After 83 years the Chalet Suzanne closes their doors

Owners say the time is right to move on

LAKE WALES, Fla. -  

Long time visitors of the Chalet Suzanne, Wendy and Victor Leo reminisce in the autograph garden. Looking and pointing out names of famous people who have their names on the wall of tiles. Tiles taking you down memory lane of people who've visited the historic destination. "It's not only sentimental it's a piece of history and a walk back in time," Wendy Leo said.


On Sunday the wall of tiles took the Leo's back in time to 2005, when they said their "I do's." "When we got married here one of my friends said words cannot describe this place," Victor Leo said.


Now they are trying to find the words to say goodbye to a place they love. "It just touches your soul. It's a very spiritual place," Wendy said. 


"There's nothing like this that we've ever seen anywhere," Victor said. 


The Chalet Suzanne is a place even the rich and famous have visited. A 100-acres complete with a 26-room inn, restaurant, vineyard, landing strip, shooting range, and more. 


Now after 83 years the owner, Eric Hinshaw, has decided to close the doors to this hidden treasure. "Because we know that we're doing what we're suppose to do we're not sad," Hinshaw said.


Hishaw is a third-generation owner. His grandmother Bertha Hinshaw opened the quirky establishment back in 1931. After years of fighting a tough economy and trying to keep up with repairs, Eric Hinshaw and his wife knew what they had to do. "The thing that we feel is that we are doing God's will for our lives," Hinshaw said. "We feel like we had clear direction to make this decision to close it."


A decision that has the Leo's coming to the realization this could be their final time spent at their home away from home. "I'm hoping not, but it could be.," they said.


The Hinshaw's do say some people have expressed interest in purchasing the property but nothing has been agreed upon yet.



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