By DAN DEARTH
6:48 PM EST, December 8, 2012
Hagerstown resident Amanda Rankin said she didn’t mind waiting in a long line Saturday afternoon to take a brief tour of the Inn BoonsBoro.
The inn is owned by best-selling romance author Nora Roberts, who Rankin said is one of her favorite storytellers.
“I haven’t heard much other than it’s beautiful on the outside,” Rankin said. “I just wanted to see the inside.”
The free, 10- to 15-minute tours of the inn were given as part of the annual Holiday in Boonsboro celebration. During the event, people flock to the center of town to find specials offered by businesses and attend book signings by Roberts and a host of other authors, including Corrina Lawson and Natania Barron.
Ellen Tholen, innkeeper at the Inn BoonsBoro, said tours of the hotel have been given since the business opened three years ago.
Tholen said all of the inn’s eight rooms, which are inspired by literary romantic figures, are booked solid on the weekends. As a result, Saturday’s tours were restricted to common areas on the first floor.
“We want to respect the privacy of our guests,” she said.
Tholen and several other Boonsboro business managers and employees said Holiday in Boonsboro is a good way to showcase what they have to offer.
Amber Schoonover, manager of the Country Zen Massage Studio, said the business had 10 walk-in customers during the event. She said the studio typically accepts customers by appointment.
“Quite a lot of people came in here just to see what’s going on,” she said. “A lot of people didn’t know we were here.”
Schoonover said the extra foot traffic gave her a chance to advertise by passing out brochures.
“We ran out,” she said.
Not far down Main Street from Country Zen Massage Studio, a steady stream of coffee lovers flooded Icing Bakery & Cafe.
“It’s been like this since we opened at 8 (a.m.),” Icing Bakery & Cafe employee Lisa Stock said. “This is not a typical Saturday. We had to call in all the troops.”
Stock said she had to make 10 large containers of coffee to keep up with customer demand. Brownies, cupcakes and apple dumplings also were big sellers.
“It’s been crazy busy,” she said.
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