the 35 “headshots” of
the stars that stayed with us over the years – these decorated one large wall
on the main floor at one time.  These
talented performers were always a delight. There’s also a picture of the Music
Pier marquee announcing our sponsorship of a Pops concert. 

We have housed other special visitors; too, like the “real”
Gidget – who was in town to attend a surfing event on the Music Pier – her
inscribed photo is in the main hallway. 
We host some of the speakers or performers from the Ocean City
Tabernacle. Some of these guests like the fact that we are within walking distance
to the Tabernacle grounds and we like offering them a “home away from home” as
many travel frequently.  A group of
teachers stayed at the inn one pre-season while attending workshops at Ocean
City High School and asked to return recently. Nurses from the Philadelphia
area came to the island for a seminal class reunion and decided to make it an
annual event every fall.  And, of course,
there are the couples who celebrate marriages or anniversaries at the Scarborough
Inn.
It’s been a privilege to support local charities,
organizations, or special events over the years.  Community involvement has been an integral
part of our family life. Gus was recently recognized for being part of the
“First Night” Board of Directors.  This
event is a family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year’s Eve celebration and it’s
great fun!  He also spent many years on
the board of the Greater Ocean City Chamber of Commerce.  Carol worked with the PTA and served on the
board of the Cape Educational Fund.  Both
of us participated in professional associations for innkeepers.
A commitment to support fellow businesses lead to
cooperation with local restaurants, shops, venders and tradespeople for
packages or services.  We have many
photographs of the fresh, local ingredients used in breakfasts and afternoon
refreshments taken at the weekly OC Farmer’s Market.  Local newspapers, radio stations, and
magazines have written articles or conducted interviews at the inn. You’ll see
a selection of these features – like the great coverage in Ocean City Magazine – in the main floor hallway.  Our very first award was for the decoration
of the “Sweet Thymes” room that included the addition of a Pencil Post bed and lively
décor by local design team, Donna Hughes and Darla, Too.  Several years later when we renovated and
redecorated the living room, Joann’s (on Asbury Avenue) created a beautiful and
welcoming first impression for inn guests.
Looking at the photographs of the inn reminded us of the
many, many changes that were made over the years.  When we purchased the Hotel Scarborough in
1988, it had a white exterior with artificial grass on the front porch and
aluminum rocking chairs. The interior was painted Beeswax – a pale yellow
shade.  All of the antique oak dressers were
painted different colors. Room amenities included electric fans.
Goodness, the changes that were made over the years! We have
photos of the building being painted traditional colors – the final count was
eight shades.  The demolition of the apartment
building next door provided parking for guests, plus more sunlight, space, and
fresh air.  There are photos of new
flowerbeds, the patio gardens, and privacy fencing being added.  Other decorating projects in the guest rooms
and common areas were chronicled on the website (a new technology &
beautifully designed by multi-talented, Jennifer Freeman) and in INN-Sites, the newsletter we
created.  At one time, we mailed
communication to guests; increasingly we use online options for reservations,
email, and social media.  We’ve added
in-room telephones, alarm clocks, AC, televisions (most recently, flat
screens), and wireless Internet.  We
enlarged many rooms and created some of the largest suites on the island.  We are constantly re-decorating, too.
Old photographs provide an opportunity to see and reflect on
additional changes.  While we preserved
the “vintage charm” of this historic building, it was also a goal to add
“modern amenities” for guests. And we did. 
In addition, when we became a Bed & Breakfast, the first food
offered was a Continental breakfast served in the living room. With the
addition of the dining room, we were able to offer more Breakfast options and
Afternoon Refreshments, too.  Fresh,
local ingredients became an important commitment of our menu planning and food
offerings.
These recollections would be incomplete without mentioning
the many, fine staff members who worked at the inn over the years.  Their dedication, hard work, commitment to
guest satisfaction, and cheerful cooperation with fellow staff members are invaluable
qualities that we value highly.  We enjoy
the contributions of international students, too.  It was fun to interact with young people from
around the globe and a recent group was featured in a video presentation about
the program.  Often, the students bring
gifts from their homelands; these are displayed in the Sojourn room on the top
floor.  The faces of local staff members
and students appear in many photographs – notably at the annual party we provided
for our team members.  Thank you all; we
recognize and appreciate your many contributions!
We are especially grateful for the contributions of our dear
sons, Peter and Jason.  They were part of
a very small staff that ran the Scarborough in the early days.  They performed many jobs over the years –
laundry, housekeeping, groundskeeper, cook, and front desk – and always did a
wonderful job (if we say so ourselves). 
Notably, Jason took over the kitchen and produced scrumptious meals that
guests raved about – all without any training – when Carol was unable to do that
job.  Peter loves computers and became
our teacher and guide as we added technology to the inn – both for guest’s use
and for inn operations. He continues to be our personal tech guru.  We are forever grateful for their love and
for their support of this family business. 
And always they make us proud – every day!
Many important things have remained the same through the
years. Local families have owned the Scarborough (as far back as we can
discover) throughout her many incarnations and have delighted in forming
relationships with generations of guests. 
What a joy to be part of this tradition of creating a beautiful and
welcoming home-away-from-home and extending warm hospitality to our very
special visitors and friends.  We are
grateful for that opportunity and we thank you!

Carol & Gus, Innkeepers
Scarborough Inn
an Ocean City NJ Bed and Breakfast

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