2013-11-12 / Front Page

Terry Brush Retiring After 37 Years As General Manager Of Canyon Inn

Retirement Reception Will Be Held Tuesday Night, November 12th
by Michael Stanley
Staff Writer


The Canyon Inn inside McCormick’s Creek State Park will be under the direction of new general manager Randy Rhine following the retirement of longtime manager Terry Brush. (Staff Photo) The Canyon Inn inside McCormick’s Creek State Park will be under the direction of new general manager Randy Rhine following the retirement of longtime manager Terry Brush. (Staff Photo) Terry Brush, whose 37-year career with the Canyon Inn came to a close Friday, November 8, will be the guest of honor during a public retirement reception set for Tuesday, November 12.

Brush said the inn has undergone several upgrades since his arrival in 1976, including building add-ons, the addition of bathrooms to each guest room, satellite television and free wireless Internet.

“The kitchen was added on to, which was a big improvement. Right before I came, the inn was closed for a year in 1975-76, that’s when the Oak Room above the dining room was built, the addition of the west wing was added and rooms were given bathrooms. They took three rooms, kept two and added bathrooms,” he recalled. “We totally revamped the east wing with new electrical fixtures and plumbing and we had all new HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and the sprinkler systems installed – a lot of work people don’t see that is very expensive and you need to have.”


Randy Rhine, left, will move from the position of assistant general manager to general manager following the retirement of Terry Brush, right, whose time at the Canyon Inn dates back to 1976. (Staff Photo) Randy Rhine, left, will move from the position of assistant general manager to general manager following the retirement of Terry Brush, right, whose time at the Canyon Inn dates back to 1976. (Staff Photo) Since late 2009, Brush has managed both the Canyon Inn inside Mc- Cormick’s Creek State Park and Turkey Run Inn at Turkey Run State Park in Marshall, Indiana. For the first 27 years of his time at the Canyon Inn, Brush and his wife, Jill, called the inn home.

“Over the years I’ve helped manage various properties for two to three months at a time, but most of my time has been dedicated to Canyon Inn,” he noted. “We lived in the inn for 27 years and then we built a house about 10 years ago, just outside the park boundaries. We plan to stay in the community and we’re going to travel. It was interesting (living at the inn) and it was a great playground for the kids, we were very fortunate. The school bus came right here to the inn and picked them up. We would have families who were staying here after being displaced by a house fire and they could ride the bus also. Owen County has been a great place to raise kids... we love Spencer.”

Brush is also proud of the number of local residents who are able to find a steady income at the inn.

“One of the benefits of the inn is how many students we’ve hired over the years; along with Babbs, we’re probably the two largest student employers. It has made a lot of prom dress purchases and car payments for the kids over the years, it’s just a great facility for the community,” he said. “When I came in ‘76, we were the third largest employer in the county and now look at Cook, Boston and some others. At that time, everything closed at noon on Wednesdays... things have definitely changed.”

Technology has also improved by leaps and bounds during Brush’s tenure at the inn.

“When I first came to the inn, we had two cash registers, an adding machine and an old mimeograph machine, one cash register didn’t work and all of the accounting was done by hand, so I was very instrumental in getting equipment to change that,” Brush explained. “I’ve always worked on bettering the technology, and now it’s passed me by.”

MCSP Property Manager Dwight Brooks explained that he was acquainted with Brush during his 13 initial years with the state park system while at Potato Creek State Park.

“Terry was always one of the most professional inn managers within the division. Terry has really been an outstanding business person, representative of the inn and of the division of state parks,” Brooks said. “Not only has Terry ran the inn very well, in a competent way, but throughout his career Terry has been very involved in the Spencer community, whether it be in service organizations or helping to sponsor local events and teams. He’s been good for the division of state parks and good for Owen County. I’ve really enjoyed working with him; if I could pick one inn manager that I was going to work with after I left Potato Creek, it would have been Terry, just because he’s just that much of a professional.”

Stepping into Brush’s role will be current assistant general manager Randy Rhine, who has been with Canyon Inn for five years following an 18-year career at the former Walden Inn on the campus of DePauw University in Greencastle.

Brush’s retirement reception will be held at the Canyon Inn on Tuesday, November 12, from 6-8 p.m. Attendees are asked to please refrain from bringing gifts.

“I think I’m leaving (Rhine) with a good staff and I hope things will just continue on,” Brush said. “I’m just thankful for how fortunate I was to come down to Owen County and Spencer. I was from the Indianapolis area and it was a real shock my first year or two and now it’s been a great place to raise the family. In the hotel industry, if you’re with a big corporation, they move you around a lot and so I’ve been very fortunate to be able to stay in one place.”

Rhine, who said the bar has been set high by Brush, hopes to carry on the inn’s tradition of quality service, with no plans for any major changes.

“He’s got a great team in place for me and I’m just excited with this opportunity I’ve been given, not only to serve as the GM here at the Canyon Inn, but to be a part of this growing tourism initiative in ‘Sweet’ Owen County,” Rhine said.

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