February is for lovers…such a familiar line for every bed and breakfast that offers a Valentine’s Day special for the entire month or for the Valentine’s Day weekend. Chocolate covered strawberries, champagne and red roses and that special breakfast. Romance and s__ that’s what you sell! But what about love? I find this a good time of year to reflect on love. What and who we love.
I love old things. Old things that have been loved. I love finding old books. We have a small collection that is cherished. I especially love the books that have something left in them by the original owner. Like the original book of Bambi by Austrian author Felix Salten translated into English in 1928 I found in one of our favorite used book stores. Among its pages was a newspaper article about the young doe located in the Maine woods that became the model for Disney’s animated Bambi.Or a recent book of Celia Thaxter’s poems that I found among a group of musty collections at an antique mall. Celia and her family were innkeepers of the once thriving Appledore Inn on Appledore Island off the coast of Maine. Like many old inns of this era it burned down in 1914. This book contained among it’s pages an old postcard of the Inn and a pressed flower from Celia’s beloved island gardens. I am sure these books were once loved and cherished by their owners. How long had this book been abandoned until I found it? When Rick and I go through our books from time to time to donate, the old ones stay, they are loved.
I love old houses. Our Inn was a 1813 ship captains home. I know that many of you own or aspire to own old homes that now welcome guests in their most recent renewed life as bed and breakfasts. Many of these houses have in their past been abandoned and left empty and unloved. But once they are bought and transformed into bed and breakfasts, the atmosphere becomes lighter, the rooms become fresh and welcoming and the love is apparent and well received by all who enter. The challenge to innkeepers is how to keep that love alive! All of us at the The B&B Team visit Inns from time to time that have ‘lost that loving feeling’. It may sound corny but you know what I mean. Something is missing and has left the building. We find it may take some outside eyes to help innkeepers find and rekindle their passion and ‘bring back that loving feeling’. The B&B Team and our ‘Inn Tune-Up’ program loves to play cupid. Take a look at what we offer that may help you bring the spark back to your relationship with your Inn and your business.
So what do you love? Your family, your husband, wife or partner (old or not!). Love you Rick! Your pets, your cherished collections. Do you love your bed and breakfast/Inn and the business of running it? Hopefully the answer is still yes. The love you feel shows in everything you do in your daily care for your property. It will also show in the value of your Inn. Once you come around to the time to sell, to let go, you want your property to be at its best. You want the next caretaker of your cherished Inn to feel the love and the value you have lovingly created. So keep that love alive. Don’t lose that loving feeling!
Quick side story. We had a guest once ask us if we could ‘guarantee romance’ with his stay at our Inn. Rick answered, “Nope, can’t do that, we can give you a nice room, great bed and all the amenities, the rest is up to you pal!
Thanks for Listening,