Couple hopes to open Glenstrae bed-and-breakfast in Sleepy Hollow

WICHITA — It took Tracy Sloat and Robert Elliot 17 years to find their Sleepy Hollow house, but Elliot says, “It only took us 30 minutes to buy.”

Now, the husband and wife have applied for a conditional use permit to turn their home on the northwest corner of Country Club Place and Vassar into a bed-and-breakfast.

“This idea evolved out of an appreciation of the home,” Elliot says.

“And a desire to share that, frankly, especially (with) Wichitans that appreciate the historic nature of the home,” Sloat says.

The 100-year-old Arts and Crafts style house has features such as 10-to-12-foot ceilings, built-in china cabinets and gardens Sloat describes “as our homage to the Flint Hills.”

“We like to describe the house as where formal meets organic and says, ‘Ah,’ ” she says.

There will be two suites for rent, each of which has its own floor.

There are lots of common areas also, such as a courtyard, a screened porch and a front porch with rocking chairs to “rock your cares away,” Sloat says.

“I have all these great places to sit . . . and partake in spirited dialogue.”

She says the neighbors are excited for their new venture.

“We’ve asked for their blessing,” Sloat says. “That’s how we approached it.”

Sloat owns the Actor’s Lab. Previously, she operated it as a training facility for actors. She closed the studio last year and now operates by appointment only.

Elliot and Sloat have Art Effects, a restoration business for historical and liturgical sites.

Elliot and Sloat have an interest in history. They’re naming their bed-and-breakfast Glenstrae, which is the name the home’s original owners, the MacGregors, chose for the house.

“It’s a Scottish word for a portion of land in the . . . Scotland valleys,” Sloat says.

The house came with a book the MacGregors made from their time there. On the first page, there are words that particularly resonate with Sloat and Elliot.

O, fortunate,

O, happy day

When a new household finds its place

Among the myriad homes of Earth.

Elliot says, “When we bought it we swore that we would be the stewards of the home. . . . We do want to share the home. We want people to see it and appreciate it.”

The permit will go before the planning commission Thursday. Sloat says she hopes to open by May 1.

She says she and Elliot enjoy customer service. The two had a combined 17 years in the food and beverage industry before coming to Kansas, and it shows.

Sloat won’t let a reporter off the phone before asking, “What night would you like to reserve your room, ma’am?”