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’s’

Family Reunions

July 20th, 2015 by Janet Wolf

Family Reunions

A good friend sent me a wonderful essay about family reunions. It struck a chord with me because we will be departing for a family reunion in California in just a few days. Since I was a child our family has gathered in just one location. There is much to say about traditions, especially when it comes to family.

There is also something to say about familiarity in a location. I know of many B&B’s that host family reunions and often it is the same family group that books the entire inn on a regular basis. They feel welcomed and are comfortable in familiar surroundings.

I recall years ago visiting an inn that had just hosted a family reunion. The last guests were leaving as we arrived. There were half packed bags, ski equipment and toys strung about on the staircase and a general look of last minute departing frenzy. I recall that the innkeepers were so cool and easy going amongst this disarray. I also remember them saying that this was this family’s 10th visit. Yes, the inn would take a lot of extra cleaning and in general putting Humpty Dumpty back together again, but they would not change it for the world. The innkeepers would turn the inn over to the family for the 3 to 4 days and leave them to enjoy their ‘little interval of time’ to be reunited.

As an aspiring innkeeper or seasoned one I hope you will or have experienced the satisfaction of hosting family reunions at your property. Your inn can become that timeless location where time stops for a while, a place that is or will become special and familiar.

Wolf Cove Inn

Wolf Cove Inn, Poland Maine. Perfect Timeless Location for a Family Reunion

Here is a great quote about a family reunion at a B&B.

“Our group of 20, ranging from 5 to 72 years old, took over most of the inn for a long weekend. “Charles and I visited six or seven times and said what a great place to have a family reunion. The rooms are beautiful and there are a number of suites,” explained Mary. “When you go to breakfast it’s like the movie The Big Chill, everyone is laughing and singing and talking and getting to know each other.” Storytelling was an important aspect of the gathering. What’s important about a reunion,” said Mary “is feeling comfortable in an intimate, casual place like home. Hiltons and Holiday Inns don’t have the same feeling.”

Family reunions

“Relationships fixed early remain fixed, and then all together we watch the nightly fireworks.”

The author of the essay had just left his own family’s 10-year reunion that took place over the 4th of July. He ends with this well written philosophical phrase; “In the long struggle with time, the family is the only clock we have to follow our own passage within it, and occasionally stop it. Relationships fixed early remain fixed, and then all together we watch nightly fireworks.” Yes it is nice to stop time for a short time and no better than with family.

I could go on and on but I must start packing.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

T is for Trust…Especially Between an Inn Seller and Buyer

January 11th, 2012 by Scott Bushnell

Just yesterday I received a call from an innkeeper with whom I have had a relationship who was considering selling his inn, a 7 room bed and breakfast inn in a nearby state.  Just what we do!  Thanks for the call!   We opened up a dialog about the inn, its size, its location, discussed the process, and then I suggested he send me a copy of his 2010 and 2011 financials.  You would have thought I was asking for his FBC (first born child).  “I just will not get into the hassles of trying to explain my financials and business with ANYBODY.  Just sell my inn!”  He was adamant and fixed in his stubbornness.

My antennae went up like a dog’s ears at suppertime.  After failing to convince him that this is an important step to understanding the revenue and net operating income of the inn (to help establish its value), we closed our conversation that perhaps the best way to sell his property is as a residence through the local MLS system since a buyer would never be able to get a commercial loan on that property without the bank seeing the financials.  He was satisfied with that…I guess.

But the point is trust.  I lost trust with him.  Was he cheating the IRS and did not want to let anybody discover it?  Were his numbers so poor that I would be trying to sell his inn only on its potential?  Does he even have records?  All kinds of distrustful thoughts went through my head.  I hope all them are wrong.  If a seller, perhaps even unwittingly, withholds information from a buyer, trust is jeopardized, and with the limited number of buyers and the huge inventory of inns for sale, buyers will look elsewhere.  Building Buyer/Seller trust is critical.  So how is it done?

Like a good Boy Scout…Be Prepared!

  • Having complete and accurate records (including taxes…they will be scrutinized during a buyer’s due diligence period)
  • Track occupancy by month from year to year.  A buyer wants to see the seasonal nature of the inn (especially to understand what happens in the slow season).
  • Have a complete Inclusion/Exclusion list of the furniture and fixtures will transfer with the property and what will go with the sellers.
  • For a smaller inn, have a property condition disclosure (available from any real estate agent) prepared.  This is required in many states anyway.
  • For larger inns, consider a Seller’s Inspection completed BEFORE a buyer’s inspector finds any defects (and they WILL find the problems!),  This inspection demonstrates full disclosure of the condition of the inn, provides a report accuracy defense in the event the buyer’s inspector overinflates the seriousness of a deficiency, and leads to a corrective plan to defuse emotions and begin negotiations.
  • Keep your gift certificate log current
  • Open and honest conversations about marketing, buyer’s opportunities, and full disclosure.

When Marilyn and I were looking for our inn long ago (the Dead Sea was only sick back then), the owner of one of our candidate inns pulled me aside and said “Don’t worry about the numbers, Scott.  I put two kids through college on this inn!”.  We left never to return.  If he was willing to cheat the IRS, he was willing to cheat us.

Innkeepers…think about the “surprises” that made YOU angry when you bought your inn.  We’ve all been there.  Think like the buyer of your inn.  What roadblocks can be removed now to build Trust and not jeopardize the chances of a timely and financially rewarding transfer.

Anybody have any trust surprises when you bought your inn?  We would love to hear about them and what could have been done differently.   Scott

C is for Cost of Doing Business

September 27th, 2011 by Janet Wolf

HangersHangersJay Karen’s Video Blog and the following posts on the PAII Forum got my brain a racin’. Like Jay we at The B&B Team visit many Inns and are also a witness to the good, the great and the not so terrific.  On the subject of hangers let me first reveal a story from my innkeeping days. We had a ‘Housekeeping Checklist’ that included two check points, one to check to see if all six wooden hangers were present and two, to bring all wire/plastic hangers left by the guests down to the laundry room.  When I would do the daily guest room checks I would sometimes find an ‘evil’ wire hanger and recall a scene in the biographical film about Joan Crawford, ‘Mommy Dearest’. The scene reveals Joan, a compulsively clean housekeeper, finding a wire hanger in her daughter’s closet, she then commences to beat the daughter with the hanger while screaming, “NO WIRE HANGERS!” Now understand, I did not beat my housekeepers but would on occasion perform my best Joan Crawford imitation for my housekeepers, just for comic relief.

Now we know that those wooden hangers do disappear on occasion but replacing them falls under the category of the cost of doing business, CODB. This term is generic for ‘expenses that covers all monetary expenditures necessary to operate your business on a day to day basis’. The fixed costs are your mortgage, utilities, insurance, wages, payroll taxes, etc.  Any incidental materials you provide for your guests in the process of doing business in which you really can’t charge extra for have to be absorbed and covered by your profit margins.

We all want to control our costs and price comparing online has become the best way to help keep costs down. I googled ‘wood hangers’ and the best price I found was from A case of 50 nicely finished wooden hangers cost $39. The cost per hanger comes to $.78. I am sure you could find a better price with a little more digging.

 We must always remind ourselves, it is all about the guest. The simple offering of a set of wooden hangers neatly placed in your closets shows you desire to provide for your guests a thoughtful guest room experience.

Now as for the subject of laundry bags, I believe this offering is also very thoughtful. They are standard in hotels, why not B&B’s?  A few innkeepers on the PAII Forum explained they did not want to use plastic bags because of the environmental impact.  I found biodegradable plastic laundry bags on usfi greenworks. A drawback is the minimum purchase is 500 at $.49 per bag. This may present the opportunity to contact your neighbor B&B and share the cost.

Sometimes the simple little offerings innkeepers provide turn out to be very big in the eyes of an appreciative guest. It is all about them.

Janet Wolf

Is Living Social or Groupon Confusing Your Performance Indicators?

July 27th, 2011 by Scott Bushnell

Countless inns are participating in the Living Social and Groupon craze (not sure if I should use the word “fad” there, which implies a short-term shelf life) and, as seen in previous postings from Janet and me, there are a number of “rules of thumb” that can make participation worthwhile.

One thing that is happening, however, is the monstrous effects it has on Occupancy and Average Daily Rate (ADR) calculations…typical discussion mileposts among innkeepers concerning the strength of their businesses.  The voucher bookings send occupancy soaring but the revenue margin on each voucher is miniscule compared to the “normal” operating rates.  Consider this example from this 10 room inn in Pennsylvania:

2010 revenues were about $156,000 and occupancy was 31.7%.  They sold 1156 rooms in 2010 giving them an annual ADR of $135.  Like many inns, they are seasonally slow in January-May and participated in a coupon drop with a net income per coupon (after discount to purchaser and the company) of $47.25.  They sold 413 coupons for a windfall check of almost $20,000…nice bucks in the slow season.

Using their 2010 performance, with these additional 413 room-nights sold, their occupancy for the year LEAPED from 31.7% to 43%!  But because their revenue for the additional 413 rooms was so low, their ADR fell from $135 to $112.

With these indicators was the coupon drop worth it?

Don’t know yet.  The hotels have been using RevPar as their measuring indicator forever.  RevPar is the Revenue per Available Room and is calculated by dividing the total room revenue by the number of rooms in the facility times 365 (days per year).  This combines the Occupancy level and the ADR into one number and makes comparisons so much simpler.

In our guinea pig inn above, the RevPar for 2010 prior to the coupon drop impact was $42.76.  With the addition of 413 room nights at $47.25 each, RevPar increased to $48.10.  This makes an easy correlation when comparing performance indicators from year to year or from inn to inn.

So was the coupon drop worth it?

Some of you just now said, Yes!   (I heard you!) but I am not sure you are right.  RevPar does NOT take into account your expenses and the ultimate impact on Net Operating Income…the REAL driver of the strength of your business.  If the inn’s expenses for the coupon drop are above $47.25 (the revenue received for each one) …their NOI dropped unfavorably.  And, as you have seen in previous postings, an inn’s variable costs (for housekeeping labor, those little soaps, laundry, breakfast, etc.) can easily be $30 or more.

RevPar needs to become the measurement of choice in the B&B industry to replace Occupancy and ADR.  It’ll take a generation or two to evolve, but with the current discounting crazes that will, most likely, become routine marketing tools (thus throwing the traditional indicators into a roller-coaster tizzy), RevPar is the only one that makes sense when comparing performance from year to year or from inn to inn.      Scott

Living Social Tips from Innkeepers

April 6th, 2011 by Janet Wolf

ShoppersAttention shoppers…group buying marketing companies have hit the air waves. In radio days the airwaves were the frequency that transmitted the signals that carried information to the world. We all know what claims the airwaves today, social media.  And the latest addition to the social media tool box is…

If you haven’t heard, Living Social along with Groupon are the front runners when it comes to social commerce. These two companies have attracted the largest audience of consumers.  Since the introduction of Living Social Escapes (many of us were first introduced at the Charleston PAII Conference) there have been a number of innkeepers that have taken advantage of this form of ‘social shopping’.  This is a new way to attract buyers to your brand. Increased exposure, isn’t that what we all need?

I recently interviewed Janel Martin, Innkeeper/Chef (extraordinaire) of The Wakefield Inn in New Hampshire about her experience with Living Social Escapes.

Chef Martin in The Wakefield Inn Kitchen

Q.  What was your motivation for using this social media tool?

A.  Marketing exposure. In the past I tried all the conventional advertising media and spent lots of money with no results. It has been a struggle to get my name, brand out there. I got instant and phenomenal exposure with my package posting. It went viral instantly.

Q.  What did your package include?

A.  I tell myself all the time, sell what you know and what you know will sell. I do cooking classes that are hands on; I love to get the guests involved. So my package includes a cooking class, a massage and a Deneen mug to take home, and the room of course. Oh yes, I believe it is important that the guest take home something with the Inn’s logo to remind them of the great time they had, so don’t forget to pre order the mugs, I ran out!

 Q.  What kind of feedback have you gotten from the participating guests?

A.  They all leave saying they can’t wait to tell their friends about the experience. I got at least 20 new reviews on Trip Advisor from these guests. Also there were at least 100 people that contacted me saying they missed the deadline and was I going to post one again. These are new people that are now in my database. Many of the people are from as far away as Montreal.

Q.  Would you do it again?

A.  Definitely!

Q.  What advice would you want to pass on to innkeepers who are considering putting a special on a social commerce site?

A.  If I was to do it again I would be more specific and firm about the rooms I offer and the dates. It would be for mid-week only and for a shorter period of time. You must structure your package very carefully and be very detailed about what you offer.

                Thanks Janel.

A point that Janel wanted to empathize is that you can do all the number crunching to see if your package will be profitable and that is important but her real motivation was the increased marketing exposure. This is what we at The B&B Team also believe is a prime reason to use any social media tool.  Marketing 101: Draw customers to your sell!  Your package is your invitation to customers to experience what you have to offer and it must be worth their while. If the growing number of customers using social commerce see your ‘escape’ and think it is worth their while than you have a new customer X 100, 200, 300, 400! Is it worth your while too?  Hope this helps you decide one way or the other.

This will a part of a series of interviews I will have with innkeepers that have participated in Living Social. Stay tuned.

Janet Wolf

Travel Packaging-Wrap Up What You Do Best

October 26th, 2010 by Janet Wolf

Here in Kennebunkport we have a local family owned restaurant Alisson’s that runs a great business and has been doing it for about 30 years. When we have our Aspiring Innkeeper Seminars here in the Port we always treat our attendees to dinner on Friday to kick off our seminar. Alisson’s serves the locals and tourists alike with casual dining fare, great service and another important part, fun! They wrap up all three of these important components and do a fabulous job packaging what they do best.

As an example their October calendar offers live music on Wednesday nights and very reasonably priced comfort food specials. Their Tuesday nights have become very popular, packaging ‘Pub Team Trivia’ and $9.95 Prime Rib. Every mid-week night has a reason to go there. They continue to create new value added packages to keep things new and fresh and customers coming through the door.

There are many B&B’s out there that also do a fabulous job of packaging. One example of a B&B that does an unusually good job is the Munro House Bed & Breakfast and Spa in Jonesville, Michigan. Innkeepers Lori and Mike Venturini have created a wide variety of packages that wrap up what they do best. Just like Alisson’s, they have created a package for ‘any day of the week’.

In addition there are many of you out there that want to do more packaging but may feel paralyzed at the thought of where to start. Many of you also may feel  you would like to increase the number of packages you offer or do a better job of it. Help is on the way! The B&B Team and Joe Veneto, ‘The Opportunity Guy’, will be presenting two PAII pre-conference sessions; The Secrets of Packaging Success, Simplified.

The first will be a half day session on Nov. 15 from 1 pm to 5 pm at the PAII New England Conference and Trade Show in Nashua, New Hampshire. The second will be at the PAII 2011 Innkeeping and Trade Show, a full day session from 9 am to 5 pm on January 10 in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. For those innkeepers out there who would like some help packaging ‘what you do best’ we hope you will be able to join us for either one of these sessions. You will come away loaded with information, ready to ‘wrap’ those packages, make more money and have fun along the way.

Janet Wolf

Vintage Ohio

July 22nd, 2010 by Janet Wolf

From a quaint New England village to an island paradise in Hawaii, all of the inns in the small lodging industry have great locations to share with guests. Some locations are well known to the world, while others are unique and extraordinary but have less world wide appeal.

One destination that fits this definition has been described as follows; “…rolling vineyards, sparkling lakes, quaint country sides, unique gift shops, picnics in the sunshine, festivals, tours”. You may think this is a narrative describing Lake Como, Italy or California’s Napa Valley. No, these words are from a travel promo from the Ohio Wine Producers Association. And yes, on the southern shores of Lake Erie there is an area that came to be known as the “Lake Erie Grape Belt” which can be traced back to 1820 when a domestic variety of grapes called Catawba was first planted. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow even wrote a poem titled “Ode to Catawba Wine”. In fact due to this poem, by 1860 Ohio supplied 1/3 of the nations wine and out produced California 2 to 1. What great PR. It may have taken a bit longer to get the word out (decades before our tech driven social media craze) but it did the trick!

Time passes and the southern Ohio wine district hits hard times. The Civil War creates a shortage of manpower to tend the vines and by the time Prohibition laws are passed (time to make the grape juice), the few wineries left struggle. A new era emerges in the 1900’s and Geneva-on-the-Lake, known as ‘Ohio’s First Summer Resort’ becomes a fashionable destination with the likes of Rockefellers, Fords and Firestones. Today it remains as a fun summer resort getaway destination for all.

The wineries in this location produce excellent cool weather wines, such as Riesling, Gewürztraminer, and Pinot Gris as well as award winning ice wines. But you will find a much wider selection of wines to sample along the wine trails with twenty wineries in Northeast Ohio. You may already know or could surmise from the description of this destination location that there are bed and breakfasts and country inns that have grown up and thrived along with the vines.

The Lakehouse Inn and Winery, located on the shores of Lake Erie on the west end of Geneva -on-the-Lake, not only provides fine lodging but has its own winery. Their spectacular shoreline scenery is the perfect spot to dine and experience local wines and then retire to your guest room, climb into bed and listen to the lapping of lake waters on their sand beach. I’m in, when is the next flight to Cleveland? They are a great example of a property that has taken full advantage of their location.

There is a quote that I like from a brand marketer Tom Traynor; “Every place has some distinction, some reason to live there, work there, VACATION there, rather than someplace else.” We at The B&B Team work with inns in great locations, from sea to shining sea. It is a great pleasure when we work with innkeepers that love where they live and develop their properties into places where guests can experience all their location has to offer. Travelers love to experience and discover new places, as well as return to familiar ones. That is what travel is all about.

Have you taken full advantage of your location, its history, its uniqueness, and its distinct pleasures?

Would love to hear from you.


Mystery of Mattresses Uncovered

June 28th, 2010 by Janet Wolf

As an innkeeper and homemaker I have always been baffled by the mattress industry. Did you ever have a mattress salesperson give you a straight answer? The more you shopped, the more confused you got.

Recently Rick and I ventured out to buy a new mattress. Just by chance we stopped in at America’s Mattress in Scarborough, Maine which just happened to be next door to a golf shop, (guess where we shopped first)? We were greeted by a salesman who turned out to be the answer to my mattress shopping dreams. He was smart and boy did he know his business. He had great questions which helped us narrow down our choices to three mattresses and we were able to make a choice and purchase within 30 minutes. Hallelujah!

Because I was so impressed with our salesman, Ed Walters, I decided to give him a call and interview him for this blog posting. I thought if he could be helpful to individuals choosing a mattress than he would most likely have some good advice for innkeepers when purchasing mattresses for the wide variety of body types that seek that ‘heavenly, blissful and perfect sleep’ in your inns.

Question: “What is the main ingredient innkeepers should look for in purchasing a mattress?”

“Support is # 1 and comfort level is # 2. The mattress should be a combination of the two. Innkeepers need to satisfy a host of different people and personal preferences. A very firm or a very soft, cushier feel may not be the way to go. A medium firm spring (support) and a medium compression topper (comfort level) is a good way to go.”

Question: “The longevity of mattresses seems to vary widely. How long should a mattress last?”

“A good quality mattress should last from 8 to 10 years, an entry level mattress will only last 4 to 8. All mattress manufacturers give you a warranty. For example a good ‘rule of thumb’ is a mattress that offers a 20 Year Warranty will last at least 10 years.”

Question: “So what you are saying is pretty basic, the more expensive, or higher level mattress the longer it will last?”

“Not more expensive necessarily, but yes, a good quality mattress built with quality materials.”

Question: “This leads into my next question. Innkeepers are generally shopping with a budget in mind while looking for good value but not skimping on quality. What do you recommend for innkeepers?”

“I have good long time relationships with my hospitality customers. When we have sales or when we need to clear out our floor samples, I will call these customers and work with them and their budgets.”

“This sounds like a win, win situation. You clear out your floor samples and the innkeepers get good deals. Just like innkeepers need to build personal relationships with their guests, you are building relationships with your loyal customers with your personalized service.”

“Sounds good to me!”

Question: “In the May 2010 Consumer Report magazine, a ‘sleep specialist’ says you might want to avoid memory-foam mattresses if you sleep ‘hot’, that is tend to be warm in bed. What is your opinion on that statement?”

“That is a broad statement. Memory Foam is a ‘closed cell foam design’ which restricts air flow and can be very warm. Latex is an ‘open cell design’ which can be temperature regulating and can offer better ventilation. A firm coil spring mattress with a natural foam latex topper is a good combination. Also, nothing lives in latex (like germs, bacteria, etc.) and latex doesn’t pack down as quickly as fabric.”

I had many more questions for Ed, but decided to keep this blog posting short and not too complicated (like mattress shopping!). What I got from his statements is that the main ingredients to consider when purchasing a mattress is support, comfort and durability, all three of equal importance. Also, looking for a good quality medium firm and medium compression topper is a smart choice for the many body types that seek a comfortable sleep in your inn’s beds. And don’t skimp on the quality, you don’t want to have to replace your mattresses every 4 years! But a very important ingredient in our viewpoint at The B&B Team is finding a person like Ed who gives great customer service and a company you can trust and feel comfortable working with. This is something we at The B&B Team also strive for. Time is a most precious commodity with innkeepers and having the service that Ed provides for his hospitality customers is priceless and timeless.

Thanks Ed!

Do you all know what fairytale the picture depicts?


A Good Table

June 17th, 2010 by Rick Wolf

After Peter’s recent posting about the simple joys of sitting on the porch and the numerous comments it elicited, I thought I would share a brief ‘reading’ with you…one I wished I had written, but will be pleased to share with you instead.

A couple of weeks ago, Jan and I went to the wedding of Kate Lindblom, the daughter of Innkeepers Sarah and Erik Lindblom of The Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport. It was a beautiful day for the wedding, Kate was a lovely Bride and Sam the handsome Groom, and it was so nice to spend the afternoon with friends and colleagues in a wonderfully non-business environment.  There was an abundance of food and wine after the ceremony and we were all enjoying an early summer afternoon in Maine.  There were toasts from the best man, the maid of honor, and another from Kate and Sam’s friend, Finn MacDonald.

Finn is one of the Owner/Innkeepers at our old inn, the Captain Fairfield Inn. Finn’s toast brought a thoughtful hush over the crowd with its simple elegance and heartfelt meanings.  With Finn’s permission, I would like to share it with you now…and share a photo of us with family at our Good Table when we were Innkeepers.

“A Good Table

Beginning tonight, let there always be a good table for you both to gather around.

Let it host friends and family.

Let it present birthday  cakes, Thanksgiving Turkey, everyday meals, leftovers, your new best efforts and your burnt best efforts.

Let milk spill.  Let fists pound. Let hands unite in prayer.  Let the wax of candles drip.  Let the rings of beer bottles multiply.  Let the day’s trivial gossip and life’s great questions speak freely.  Let others bore you to tears.

Let the sturdy legs and a strong surface absorb frustration, pain, uncertainty, and fear.  Let it be the stage to let it all out on…then, let it be the foundation to build from.

Let date nights, late nights, anniversaries, picnics, pizza, salad bowls, super bowls, chowda, chili, ice cream and cake bring you together. Let your focus, for just a moment, be on the person next to you or across from you.  Let the rest of life wait until you’re finished.

Let this table take some responsibility off of your love for each other.  Let there always be a good table in your life.

No matter what distance or disturbance may exist in your life, let the table be a bridge or a barrier.  Let it be a functional bond.

Let that Good Table bring you both together.

Thanks Finn for allowing me to share your words.  My wish to you all is that as you charge through your busy days as Innkeepers, taking care of your guests and your business, that you allow time into your day to take care of yourselves and to enjoy the ‘Good Table’ in your life.


Green Luxury

April 26th, 2010 by Janet Wolf

I recently read a great article written for Eco Salon, an on-line lifestyle blog featuring eco-friendly advice, entitled Trend on the Wane: Hotel Toiletries. The author, Kim Darby states that: "Luxury in the past has implied waste, but increasingly, luxury is being defined as what is most comfortable and thoughtful, not disposable.  I find it refreshing that luxury can now rest graciously in the same sentence with words like recycle, conserve and green consciousness."

As an Innkeeper I always hated throwing away so many little plastic bottles and barely used bars of soap. For a time we were able to donate them to a local women's shelter but were then told we couldn't do that any longer because of a new ordinance stating this practice was unsanitary.  The B & B Team is always looking for current information that we can share with our aspiring and current Innkeeper clients.  That is why I was so excited when I found Clean the World at PAII'srecent Innkeeping Conference in Austin. This program offers Innkeepers a great solution in managing their amenities waste.  Clean the World offers a Bed and Breakfast Partnership Program where Innkeepers simply collect used amenities and ship them to the Clean the World Recycling Center in Orlando, Florida. They then process the donations into products and donate them to countries that use them to help fight diseases caused by lack of cleanliness. All your staff time and goods donated are tax deductible and the organization will provide Innkeepers with quarterly statements detailing the amount of soap and shampoo donated during that period.

Another solution to amenity waste management is the use of refillable wall-mounted dispensers.  This practice has been used in European hotels for many years and is now being used more and more in the states. Many of the PAII vendors that supply amenities offer a limited choice of their luxury products in bulk containers. Innstyle offers Natura brand shampoo, conditioner and body wash in bulk containers as well as attractive dispensers.  Pineapple Hospitality offers a variety of 'green' amenities and dispensers.  Gilchrist and Soames and Greenwich Bay Trading Co.offer some of their luxury products in bulk containers as well. Some of the products are now offered in more bio degradable plastic containers as well as paper bottles.  As an example, Gilchrist and Soames offers their Beekind brand in the paper bottles.

I love the fact that Innkeepers now have more choices of 'green' luxury amenities to offer their guests as well as a great solution to managing amenity waste with the Clean the World program. We would love to hear from Innkeepers that have signed up for the Bed and Breakfast Partnership Program as well as what luxury green amenities you are currently using.  Go Lux Green!

Janet Wolf