New Brunswick

Inn on the Cove owners hope to rebuild

The owners of the Inn on the Cove in Saint John that was destroyed by fire Sunday want to start over.

Ross and Willa Mavis overwhelmed by community support

The owners of the  Inn on the Cove in Saint John that was destroyed by fire Sunday want to start over.

"We've woken up virtually for 20 years and could look out on the Bay of Fundy, and go to bed at night and see the moon on the Bay of Fundy," Ross Mavis said Wednesday.

"It's unique and it should be back up and running so other people can enjoy it again as well."

He and his wife, Willa, have already held their first meeting to plan rebuilding the landmark inn with their son, who is also their business partner.

The couple said that while they are devastated by the loss of the historic building, they are grateful for the outpouring of help from the community. That support has made them feel that rebuilding is possible.

"The messages from people, who are not only friends but our competitors in the business, have opened their arms and ltheir lives and their homes to us," Ross Mavis said.

"We've been offered rooms, houses, apartments, offices. People that we barely know have called and said, ‘I have a spare bedroom.’  I mean, it's unbelievable," Willa Mavis said.

The Mavis’s were away in Fredericton on the night the inn caught fire. They had planned a getaway, and were about to to check-in to a hotel when police reached Willa Mavis on her cellphone.

She said it was like getting news of a death in the family.

"You don't believe it, you just want to hang up because if you hang up then it can't be true," she said.

The century-old inn was originally a private home but was transformed into a popular seaside tourist spot by the couple more than 20 years year ago.

No one was at the inn at the time of the fire. The cause is still under investigation.