Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

The B&B Team

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

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Archive for the ‘Innkeeping Business’ Category

Breakfast Going Global

April 11th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

breakfast

Breakfast Going Global

Thank you, Linda Hayes, for sending me a most enticing and inspiring article, ‘The World of BreakfastThe shifting definition of what counts as breakfast food now embraces flavors from around the globe’. Explore breakfast going global.

Trends in food are constantly evolving, new flavors and creative presentations are certain to elicit the WOW factor. Are you ready to push the global envelope?

In our most recent ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ seminar we had two women with a Caribbean background who expressed a desire to introduce Caribbean recipes in their future B&B. Love it.

Rick and I were visiting The Inn at English Meadows recently and innkeeper Kate was serving Chilaquiles. Even though I am a huge fan of Mexican food, I had never heard of this dish. Fabulous, clean plate club for both Rick and me.

Here are a few of the dishes that got my attention. Let’s start with sweet.

Hong Kong Waffles

Breakfast going global

Area Four in Cambridge, Mass., combines the waffles with pistachio ice cream and blackberry sauce

“Also known as bubble or egg waffles. Soft, chewy in the middle with crisp lacy edges, made from sweet, eggy batter.”

I found a good ‘how to’ and recipe from food blogger “ginger & scotch”.

breakfast goin global

This is how they come out from an egg-waffle pan

Now let’s take a savory journey.

Chilaquiles

It is famous in Mexico. A dish of fried corn tortilla strips simmered (but not to long to make them soggy) in salsa or roasted tomatillo sauce and topped with egg, cheese (I like Queso Fresco) and possibly beans, squash, tomatos. Make your own combination, that is the fun of it. But a must on my plate would be avocado!

breakfast going global

Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Off to the Caribbean.

Another food blogger; ‘Immaculate Bites-Afro-Caribbean Recipes Made Easy’. Some beautiful and very enticing recipes. Dishes like, Sweet Plantain Hash & Eggs or this one…

breakfast going global

Jamaican Corn Meal Porridge

What you want to do, as suggested by The World of Breakfast authors is… “find that perfect balance between home and away.” That is what innkeepers do everyday at their inns. Now it may be fun to take that trip to Hong Kong, Mexico or the Caribbean or anywhere you like.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

What do Millennials Want?

March 26th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

what do millennials want

What Do Millennials Want?

Remember this catchphrase from TV’s The Brady Bunch? “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha”. Her sister Jan thought she got all the attention. Today it’s millennials, millennials, millennials, its’ all about millennials!

What do millennials want? How much attention should we give them? One thing for sure, we must pay attention to them as active consumers with disposable income. About 10 million millennials make over $100,000. And double that for 2 income couples.

Wednesday at the AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace. I listened to Jeff Fromm’s session, ‘The Financial Impact of Millennial Influence on Travel‘. Among many attributes, Jeff is known as the Millennial Marketing Guy. He’s done all the research, written the books and has some great insights.

Some millennial facts:

what do millennials want? All you Baby Boomers out there know this TV catchphrase. For everyone else, Google it. I digress…

Millennials were born between 1977-1995

Comprising of about 25% of the U.S. population

As a group they are larger than the Baby Boomers

Three times the size of Generation X (born 1965-1976)

These facts alone give us reasons to pay attention, work on your business to be relevant and attract this generation of active consumers. “Brands old and new, cannot afford to ignore this generation.”

An interesting insight from Jeff; “Consumers date brands before they fall in love”. Online dating of course.

Let’s start the conversation with this mindset.

Timeline: shop..date…fall in love…get married for life?

Maybe, unless that brand messes up, becomes irrelevant, inconsistent and loses their trust. Or if you are a millennial, you may just get bored and want to try something new. Think about it. Would you, millennial or not, go back to the same brand if it disappointed you, or would you shop another brand? You know the answer.

“Understand that millennials are the ultimate day traders, and that’s what’s driving changes in food, restaurants, travel, insurance,” says Jeff Fromm. “If your brand isn’t unique, you run the risk of being traded out for private-label or a low-cost alternative.” Jeff Fromm

Our industry’s B&B’s could be described as ‘private label’. We sure aren’t the Hilton or Motel 6.  So how can you get that millennial to trade out to you?

I am picking 3 areas of focus from Jeff’s session. Focusing on what may help you create and sustain a brand that millennials will shop, date and fall in love with.

Unique and Innovative

put an egg on it

New England Johnny Cod Cake with Poached Egg, Oven Roasted tomatoes and Lemon-Tarragon Aioli– Inn at Pleasant Lake, NH

Are you serving the same breakfast you served 5 years ago? Breakfast is half your name. Millennials as well as older generations with millennial mindsets are adventurous eaters. Food trends are constantly changing. Discovering and trying out new recipes is fun. Make them as visually appealing as they are appealing to the pallet. Millennials want to share their experiences on social media but only if they are worth sharing.

Adventurous

Millennials are searching for new experiences in everything. Travel for sure. Does your website show potential guests unique adventurous experiences inside and outside your property? Or do you show the same outdated guest room photos, typical romance packages (that everyone else has) and lists of ‘things to do’ (without any links or photos) that hasn’t been updated in years. Unfortunately, The B&B Team sees this all to often.

what do millennials want?

Dogsledding-Mush your own dogsled memorable adventure. Lodge at Moosehead Lake, Maine

It is easy to connect with local businesses that offer unique and adventurous experiences. Create packages with them. Wherever your inn is located, there are adventures nearby.

Frictionless Journey

How easily are you found on a web search? First, you want to come up at the top of pages in a search of Inns in your area. If not, your SEO needs help. Pretend you are a potential guest (millennial or not) and do a search. You may be surprised. Second, how easy is your booking process. Seamless? Is your PMS (property management system) outdated? May be time to research a new, innovative user friendlier system. Third, how frictionless is your check-in procedure? Can guests access your inn after hours with a keyless lock system? Or do you wait up for them, greet them with tired eyes and impatient words?

These questions and examples just touch on the insights that Jeff spoke about.

A final insight from Jeff Fromm. Successful brands: “Treat others the way they want to be treated”. Plus…“Always be helping”. These things are huge when sustaining your brand.

Innkeepers have got that down, right? But there is always room for improvement, for more love.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Wellness Tourism-Growing Trends

March 19th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

wellness tourism growing trend

Wellness Tourism-Growing Trends

Wellness tourism is a 500-billion-dollar segment of the travel industry. Looks like something innkeepers should consider integrating into their business plan. Don’t leave a piece of that 500-billion-dollar pie on the plate!

AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace, day two.

I attended Julie Pankey’s session, Top Trends in Wellness Tourism, The Guest Experience. After many years of experience managing and growing successful hospitality spas, Julie formed her own spa consulting services company, J M Pankey Partners. She is very passionate about what she does, a huge key to her success.

Here is a brief summation of Julie’s top ten wellness tourism trends, with some added observations from me.

Welltality

A nice take on the word hospitality. Is welltality the new hospitality? In the hotel industry many are marketing themselves as ‘healthy hotels”. Take a look at what hotels are doing and incorporate some of the features into your ‘healthy B&B’. One example from Julie’s session was introducing dawn simulator alarm clocks or sunrise clocks into your guest rooms. For more information: The 10 Best Wake-up Light Therapy Alarm clocks to Buy in 2018. Listing the types of clocks available and their individual attributes. Possibly a nice wellness touch to your Inn? Also, take a look at Nature’s Tribute-doTerra Essential Oils.

Wellness trends

Dawn Simulator

Incorporate the Outdoors

 

Wellness tourism trends

Jumping Rock Photography-Cheshire Cat Inn, CA

Create outdoor spaces that become an extension of your Inn’s brand, style and ambience. The B&B Team is seeing Inns create outdoor spaces that are transformed into outdoor rooms. Not just a few chairs on a deck.

  • Private decks with an outdoor shower, hot tub, fire table with a nice view. That’s the ticket!
  • And beyond the porch, fire-pits, waterfalls into pools, fountains, great landscaping with outdoor lighting.
  • Winding paths to secluded spots with seating.

And don’t forget to showcase these areas with great photos. It’s not only the Wow affect but the Ahh affect. To add that Ahh affect to your property, check out Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. They were an exhibitor, speaker and sponsor at the conference.

Wellness tourism

Fire Table-Hermann Hill Inn, Hermann Missouri

Sustainability

Being mindful of using local products. Food especially. Many inns incorporate this into their brand and marketing successfully. Important to capture the guest looking for a ‘foodie’ wellness experience.

From The Inn at Weathersfield in Vermont

We know our farmers by name. 

For most of the year, over 75% of our ingredients come from within a 25 mile radius of the inn or from our IW Heirloom Garden. Just before winter appears, we stock our root cellar to carry us through until spring.

So…when tomato or corn are not in season, you’re probably not going to find it on our menu unless it’s been preserved.

To be an authentic farm-to-table restaurant, we know we have to keep things REAL.

 

Extreme Wellness

One step beyond the expected. One example mentioned was ‘salt rooms’ and ‘salt lamps’. I had never heard of this. What I found:

Salt therapy is a natural therapy that has been practiced since the 18th century. it involves inhaling dry salt, which can help cleanse both the airways and the skin to relieve congestion, inflammation and skin irritations. In a salt rooms or salt cave a halogenerator grind up pharmaceutical grade salt into minute particles that become airborne when dispersed into the room.”

May be worth finding out if you have one in your area and partner with them. Business partnerships can be a real asset to your Inn business. Making your partner businesses easily accessible to your guests.

Well NOT Wealth

This is offering your guest a retreat from technology. Regaining personal connections. Turn off the Wi-Fi, no phones, tablets, etc. allowed. Lock them up in a safe! This is a tough one, but just maybe this could be attractive to guests seeking a real getaway from it all. You must admit, todays small portable electronics glued to our eyes and ears for hours on end can create a lot of stress. There is always the old fashioned land line open for emergency communication.

Inn at English Meadows-Sunrise Room-Soft colors, clean, fresh. AHH

Another trend The B&B Team has been seeing is incorporating a spa like feel into guest rooms.

  • Hardwood floors.
  • Soft color palettes.
  • Bathrooms with spa features, luxury showers with body sprays, rainwater shower heads.

Another example of the non-extreme and more reasonable wellness approach from Julie.

“I am working with an Inn in Sandwich, MA to help them transform their suites into wellness suites.  Each of these rooms already have smart TV’s, king size beds, jacuzzi tubs, in room air purifiers and sleep sound machines so it will be really easy to incorporate yoga mats and a smart TV on demand fitness and relaxation programs as well as relaxing bath accessories and products, we will also add a mini bar of wellness products which may include sleep mask, relaxing pillow mist, anti-aging pillow case, foot cream and cozy spa socks, hydrating facial sheet mask and other goodies that just transformed these rooms into wellness rooms with very little money being spent.”  

wellness tourism

Upon arrival…Warm or chilled towels depending on the weather plus refreshment. Not just in the tropics but anywhere! Ahh

Think beyond the massage. Whether you have a spa, plan on opening one or just want to integrate some of these trends into your own business, being aware of these ‘welltality’ trends is enlightening and good food for thought. Always know that improvements, additional services and amenities are investments that will pay for themselves with increased rates and well marketed packages.

Thank you Julie Pankey for your enlightening session. JM Pankey Partners offers a Spa Hive Community, a place to “share ideas, solve challenges and connect with leaders and colleagues in the spa industry in a secure and private group.”

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Scott Bushnell

March 14th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

A sad week and a tragic loss. Scott Bushnell left this world Friday evening March 9, 2018.

 All of us at The B&B Team® express their condolences to Marilyn and the entire Bushnell family.  Please take a moment and remember him and perhaps read and take heart in the remembrances of Scott from his ‘business family’.

Thoughts from Peter: Sensitive. Funny. Smart. Kind. Thoughtful. Nice. Calm. There aren’t enough “good” words to describe Scott Bushnell. Marilyn said that he always joked about wanting to die with a martini in his hand, which made me remember the time that the whole Team (all 8 plus Peggy and me) were at our house for our annual meeting. Of course, that’s when our septic system decided to back up! It was late in the day, and I was out digging with the septic guys. Scott looked at me from a back window, smiled a cat-like grin, and held up his martini in a toast, just to remind me what I was missing! I will miss everything about him. Marilyn, you and your family are in our hearts. We’re here for you. We are a Team.  

Thoughts from Peggy: We have been so fortunate to have Scott and Marilyn as valued colleagues and as treasured friends.  The love and support they had for each other extended to others through their warmth and generosity.  Marilyn has suffered a great loss as have we all.  I will remember most the personal side of Scott — his big heart and matching dimpled smile, his quiet strength, and his patience with and respect for others.  I will miss this gentle gentleman.

Thoughts from Rick:  Scott, I miss you.  Scott, you left Marilyn, your family and your business family too soon and we all miss you.  Scott, you left our industry too soon and the world of hospitality misses you.  We grieve for our loss and share our grief with Marilyn and your family and their loss too.

There are so many things I will miss but there are so many things I remember and am grateful for as a result of our friendship and association!

-Playing golf together in Myrtle Beach after an innkeeping conference………….oh and do you remember we were in shorts and had to wait to tee off until the frost was off the greens?  Remember who won the round on the 18th hole?

-Drinking martini’s together, gin for you and vodka for me, but both enjoying the first sips of those ‘mouthful of a cloud’ adult beverages.

-Loving Ruth’s Chris Steakhouses, though we never ate there together, but both loving those sizzling steaks.

-Gentleman’s bets on any given Red Sox / Oriole series.

-Speaking  together at an Aspiring Innkeeper session at an innkeeping conference and you talking about your ‘day in the life’ and me, mine, and then looking at each other with confused faces as our days were so different!  Your inn was predominantly business and ours leisure.

-Agreeing and when disagreeing, always at the end respecting the other person and always acknowledging it wasn’t personal.

-Listening with fascination about your tales of being a cadet at the USMA. …..thank you for your service.

 

But most of all Scott, I will miss your sense of humor, your smile, your integrity and the warmth I felt as we either said  “hello” or “good bye” with a big hug.  God speed my friend on your new journey and remember and smile for us as we will move forward and remember and smile for you.

Thoughts from Janet: Memories should be warm, bring smiles and perhaps some tears, warm tears.

 I love our team’s meetings in Scottsville Virginia each August. Before our two-day team meetings, we all gather at Peter’s and Peggy’s house for ‘refreshments’ and dinner. They have a wonderful open front porch where all 10 of us gather and relax. We all arrive at different times. From the porch we can see our team’s cars pull in the Scherman’s drive.

 “Here comes Linda, wonder what homemade goodies she will bring to the table this year?” “Good, there’s Marilyn and Scott. Rick, get the martini shaker going!” “Is that Dana?… nope, come on Dana.” Tish and Eliot pull in, always a rehearsed joke or two from Eliot and more homemade goodies from Tish. Smiles and hugs shared all around. Dana arrives! OK, let the party begin.

 This year, one less smiling face, one less hug. We will all miss you so very much Scott. I will miss your quiet demeanor, your slow smile and twinkle in your eye before you share your thoughts or tell a good story. Always wise, thoughtful and genuine. Many glasses will be raised to your memory and warm tears shed.

Thoughts from Dana: Although we might only see each other a time or two each year, our B&B Team feels more like a work family than just work colleagues. We work hard and we have fun. We enjoy time together. We communicate throughout the year. 

When I think about Scott, I think polite, gentleman, soft spoken, smart, dedicated, kind, and an infectious smile with dimples as big as his soul. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Marilyn without a smile to match. Just a very, very sweet couple and a pleasure to be around. I’m so very thankful we just spent several days together at the AIHP conference in Norfolk just over a week ago.

My heart goes out to Marilyn and their families ♥️ Scott will be sorely missed.

Thoughts from Eliot:

He whom we love 

and lose

is no longer 

where he was before

He is now 

wherever we are.

St. John Chrysostom

Scott will be with me when I pour over spreadsheets, his perceptive and astute approach will continue to teach me. He will be with me when faced with health challenges, his courage will strengthen and support me. When presented with a demanding negotiation, his discretion, and thoughtfulness will guide me. Most importantly, his generous, honest, gracious and congenial spirit will provide laughter, joy, and meaning to my days. Including teaching me that “bacon is an herb”.

‘know when to hold’em’

Thoughts from Tish: Scott once told me a story from his career as an industrial engineer. 

 A corrupt boss had a scheme to get production-line workers eliminated so he could make money subcontracting their work. Scott knew and cared for the people (mostly women) who worked on the production line. As he described what happened, decades after the event, he became emotional. He was angry at the deceit and injustice and his eyes welled up with tears. To me, that moment revealed the depth of Scott’s ethics and the tenderness of his big heart.

Thoughts from Linda: We met when Lynn and I were “wanna be innkeepers”, then met again at a Select Registry meeting as you were exiting innkeeping, then again at conferences where we taught aspiring innkeepers our lessons learned, then became fellow team members sharing opportunities, and finally we became travel buddies –  exploring new cities and watching the twilight of Budapest come alive on the Danube.
You’ve intrigued me with your intense listening and then your gentle, yet persuasive perspective on whatever the topic of the moment. Your love for Marilyn has always been evident with your adoring looks that were certainly noticed. May we meet again…

With love in our hearts and tears in our eyes,

Thank you all for the kind remarks we received after publishing this in our newsletter. From folks who knew Scott, worked with him and from people who didn’t know him and wish they had. It was wonderful to hear from you all.

 Peter and Peggy, Rick and Janet, Dana, Eliot and Tish, and Linda
The B&B Team®

 

Time Management Tips for Busy Innkeepers

March 7th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Time Management

Eat The Frog! Time Management Tips for Busy Innkeepers

One of the first sessions I attended at last week’s AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace was presented by David Mayfield from ResNexus. Effective time Management. Some do it well, others not so much. But everyone can learn new techniques. In business and daily private life, time is precious, and worth the time to explore better ways to manage it.

Have you ever heard the term, ‘eat the frog’? It all started with Mark Twain, a guy who said a lot of smart things. His point…if the first thing you do each morning is to eat a live frog, you can go through the day with the satisfaction of knowing that that is probably the worst thing that is going to happen to you all day long.”

So what does this have to do with time management? Fast forward a few decades to a publication by Brian Tracy, ‘Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time.’

David Mayfield based his session on many of the points in this book.

Let’s go back to that frog. “If you have to eat two frogs, eat the ugliest and biggest one first. This is another way to saying that if you have two important tasks before you, start with the biggest, hardest, and most important task first.” Brian Tracy.

I think we have all felt the satisfaction of tackling and completing a dreaded task first, without procrastinating. And we have all sat and stared into the bulging eyes at that ugly frog and let it hop away and hide, only to return another day!

“The hardest part of any important task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue.” Brian Tracy

I would like to emphasize ‘valuable task’. Innkeeper (name withheld) knows that they must enter expenses in QuickBooks, they have been putting if off for weeks. But the lawn needs cutting. Which task is the biggest and ugliest? Time to be honest and time to eat that frog.

I think you get the frog analogy by now, lets continue. Here are a few of David Mayfield’s 7 keys to better time management that I picked up from his session.

Assume Responsibility

This was the first ‘key’ David listed. It is your business, and you are the one responsible to manage and complete the most important and valuable tasks.

Time Management-Write it Down

Write it Down

Write your goals down, the non-techy way, with pen and paper, each day. Then find the frog (the most important task/goal) on your list, you know what to do next.  It may be possible that other less timely important goals/tasks on your list you can delegate to staff? Delegating effectively is a real time saver.

Review Your Day

Checking off everything on your list at the end of your day can be very satisfying. But sometimes ‘life happens’ and tasks are left undone. Don’t fret, as long as one frog gets eaten you can sleep well. Burp!

This is just a snapshot of all that David had to offer in his session. ResNexus as well as other property management systems (PMS) offer many time saving automated services. Once you find the right PMS for you, using all the tools will help you streamline your operations and help you control the running of your business.

Another great tip…two monitors. Have your reservation system on all the time on one monitor during business hours. The other monitor could be your laptop. So when that call for a room, or online reservation comes in, you and your monitor are up and ready. Thought, install a photo of a frog as your screen saver.

time management

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Online Marketing Made Simple

February 22nd, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Online Marketing made simple

The Lodge at Moosehead Lake’s New Head of Guest Relations and Marketing!

Online marketing made simple? I think this is an oxymoron (a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction). Any moron knows online marketing/social media is NOT simple, but I got your attention, right?

In a recent article by Steve Olenski in Marketing Insider Group, ‘4 Online Marketing Tips That May Sound Obvious But Should Not Be Overlooked’, the author attempts simplicity. I will further attempt to simplify his 4 tips.

Understand that Social Media Constantly Changes

  • Instagram is taking the lead with “more than 500 million active daily users”.
  • Facebook has fallen behind for the first time recently.
  • “Facebook created quite the buzz when they began limiting organic exposure in an effort to drive more businesses to run paid ads. Instagram is currently making headlines for doing the same thing now.”
  • But Facebook is still an important social media tool for you. It is still a good place to share basic information and direct visitors to your website. Don’t give up on it, even though those ads may drive you crazy.
  • Instagram-Show what you offer

whitefenceswatermill#breakfast on the go! #international #travels can’t stay for breakfast but we have them covered! #coffee and #croissant #bedandbreakfast

Don’t Get Hung Up on Outdated SEO Techniques

The one and most important tip here is, SEO is not a good DIY project!

  • Old outdated techniques and strategies are just that, old and outdated. “What worked several years ago just simply isn’t effective these days, and in many instances can get your website penalized.”
  • “Want to master 2018 SEO? Learn from people who are practitioners, not just talkers.”
  • We have many excellent ‘practitioners’ in our industry. Work with them and you will get the best results.
  • Refer to The B&B Team’s Industry Referrals page for a list of internet marketing companies that are leaders in our industry.

Share Your Story and Leverage It to Connect with Your Target Audience

This is my favorite tip. Something innkeepers should make sure they do, not only on social media but face to face with guests, community and staff.

  • “Your personal brand can be one of your most valuable marketing channels, but it requires putting yourself out there and sharing your story. Most consumers will connect with a person over a brand much easier.”
  • “The average consumer is going to welcome inspirational and educational lessons coming from a business owner, while blocking out messages that come from a company and reek of an advertisement.”

Create Content That Delivers Value

Content Marketing, the buzz phrase that has been out there for a long time. On all Social Media platforms.

  • “Focus on creating content your audience loves so much that they are encouraged to share it on social media. The referral traffic and social shares will positively impact your SEO naturally.”
  • This includes the image driven platforms, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Check out this blog; ‘The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content’.

I am going to end with sharing what I believe to be a very clever and compelling email newsletter from The Lodge at Moosehead Lake, it illustrates great personalized content that connects, tells a story and promotes. Opening with an image of a cute dog, always a great way to engage! Go Phoebe.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Moosehead Lake-Maine Tourism Region

February 8th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Moosehead Lake Region Maine

Moosehead Lake-Maine Tourism Region. Photo by Peter Frank Edwards

What is the top industry in your state? Do you know? In Maine it is tourism.  The Maine Office of Tourism is very robust and they work hard at promoting and expanding Maine’s top industry. Their Marketing Partnership Program provides marketing funding to the eight Maine designated tourism regions in the form of grants.

The recipients of grants range from the Whoopie Pie Festival (don’t laugh, it is a big whoopie in the state), to the Portland Bach Experience.

Moosehead Lake-Maine Toruism region

Whoopies!

A grant was awarded to Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, (a nice 4 figure amount!). The Moosehead Lake Region, located in The Maine Highlands (Bangor-Katahdin-Moosehead Lake) is one of the eight Maine tourism regions. All 8  regions have their own flavor, their own merits and their own attractions to tourists. Moosehead Lake Region is no exception.

 Congratulations to the chamber, we all need a boost at times. Visitors flock to the region in all seasons but there is always room for more. Bring them on.

One of the great things about the Moosehead Lake Region is the diverse choice of adventures available. From hardline to soft. Since it is February lets’ talk about winter. You can snowshoe, ride the snowmobile trails or…attend a Pig Roast & Bonfire and the 14th Annual Moosehead Lake Chocolate Festival or…attempt all four!

But if you like to have someone else do all the planning, let me count the ways. Many of the Inns in the Moosehead Lake Region offer packages that arrange your adventures for you.

Example package offered by The Lodge at Moosehead Lake

NORTH WOODS IMMERSION

Immerse yourself in the North woods of Maine with an experience you will long remember. This intimate Adventure Lodge has just what the outdoor junky is looking for.

This 4 nights & 3 full days package includes:

  • Day 1: Enjoy scenic one-hour seaplane ride to the tip of the Penobscot River; includes canoe ride to Lobster Lake, hiking, fishing, exploring and a delicious fireside lobster or steak dinner cooked shore side by your private Registered Maine guide (full day trip)
  • Day 2: Full-day whitewater rafting including lunch, back by 4:00
  • Day 3: Complete hiking instructions to Gulf Hagas with picnic lunch – be sure to bring a camera and water shoes to cool off in the river
  • DINNER: One night at the lodge, three course meal in the Lakeview dining room on day other than Fly-In canoe trip. (Alcohol not included.) Lodge serves Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings.
  • Gourmet breakfast every morning
  • Lodge at Moosehead Lake Tote bag as a memento
Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake, Greenville Maine

Maine is also fortunate to have active Maine Guides that offer a variety of tours. Innkeepers in the region partner with the guides to create some wonderful outdoor adventures. Maine Guides are “recognized around the world as the gold standard in outdoor skills and knowledge.” They have been around since 1897! They are a treasured part of Maine tourism. 

In my most recent blog on destination locations I mentioned that destination locations are not only good for tourism but can be a terrific place to live, raise a family, own a business, as well as visit.

Moosehead Lake

Greenville Inn-Moosehead Lake Country Inn

The B&B Team invites you to explore our two properties for sale in Greenville, Moosehead Lake. The Lodge at Moosehead Lake and The Greenville Inn.

The Lodge at Moosehead Lake

In addition The B&B Team recently sold the Chalet Moosehead Lakefront Motel.  New innkeepers with their family will be welcoming guests this coming spring.

Live the robust life in a robust Maine tourism region. The B&B Team is here to help pave your way.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Charlottesville Virginia-Destination Location with a Capital C

February 2nd, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Destination location

Charlottesville Virginia-Destination Location

Charlottesville Virginia is a true destination location. What is a destination location? Here is how we describe it in our world of hospitality.

A tourism area where people want to come and is easily accessible.

An area with a well-established ‘name’ or identity.

The B&B Team represents a first-class collection of properties for sale in some prime destination locations.

Let’s talk about Charlottesville. I’ll throw out a few phrases that spell well-established identity with a capital C for Charlottesville and the surrounding Virginia countryside.

Charlottesville Virginia-Destination Location

Monticello-Charlottesville Virginia

Monticello – Historic Home of Thomas Jefferson

University of Virginia

Shenandoah National Park

Blue Ridge Mountains

Historically, Monticello is up there as at the top as a historic destination location. Even if folks are not history buffs, learning about Thomas Jefferson on his home turf is a lesson worth learning all over again. His Virginia home tells the story of the man, his ideals and the way of life once lived in Virginia in the formative years of our Nation’s birth.

Charlottesville virginia-Destination Location

Charlottesville Virginia-University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is an architectural masterpiece. Designed by Thomas Jefferson. Regarded as one of the most beautiful and prestigious universities in the world. Along with Monticello it is a World Heritage Site, people travel all over the world to visit these sites.

Charlotteville virginia

Skyline Drive-Shenandoah Valley

Charlottesville Virginia, easily accessible? You bet. The vistas, byways and highways of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains are travelled and marveled at by thousands annually. On route to Charlottesville by automobile? Example… from Washington DC the Skyline Drive route takes you through Shenandoah National Park along the tips of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Did you know that this type of road trip is referred to as ‘skidriving’?  New one on me! Charlottesville, by the way is numbered among the one-of-a-kind mountain towns along this route. More of a small city I think, but with the charm of a hometown. Possibly your new hometown?

When I mentioned the definitions of a destination location there is one point I left out. Easily accessible, well-established identity plus…a great place to live and own a business.

The Foxfield Inn-Charlottesville Virginia

The Foxfield Inn is a Charlottesville Virginia bed & breakfast located in the area’s hunt country. Thanks to its Charlottesville Virginia destination location, the business is solid and profitable with room to grow. Annualized occupancy is above 50% with an enviable ADR around $250.00. With five guest rooms and private owner’s quarters and a wonderful kitchen. It is a charmer.

By the way, Charlottesville weather is, as one native describes, ‘mostly wonderful’. Summer highs average in the mid-eighties and winter average in the low to mid-forties. Can it get hotter and colder? Hey it’s weather, you can answer that.

Oh, and if your guests don’t like ‘skidriving’, Charlottesville has a top-notch airport and thruways for fast tracking.

We welcome you to give us a call. For details about The Foxfield Inn, please contact the exclusive listing broker, Peter Scherman, 434-286-4600 of The B&B Team, Inc.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

What is an Algorithm?

January 19th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

what is an Algorithm?

What is an Algorithm? Nothing to do with Al Gore and whether he has rhythm or not. But all to do with the internet (didn’t Al invent that?)

Definition from Whatis.com:

“An algorithm (pronounced AL-go-rith-um) is a procedure or formula for solving a problem, based on conducting a sequence of specified actions. A computer program can be viewed as an elaborate algorithm.”

Mathematicians and computer geeks know what it means but to your average non-geek, it is a mystery. I am in that category. That is why it is great that our industry has people out there that know and can help us understand.

More definitions:

“Algorithms are widely used throughout all areas of IT (information technology). A search engine algorithm, for example, takes search strings of keywords and operators as input, searches its associated database for relevant web pages, and returns results.”

Now this is making more sense. I use keywords in my blogs to help make my postings relevant and searchable. Your web designer has embedded keywords on your web pages for the same reason.

What is an algorithm

Time to look closer

But it gets more complicated.

Q4Launch just published a blog: Changes are coming: How to Survive the Latest Facebook Update. A great read. Very relevant because it will affect our business Facebook page.

“The idea behind the update is to increase meaningful interactions between people, not pages. As a user, this Facebook update means there will be less public content from publishers and businesses.”

The article gives you some good step by step advise on how to work with the change. Facebook is making these changes with brand new, you guessed it, algorithms. After reading this article I did get a better sense of the changes that are coming. Thanks to companies like Q4Lauch and many more that are here to help us non-geeks.

There are always changes on the horizon with Google. Lisa Kolb, Acorn Internet Services, Inc. will be offering a session at the upcoming AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace. Entitled; Ten Steps to Making Google Happy and Improving Your Business.

Another session; A Beginners Guide to the New Inn Owners Online Presence. InsideOut Solutions, Inc, White Stone Marketing and Acorn will put their heads together and give you more information on how to make Google happy.

If you want to get closer to the meaning of algorithm? Get your rhythm on, attend the Summit in Norfolk VA. Just around the corner, February 26 to March 1.

To end on a funny note. A comment left on the Whatis.com article

“I don’t get it and its due on Friday and its Thursday and its my homework for grade 6!”

I’m with you kid, but I keep on trying.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

The Connection of Passion and Knowledge

January 11th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

the connection of passion and knowledge

AIHP Summit 2018…the connection of passion and knowledge. Norfolk VA, Feb. 26-Mar. 1

The connection of passion and knowledge in the innkeeping world has evolved. In times past when we first started our seminars for aspiring innkeepers, our attendees had slightly different answers to our pre-attendance questionnaire. Many espoused their love of entertaining and cooking. Yes, that is an important part of innkeeping, the gift of hospitality and the passion for food. But…

The comments we receive from our questionnaires now include topics they would like covered on financing, bookkeeping, operations, websites and marketing plans. All the behind the curtain essentials of operating a successful Inn. Smart.

 If our attendees don’t realize before our workshops, that the joy they receive from feeding family and friends a lavish breakfast on holidays and other celebrations is only a portion of what innkeeping is all about. They will know when they leave our seminars, with eyes wide open.

Operate a successful business and that joy of hospitality will remain joyous and the accolades from your guests, in front of the curtain, will be the icing on the virtual sticky bun.

The tools for operating a successful business are very readily available, all one needs is the desire to learn. The willingness to tackle new skills, without doubt or fear.

When Rick and I were new innkeepers (a few moons ago), one of our neighbor innkeepers asked us if we were going to attend the upcoming Innkeeping conference. We answered that we were ‘thinking about it’. He said; “Don’t think about it, just do it…go.” We did, and immediately after attending, understood the value and essential benefits of ongoing innkeeping education.

Look at the wealth of knowledge that will be available at AIHP’s ‘Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace’ February 26-March 1 in Norfolk Virginia. The byline message for the AIHP summit is; ‘the connection of passion & knowledge.’ Love that! 

Here is just a sampling the workshops that will be offered.

  • Ten Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Plan
  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Your Property’s Imagery
  • Ten Steps to Making Google Happy and Improving your Revenue
  • Advanced Paid Marketing Strategies – Beyond the Free Stuff!

And for new and aspiring Innkeepers:

  • Running your Business so it Won’t Run You
  • Benchmarks for the New Innkeeper: How do I Measure My First Year in Business?
  • Financial Record Keeping

The list is very extensive and complete. Besides the learning, there is the networking, exploring the marketplace and the recharging of your innkeeping engines. Its’ all there. A lot of fun and food too. All of us from The B&B Team will be there. Stop by our booth.

Connect that passion you have for sharing your love of hospitality with ongoing education. They not only go hand in hand, they must be successfully married to each other.

In conclusion I will re-quote former innkeeper and good friend Lindsey Copeland, “Don’t think about it, just do it…go.”

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

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