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 ‘B&B location’

K is for the 5 Keys to a Strong Business at your Bed and Breakfast

February 28th, 2012 by Scott Bushnell

Marilyn and I had the good fortune this past weekend to work with 9 excited aspiring innkeepers at our A Better Way to Learn InnkeepingTM  seminar held at the Wayside Inn B&B in Ellicott City, Maryland.  What a great group!  We laughed and networked with Bill and Charlotte Schmickle of the Flag House in Annapolis but the real focus was on the KEYS to a strong business at your inn.

  1. Location, Location, Location
  2. Understanding WHO will be coming to your inn
  3. Wrapping your inn AROUND those guests
  4. Think Sunday-Thursday
  5. Being the Best

Each of these Keys can be put on a continuum numbered, say, from 1-10 with 10 being the strongest.  Let’s look at each one:

  1. Location, Location, Location:  This has been the buzzword for any real estate purchase but for a Bed & Breakfast EACH word has a separate meaning:  The first definition is the Macro-location…is the inn located near major metropolitan areas from which to pull guests?  The more population close at hand (gas is getting more expensive!), the higher on the continuum the rating.  For the Wayside Inn, being located nicely in the Baltimore-DC corridor, this inn ranks high on this Location…perhaps a 9.  The second definition of Location includes the area attractions in that region which will draw guests to the area.  And the broader the diversity of attractions (historical, antiquing, entertainment, soft adventures, etc.), the higher the likelihood of drawing folks out of the nearby metropolitan populations.  The third definition of Location is the Inn itself…its attractive location in the town, its curb appeal and its accessibility.
  2. The second KEY is identifying the guests who will be coming to those area attractions…and what their needs would be.  If the attraction is an amusement park or college, children will be coming.  If there are businesses in the area, corporate travelers have particular needs as well.
  3. Wrapping your Inn around those guests’ needs is the next KEY.  Room features, amenities and services must satisfy the needs of those identified guests.  Business travelers need desks, Wi-Fi, multiple outlets, a forgiving cancellation policy, early breakfasts, and NO advanced deposits.
  4. The fourth KEY can often be a difficult one…Thinking Sunday through Thursday.  Any inn can fill up on the weekend, but that is only 28% of the week…an occupancy not high enough to pay all the bills.  Marketing to corporate guests, elder-travelers, quilting and scrap booking groups, or offering discounts to weekenders to encourage them to stay an extra day or two becomes a high priority targeted activity.
  5. Being the Best.  This KEY is what will keep your parking lot full while the inn across the street wonders how you do it.  Investigate what the competition is doing (and NOT doing!) and Beat Them!  Have the best breakfast in town, offer a welcoming warmth that guests enjoy, and make their experience complete.

This dynamic group of aspiring innkeepers heard this important message and are currently defining the profiles of the inns that are RIGHT for them.  Congratulations to all of them as they continue their journey into the world of inn ownership!      Scott


The 3 Keys to Real Estate

October 29th, 2010 by Janet Wolf

Location Location Location#1 Location. #2 Location. #3 Location.  Somethings never change, and this old adage is just as true today as it was years ago. The phrase that has become a real estate mantra may have first been coined in 1926 in an ad in the Chicago Tribune expounding the virtues of properties located in Rogers Park. Another version attributes the turn of phrase to British real estate tycoon Lord Harold Samuel. Whenever or whoever used these words first is solely of historical interest. The real importance of the trinity lies in the fact that value is central to a property’s location and has been for years.

In the case of  the Lincolnville Beach (Maine) Oceanfront Inn and Restaurant, its location is superb, but the fact that this offering is comprised of 3 (another trinity!) separate parcels of land make this offering even more enticing and attractive to a buyer, investor or…?

This offering represents the Best of Coastal Maine! There aren’t many commercial offerings today with 400 feet of true water frontage. Positioned between the ocean and Coastal Route 1, this is a one of a kind property featuring 1.2+/- acres of prime oceanfront land. The 3 separate parcels of land, 4 buildings, 250 feet of high visibility US Route 1 frontage and ocean breezes is available today for the discerning Investor, Developer, Restaurateur or Innkeeper.

This is a true Oceanfront commercial property with the location x 3 in the charming mid coast Maine village of Lincolnville Beach on Penobscot Bay. The mid coast of Maine is known as the ‘Jewel of the Maine Coast’ and Lincolnville as the ‘Heart of the Maine Coast’, a great description for a grand location and exceptional opportunity. Think of another oceanfront property once upon a time…of a fellow named Peter Minuit who once looked upon the ‘island of Manhattes’…and may have thought…’location, location, location’.

Maybe this opportunity is your opportunity to enjoy the great real estate trinity of location x 3 and parcels x 3!

Rick Wolf

Lake Lure… Carolina On My Mind

October 9th, 2009 by Janet Wolf

Ken Burns most recent documentary series, National Parks-America’s Best Idea, is a brilliant assemblage of stories full of mystery, suspense and adventure, definitely not a tired travel log.  In the last episode of the twelve part series that covers the years from 1945-1980, the focus is on the American tourist that is keen on getting out and exploring their country. There was a renewed sense of wanderlust in those post WWII years and vacationing in our national parks was the perfect place for young families to enjoy themselves easily and affordably.  Beyond 1980 and into the present, we see a renewed wanderlust, where today’s contemporary traveler is searching for meaningful getaways and experiences that promote togetherness among travelers and for destinations that encourage connections to nature, history, or culture. 

What better way to connect with nature than with a visit to one our treasured parks and rediscover what many US travelers have ignored over the past years as they trekked off to Europe or vacationed in high priced island resorts.  Yet beyond our National Parks, and often right next door, there are countless areas of quiet, peaceful scenic beauty that await our visits, places that renew our spirit and make that connection to nature and history so genuine.  There is one place that has been a retreat for the soul for countless generations of travelers from the Cherokee to today’s contemporary destination seeker, Lake Lure, North Carolina.

Janet Wolf