Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

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

The B&B Team

Posts Tagged ‘AIHP’

B&Bs for Vets 2016-We Want You!

August 11th, 2016 by Janet Wolf

B&B for Vets 2016

B&Bs across the country have been invited to participate in the B&Bs for Vets 2016 program. This year we are hoping that the B&Bs who participate will soar. The more that sign-up the more successful the program will be and…more veterans can participate in the program.

That’s what it’s all about so…We Want You!

B&Bs for Vets 2016

Another reason for a large number of participants is PR. The basic definition of public relations is to ‘communicate with the public through media with the aim to create and maintain a positive image and create strong relationships with a wide audience.’

Marti Mayne of ‘Maynely Marketing’ is on the B&Bs for Vets committee (and has been for years). She is eager to get the word out to the media but we need numbers! The media is more apt to pick up a story that communicates to the public that bed and breakfasts across the country have united together as a group to honor our veterans.

B&B's for Vets 2016

Arizona Innkeepers come together

As I am writing this blog just over 50 B&Bs have signed up.  It is early and more will sign up. Hope you are one of them.

B&Bs for Vets 2016 is coordinated and organized by the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals (AIHP). There is ‘strength in numbers’, in an association and in a program like B&Bs for Vets. It is the only way to reach goals and be successful.

You are independent innkeepers! Each of your Inns and you as innkeepers are unique and different. That is part of your strength. But just think of the impact we can have on the public as united independent innkeepers.  Sign up, even if you have already filled your designated room nights. It is the only way we can show our strength and commitment to the program.

B&Bs for Vets 2016

Gillum House B&B WV- Vets enjoying breakfast. This is where it all began.

The B&Bs for Vets program was created seven years ago in West Virginia to honor our veterans on Veterans Day. By giving what innkeepers do best, providing outstanding hospitality (and breakfasts of course) to our veterans for one free night. Our way of saying ‘thank you’. Multiply that one free night by 900 or 9,000. Now that is what I call ‘strength in numbers’! And PR worthy.

For those Harry Potter fans, I will end with this quote.

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.”
― J.K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Investing In Your Inn

June 30th, 2016 by Janet Wolf

Investing in your Inn

Federal House Inn in the Massachusetts Berkshires

Investing in your Inn is an ongoing process, one process that never should slow down or even worse, stop. The result of inactivity and lethargy will produce a whole bucket load of issues that will affect your property’s worth on the marketplace. Dire consequences? You bet!

This was the topic of the most recent webinar hosted by AIHP, Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals. The webinar titled, “Sprinting to the Finish” was conducted by White Stone Marketing with some input from innkeeping professionals, including The B&B Team’s Rick Wolf. A lot of good information was shared in the webinar that every innkeeper needs to hear. A recorded version will be available soon.

Here is a quote from a colleague’s formula in regard to investing in your Inn.

Deferred maintenance = hidden problems = buyers fear and doubt.

Which leads to another formula…

Tired + deferred maintenance = costly redo’s = lower offer!

Short and to the point! Copy and paste this. Read it daily. Let this become your mantra.

All of us at The B&B Team have seen both sides of the coin on this subject.

  • Innkeepers sprinting to the finish and receiving a fair market value for their property based on their ongoing marketing, steady business growth and their well cared for property.
  • Innkeepers putting their property on the market when they have moved way past burn out, never a good thing.

I want to showcase a recent success story. How new innkeepers Marcia and Ken, graduates of  The B&B Team ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ Seminar, encountered some hidden problems after the purchase of their Inn and how they overcame them and moved forward and are already starting to see success. And in only 2 ½ months!

Picture this…washing machine dies in the first week. Plumber informs them that hook up was installed improperly and mold has built up as a result. He suggests all new plumbing, otherwise the problem will persist. Solution: Innkeepers moved the laundry room out of the dank dark basement to a first floor sun room. Bright and clean with garden views! Innkeeper’s quote “It was life changing.”

More problems emerged but all were overcome (yes a lot of stress along the way) but ‘positivity’ prevailed. After things settled down a bit, onto redecorating. The fun stuff! I will let these photos do the talking and let your imagination picture the before!

Investing in your Inn

Elizabeth Campbell Photography-Invest in Good Photography!

Investing in your inn

Guest Room-Clean, fresh, a new beginning

Investing in your Inn

Federal House Inn Makeover Elizabeth Campbell Photography

Yes, all guest rooms and common areas received a makeover. All done in record time to receive Beth Campbell on the scene for a photo shoot. Not many new innkeepers tackle this kind of fast track transformation. I believe Marcia and Ken needed to achieve this goal to show themselves that yes, after many setbacks and disappointments there is a bright future when ‘positivity’ and hard work prevail. (I can’t imagine the piles of stripped wallpaper).

And, some icing on the cake, a jump for the Federal House Inn on Trip Advisor from #6 to #2. Congratulations! When Rick and I visited Marcia and Ken (a surprise visit) we saw nothing but smiles and enthusiasm. Yes, ‘life changing’!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

A Smile of Innkeepers

April 24th, 2016 by Janet Wolf

A smile of innkeepers

Opening Session and the smiles begin

After spending the day with all these great innkeepers I was thinking about the best group noun for us all – and it’s obvious: “A smile of innkeepers”!” Reflections of The AIHP Summit and Marketplace by Peter MacLaren, innkeeper of the West Hill House B&B in Warren Vermont.

A smile of innkeepers

Innkeeper Peter MacLaren with some of his signature single malt

The first AIHP Summit and Marketplace in Nashville TN ended with a huge round of applause. I can say, and many others who attended would agree that the conference’s success rate…five star.

CEO Rob Fulton released a newsletter on April 18th post summit, and shared some innkeepers and allied partners comments. I thought Peter MacLaren expressed his feelings so well. So much that it is the title of this blog. I wish now that I had taken some time to take photos of all those smiles. Luckily others did.

A smile of innkeepers

Rob and Kelly Fulton and some smiling AIHP summit attendees

Those of you who did not attend may ask; why was this conference so successful and why did it evoke so much emotion and enthusiasm? We were all attending for one core reason, to become better innkeepers and partners with innkeepers. We do this by learning new skills to help our businesses grow. We also do this by developing relationships which requires give and take, we learn from each other. And what better way to do this then face to face, smile to smile.

A smile of innkeepers

Twyla Sickmiller (isn’t she always smiling!) Helping innkeepers with orders. Founding AIHP Member The Turkish Towel Company.

There was an ‘energy of solidarity’, if you get what I am trying to say. We were all working together. This is what I believe helped create all those smiles.

There was of course a lot of planning and investment in time to create the summit. From the time of AIHP’s conception to the opening of the summit it took only 18 months! I think this is incredible. A total positive and forward thinking group of individuals formed the foundation of AIHP that resulted in a CEO search and hire, board creation and staff hire and recruitment of membership.  Then a wonderful group of volunteers completed the package. With CEO Rob Fulton and a strong board of directors at the helm and an experienced crew in support, the future looks very bright.

A smile of innkeepers

All Aboard! Queen Mary, Long Beach -San Pedro California

Speaking of helms and crews. These terms will come in very handy at the next summit. If you haven’t heard already, the 2017 Summit and Marketplace’s location will be on the solid foundation (docked in Long Beach) on the original Queen Mary in Long Beach CA. CABBI (California Association of Boutique and Breakfast Inns) and Select Registry have come on board as partners with AIHP for this conference. Forging relationships like these make all of us stronger.

Mark your calendars Knowledge Sharing Summit, Marketplace & InnSpire Conference January 29 – February 1

More smiles to come and…

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

A smile of innkeepers

The B&B Team-most of us- adding to the smiles!

Two B&B’s–Among the Chosen Few

March 31st, 2016 by Janet Wolf

Lucilles Mountain Top Inn

Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa-On Top of the World

In a recent blog entitled ‘15 Amazing B&B’s Worth a Plane Ticket’ by Paul Lee Cannon for, Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa and the Inn of the Turquoise Bear were among the ‘amazing’ B&B’s mentioned. Congratulations! All you innkeepers out there know how wonderful this is to be selected for articles like this.

These two B&B’s-among the chosen few truly stand out amidst the 15 and  The B&B Team knows something about their history and success.

Scott Bushnell, Bushnell & Bushnell Services, affiliates of The B&B Team recently sold Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa to Charlie and Chuck Anderson. They were thrilled with being among a group of exemplary Inns and expressed their gratitude so graciously to the past innkeepers.

“LOOK WHAT WE GOT!!! …there’s no way Lucille’s could be what it is today without all of your dedication and hard work before we showed up.  Thanks again for giving us such a good foundation to build upon.”

The previous owners, Jim Matthews and Jerry Morris worked hard to turn the property around and create most of what you see today. But, quoted Scott: “The Andersons are taking it even higher in performance and reaping oodles of additional accolades.”


Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn

Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn is truly on top of the world in many ways. A true retreat needs an amazing location. Picture ‘360-degrees of ethereally blue mountains towering over acres of lush forest of in the North Georgia Mountains.’ A quaint mountain village and nearby outdoor adventures complete the package.  Then of course there is the Inn. Spacious rooms with quality amenities are delivered.  Then there is the Spa, a great way to start or end your day at Lucille’s.

Peter and Rick were consultants to Dan Clark and David Solem in the 2014 transfer of ownership of the Inn of the Turquoise Bear. The Inn is just what you would picture a Santa Fe historical rambling adobe estate should be. Dan and David’s goal was to: “Rekindle the comfort, creativity and hospitality for which this home was renowned in the past and provide our guests with a unique, restorative experience that captures the essence of Santa Fe’s past and present.” And they have done just that!

Inn of the Turquoise Bear

Inn of the Turquoise Bear

Inn of the Turquoise Bear Patio

Inn of the Turquoise Bear Patio

The B&B Team was thrilled to see many new and aspiring innkeepers like Charlie and Chuck and Dan and David on the list of attendees at the upcoming Association of Independent Innkeepers (AIHP) 2016 Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace in Nashville, April 4-6.


Want to learn the latest in innovation to ensure your success in the bed and breakfast and independent lodging industry? Then you have found your home.

To quote Neil Patel, one of my favorite marketing gurus and a speaker at the conference (:

“Get out of your shell and go to events! Obviously, you go primarily to learn, but a huge secondary result can be the relationships you come back with. Events are a great way to meet other people in your industry and explore opportunities to work together.”

So congratulations to all the innkeepers old and new who will be attending. The B&B Team is sooo looking forward to meeting and re connecting with you all at the conference in Nashville.

As you can see Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn & Spa and the Inn of the Turquoise Bear are examples of B&B’s at the top of their game but smart innkeepers know that to stay on top you must keep learning, stay connected and above all…have fun!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

The Rise of the Independent Innkeeper

January 13th, 2016 by Janet Wolf

independent innkeeper

Lookout Point Lakeside Inn-Prime example of a unique independent successful Inn

Over the last few years much has been written about the travelling public’s changing wants and needs. There was and is much talk about “experiential travel,” “live like a local” and other catching phrases that target today’s travelling public.  Who better to deliver a local experience than our industry’s independent innkeeper? My last blog boldly stated that “2016 is the year of the entrepreneur/innkeeper.” Now I state that 2016 is the “rise of the independent innkeeper!” Read on.

“Travelers don’t necessarily want that golden bathtub anymore but would rather pay more for an unforgettable experience. Luxury is now shifting from ‘having’ to ‘being’.” From “The rise of independent hotels” By Mendes Cavin, Founder & Managing Partner, Miners Hospitality

Mr. Cavin points out in his writing that the smaller independent hotel has an advantage over the larger hotel chains because they can adapt quicker to the changing traveler trends.

“Being able to adapt to the quickly changing customer demands has become the biggest advantage of individual hotels and small hotel chains.”

Independent properties like our B&B’s and full service inns with restaurants can be more flexible and can create “experiential” packages, add new and unique amenities and create menus using local foods without the reporting layers and corporate red tape of a large chain. Mr. Cavin predicts that there will be “a shift of travelers moving from large brands to their unique type of hotels.”

Humm…I see an advantage here as well as a challenge.

“The world is in constant change and so should you. Guests want to see, feel, taste something new all the time or else it gets boring. As a hotelier you will have to keep re-inventing yourself to stay ahead of your competition.”

OK, independent properties like B&B’s and full service inns have the advantage, the question is, are you recognizing this advantage and working it to your advantage? Are you keeping it exciting and re-inventing yourself?

We all know it is very easy to get into a rut. Your business is increasing, you are receiving more return guests, it is “steady as she goes!” So you sit back and enjoy the view. (I see a rut coming.) And once you are in it, it is harder to dig yourself out. But dig you must. The alternative is not a pretty picture.

One way to do this is to network with other innkeepers, learn from industry experts and expand your mind and discover the opportunites available to help you”re-invent yourself and stay ahead of the competition.”

How? Easy. Look at your calender and mark the dates of April 4-6. The 2016 Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace. Nashville TN, the place to be.


Want to learn the latest in innovation to ensure your success in the bed and breakfast and independent lodging industry? Then you have found your home.

From personal experience the best way to learn, network with like-minded independent innkeepers, meet new friends, refresh and have fun at the same time is to attend an industry conference. When Rick and I became innkeepers in 1999, innkeepers from a neighboring B&B encouraged us to attend our first innkeeping conference. Actually as I recall they didn’t just encourage us but told us we HAD to go! It truly was the best advice given to us as new innkeepers. Throughout our careers as innkeepers and partners/owners of The B&B Team®, we have continued to attend Innkeeping conferences as sponsors, speakers and volunteers.

Make 2016 be the Year of the Independent Innkeeper. Take advantage of the vast knowledge that is so readily available to you at the upcoming AIHP conference. Rediscover your ability to be unique, inventive and creative. There is no one holding you back except you.

See you in Nashville!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Innkeeper’s Passion

May 6th, 2015 by Janet Wolf

Innkeepers Passion

Recently a fairly new innkeeper told me that he had discovered something important.  Passion. “You have to be passionate about something and express that passion and share it with your guests.” Oh, so true. What is your Innkeeper’s Passion.

Innkeepers are lucky because they have people moving in and out of their days and can share their passion on a daily basis. Here are a few examples of some innkeepers that come to mind who are good at expressing and sharing their innkeeper’s passion.


Innkeepers passion

Katja discovers another swimming spot-Barrett’s Cove Beach

Siobhan and Katja both left teaching and became the innkeepers of the Towne Motel in Camden Maine. They both love to write.  So blogging was a natural outlet for them.  Katja is an avid swimmer and has written a series of blogs on swimming in Maine. Her latest Towne Motel blog included wigwam socks; “Best winter socks you can wear in Maine.”You must read her series to see how swimming and socks relate. Katja’s swimming adventures bring her to different locales in Maine. What a great way to sell the area as she discovers new places to indulge in her passion. Katja is writing (passion #1) and swimming (passion #2) and sharing it with future and returning guests through her blog. Now Siobhan has not written a blog in a while but rumor has it she may be working on another mystery novel (her passion). Do you think the main characters may include two passionate innkeepers?


innkeepers passion

Eight Broads in the Kitchen

Now a passion for food is an obvious one for innkeepers. The next example includes eight innkeepers from different regions across the US. All dynamic women with epicurean passion in their DNA. The eight met and formed friendships through networking at innkeeping conferences. Their shared passion for food evolved into a brand that has grown from cooking workshops and demos at their inns and conferences into a recently published cookbook. You most likely know who they are…The Eight Broads in the Kitchen. They sincerely enjoy what they do and get tremendous satisfaction in sharing their passion. And…they have fun.


Innkeepers passion

Roy and Sue reopen the Wolf Cove Inn in 2013

Roy and Sue Forsberg  purchased the Wolf Cove Inn in Poland Maine in 2013. Now Roy has passion for a lot of things. He loves cooking. He loves the location of the Inn and the community. He loves the Maine outdoor lifestyle, especially skiing. Most of all I believe he loves what he and Sue have created at the Wolf Cove Inn in the short time they have been there. Their success and growth has been tremendous. So much so that Roy has stated that his goal is to become the ‘best B&B in Maine and the US’. Now that is hutzpah and passion!


innkeepers passion

Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals Leadership Retreat

Passionate people are the most successful Innkeepers. The new innkeeping association now being formed, AIHP- Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals, has a group of very passionate current and former innkeepers and allied partners on the Founding Leadership Team. In the April AIHP Newsletter the group made a very passionate statement: “Here are their Top 4 Reasons for the Creation of AIHP:

  • They love innkeeping
  • They want to provide the best experiences and memories for their guests
  • They love the generous friends associated with hospitality
  • They love the thought-provoking conversations, learning and fun that come from our community.

I don’t see how any passionate innkeeper could disagree. The B&B Team has become a founding member. We hope that everyone reading this will consider the same.

So whatever your passion is, don’t hold back. The excitement you share is catching. I will end with this quote from an article written by CEO David Lucatch of Yappon Corp explaining why passion is the key to success. “When you are passionate, you make those around you feel excited, and everyone wins.”

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf




New Generation of Travelers-Age or Mindset?

March 26th, 2015 by Janet Wolf

new generation of traveller age or mindset

Sitting at an airport, reading the March issue of Business Traveler and found an article entitled ‘More Than a Bed’. This got my attention. Harvey Chipkin, the author of this article states; “A booming lodging industry is in the midst of a diversification whirlwind as it targets a new generation of travelers that might be defined by age, mindset or craving for experience.” The B&B Team has blogged, posted articles and spoken at conferences on this subject of the ‘new generation of travelers.’ This booming lodging industry includes B&B, small hotels, boutique motels, the entire gamut of the choices offered by the independent small lodging industry. Are we giving these new travelers what they are craving?

Mr. Chipkin goes on to say that the sameness in hotels has become a negative. Our Inns certainly do not have ‘sameness’. And the experience and the emotional connection with our guests is what we are all about. The hotel industry is working hard and fast to create uniqueness in their décor, more personalized service and offering experiences. They are creating their ‘lifestyle’ brands at a rapid pace. Our industry cannot afford to stand still and watch.

So what can we do to compete and keep up with this whirlwind?

  • Keep up with technology. That can include a fresh website that is optimized and responsive. Ease of booking on mobile site is a must. Places to plug in, guest rooms as well as common rooms. Many travelers want or need to be connected at all times for business even while on vacation!


  • Social Media. It is important to be involved with as many sites as possible. If you are engaged than you appear relevant. Don’t skimp on your marketing budget, you know the big guys aren’t.


  • Update your décor. The old mindset that a B&B is like staying in your grandma’s house is still out there. We must work hard and fast to squelch that mindset.


  • Keep an open mind. The explosion of the sharing economy like Airbnb is here and not going away. Many millennials will go to Airbnb to book their lodging. They may not go on or even know about the traditional B&B booking sites. Something to think about. Bashar Wali, president of Provenance Hotels, a small group of boutique hotels, “Airbnb is here to stay; it forces us to be better and offer local authentic experiences.”


  • Food is huge. Lighter fare options for breakfast, grab n go for the early riser, afternoon small plates or small bites that are creative and a wow. Liquor license for wine, beer tastings or signature cocktails, why not.


  • Stay connected. Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals mission statement is to “…support independent hospitality professionals to succeed beyond their expectation.” The group of supporters  is growing. Advocacy, education and networking will be the focus. We all need that.

mindset or age

So is it age or mindset? Yes we want to attract the millennial, they are our next large demographic of traveler. But the older traveler who wants to feel young, that is the mindset. Love this quote from the article; “We all want to feel that we’re still hip, we’re still in. And we’re talking about people in their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s”. That’s me, how about you?

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

New Innkeeping Association-Looking Forward

March 6th, 2015 by Janet Wolf

moving forward

The B&B Team and a growing host of innkeepers, past and present and long standing vendor/allied partner supporters of the innkeeping industry have and are coming together to  support a NEW and vibrant non-profit trade organization.

Long sentence ….I know, but together the words spell joy! The innkeeping industry has experienced a void of late. Innkeepers cannot thrive in a vacuum that is why AIHP, Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals is looking forward, not back to fill the void.

You can all read about the vision, mission statement and current status of the new organization in the link to the website. But in this posting I will state why The B&B Team encourages our innkeeping clients and aspiring innkeepers to join and become involved with an innkeeping association.


Networking means interacting, whether it is on a forum, joining a webinar, attending a conference. The B&B Team has witnessed over the years that the innkeepers that have been involved the most with an association are the most successful. They not only learn from each other but form relationships that enhance their innkeeping life, and those relationships turn into life-long friends. The relationships they form with vendors are also invaluable. Learning new ideas and best practices from everyone. Priceless.

Broadening Your Knowledge

The resources and a vast amount of innkeeping knowledge is out there, and with a strong innkeeping association they will be more accessible. A strong association will have access to resource information such as: industry studies, either created by AIHP or other sources, articles, news and events posted through regular newsletters. The vendors that have been involved with innkeepers for decades have invaluable knowledge that they are willing to share. And a biggie, advocacy. Forming relationships with powerful companies and associations that influence our industry, like Trip Advisor, AirBnB and American Hotel & Lodging Association is huge.

More Benefits

There is another important one. A true non-profit industry association is there for YOU. Its success is only as big as its members. And what if the members are active and give back to the association? Even better. Giving back can be the greatest benefit! Again this means participating not only in the forums but volunteering at a conference, joining any committees that will be formed, writing articles for a newsletter and participating in any industry studies. There will be opportunities.

Giving must at this point in AIHP’s beginning stages also means…funds. You can learn more about how you can participate in helping YOUR association prosper by following this link that will answer any questions you may have at this point. Just know you will not be funding a past void but a bright future. We are moving forward.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf