Jeff and Kelly met on a secluded barrier island off the coast of Georgia in 1991. Both were working as biologists for the Wildlife Conservation Society with an endangered species breeding program.
After many forays around the globe working in the fields of conservation and archaeology, they settled in Darien in 1998 and continued to commute to work by boat until daughter Hannah was born in 2000. At that time, Kelly quit her job as a field biologist to be a mom, but she was intrigued by an abandoned inn on historic Vernon Square. The former owner was a staunch conservationist and the place just seemed to call to the Spratts.
At the end of 2000, Jeff and Kelly began renovations on the home and opened for business in early 2001. By the time Hank was born in 2004, the family-run business had become a mainstay for travelers from all over the world. During the past six years, Open Gates has been featured in Southern Living magazine, Coastal Living magazine, The New York Times, and other publications. Many guests have become like family and return time and again to enjoy the simple pleasures of the coastal South.