Boonville couple holds essay contest for their home

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BOONVILLE - Why do you want to own the High Street Victorian Bed and Breakfast? 

Answer that question in 200 words and you could find yourself with a new home. 

The contest has a $150 entry fee and started Saturday and runs through October 15th when a winner will be chosen. 

Gene and Kriss Royer have been running the bed and breakfast since 2008 and got the essay contest idea from a bed an breakfast owner that held a similar contest in Maine. 

"We thought, what an awesome idea," Kriss Royer said. "Winning it in the contest, I think would be a huge blessing for somebody."

The house comes fully furnished and the Royers say they've invested a lot in the house's structure. 

"We put in new furnaces, new water heaters, did all of the work," Kriss Royer said. "A new roof, I mean it's all set, it's all ready to go. So whoever gets it won't have any expenses or any repairs." 

The Royers said on Saturday that people have shown a lot of interest in their contest. 

They said they've had about 5,000 hits on the contest's website and their bed and breakfast site has had an increase in views of over 300%.

Jim Fredrich has stayed in bed and breakfasts all over the country and says the High Street Victorian is set apart because of the food.

"The breakfast alone is worth the trip," Fredrich said.

He is originally from Boonville but now lives in Michigan and said he enjoyed his stay.

"From the very moment we arrived here it was wonderful," Fredrich said. "I think it's such a beautiful property, It'd be a shame not to keep it in great shape." 

The bed and breakfast is within walking distance to the MKT trail and located in the historic district of Boonville, which is a couple of the reasons the Royers decided to buy the place. 

"We thought- you know what? This checks all of the boxes." Kriss Royer said, "Let's go ahead and do a bed and breakfast and see what happens." 

The Royers are accepting bookings through the date the contest ends. 

After that, they're off to Washington to be closer to their family and to open another bed and breakfast. 

"We're looking but until we find out what we have to work with as far as financially, we can't go that far into buying a new house," Gene Royer said. 

The contest requires at least 2,500 essays to be submitted but Kriss Royer is confident they will reach that number. 

"If it's really low, which I can't imagine happening because of the interest," Kriss Royer said."Everyone who enters- they get their money back. 

If the number is close to the 2,500 required, they can extend the contest for an additional 20 days. 

To make sure everything was legal, the Royers contacted a couple of Columbia lawyers. 

The lawyers also made sure both the contest winner and the Royers were protected in the process. 

The Royers will pick the top 25 entries and then the winner will be picked from those by a panel of judges in the Boonville community. 

The winner then has 10 days to accept or decline the offer in writing and the Royers have 30 days to close on the deal. 

"We have to do a regular closing and they will have to pay closing costs and the normal things they would as if they were buying the house," Kriss Royer said. 

If you want to enter the contest, you can visit the site here.

Or if you want to check out the High Street Victorian Bed and Breakfast before it closes, visit their website here