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ong before Kris Kiger and JP Frenza bought the Red Rose Motel and Tavern in Roscoe, New York (population: 541), they had it in their sights. The Westchester County–based couple has been making trips to the Catskills since 1999 and renovated a farmhouse just down the road. Once a beloved dance hall and tavern, the “Rose” had seen better days. “JP always said, ‘I wish someone would buy it and renovate it before it falls down,’ ” says Kris. So when a For Sale By Owner sign popped up in 2016, the couple rushed to see the property. “I wouldn’t say it was exactly turn-key ready,” says Kris. “It was in a state. The beds were all half-made like people had just been sleeping in them.”
Undaunted, the couple joined forces with experienced hospitality professional and now-business partner Melissa Kawecki to turn the motel into a year-round hot spot for people looking to get away from city life, sprucing up the grounds, adding insulation, and lovingly restoring seven guest rooms and a small tavern, dining room, and lounge.
As they dug in, the trio made discoveries—including an old paint-by-number collection— that led to the design direction.
“It was an obsessive renovation, and we saved everything we could,” says Melissa. “We don’t give our style a name—it’s about being true to the authenticity of the building. It’s nothing fancy. It’s all about comfort.”
Originally called The American Switzerland, the motel was built by prizefighter Constantine J. Lambrigger in 1938. (It was renamed the Red Rose in 1952.)