Published: June 20, 2023
Change seems to come slowly to the fields of Brimfield, most of which have been owned or operated by the people or families that owned them from the beginning or were original owners as the tri-annual event grew. When word reached our ears that New England Motel (NEM)— a large field in the middle of event that is open for much of the week — had traded hands, we reached out to the new owners to find out a bit more about the details for the transaction. A few days after the field closed after the first Brimfield of the year, Antiques and The Arts Weekly caught up with Les Skowyra and his sons, Adam and Josh, the last of which was kind enough to answer our questions.
What did each of you do professionally prior to buying New England Motel?
My father, Les, has owned and operated an auto repair business for 40 years. My brother Adam and I have grown up around the business, working for my dad. In our working careers, Adam has been in construction for about 15 years, while I have been a sales representative for a medical device company. I also have my MBA in Finance. Having this diverse set of skills really helps us take on any task that may come at us with the show.
Why did you decide to purchase New England Motel?
Growing up in Brimfield, the antiques show has always been what the town of Brimfield was known for. Three weeks a year, people from all over the country came to visit the town, and the surrounding area. When the opportunity presented itself, it was exciting to be a part of the history of the town we loved so much, but also an opportunity to own and operate a business together as a family.
Is there a division of labor among you? Who does what?
The three of us have a wide range of skills. My father Les and brother Adam will be responsible for all of the property improvements and maintenance, while I will be responsible for organizing the vendors and doing the accounting and marketing for the show.
How did your first Brimfield (May 2023) go?
Our first Brimfield show was amazing. Having spent all of our lives in Brimfield experiencing the show from one point of view, it was a fun and exciting to experience it from a different point of view. We learned a lot, but with a lot of help from the previous owners provided a smooth transition and experience for our vendors and their customers.
Is there a single moment from your first Brimfield as owners that you’ll always remember?
The moment I will remember most will be opening day at 6 am. At that moment, literally thousands of people were running by me to start shopping.
Any lessons learned from it?
We learned so much in our first show. We spent months and months preparing for the transition. Our goal was to make it as seamless as possible for our vendors. Most of all we enjoyed getting to know them and their families, as well as them getting to know ours.
Each field at Brimfield has its own unique vibe — what are some of the unique characteristics of NEM that you want to preserve?
The New England Motel has been family owned since it started. We have known that family for many years and have seen them do some amazing things with the property. Our goal is to preserve the inviting family atmosphere that they have built and maintained.
What are you doing — or what do you plan to do — differently?
Our plan is to continue to run the show as it has for so many years, and maintain the high-end quality of vendors that our show is known for. The main difference will be, we will be utilizing the property, 12 motel rooms, 40 campsites, and three large 6,500-square-foot pavilions for events throughout the year.
For readers who only visit Brimfield during the Brimfield Antiques Flea Markets, what are the fields like in the “off-seasons?” Can you elaborate a bit more on the NE Motel property?
In the off-season, Brimfield is a very quiet town. We will be starting to utilize the property for weddings, graduation parties, etc., as well as opening the 12 motel rooms, and 40 campsites all year round.
—Madelia Hickman Ring
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm