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 ‘innkeeping’

PAII Innkeeping Conference and Trade Show of Shows

January 21st, 2013 by Janet Wolf


The PAII ‘Rat Packer’ Staff


Jay welcoming us all to Las Vegas, great hair Jay!

Whether this is your first PAII conference or your umpteenth, the upcoming 2013 conference in Las Vegas promises to be be quite entertaining. I know that Jay Karen and the entire staff are gearing up and making last minute plans. Take a look, here they are looking so cool, ready to take over Vegas.

There is a rumor that Jay is planning a very special welcome for this year’s conference attendees. Here is my crazy guess.



Now I know that according to the ad campaign ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas’ but for innkeepers attending this conference you will be taking some things home with you to your Inns, like knowledge, great ideas to implement, new amenities, media tools and lots of great memories. The B&B Team would like to be a part of the education that you take back with you. Peter and Rick will be presenting sessions as will Dana Moos, one of our newest additions to our team. Scott Bushnell will be in charge of Audio/Visual and room set up as well as presenting at the Aspiring Innkeeper Day. Marilyn Bushnell is heading up the coordination of Food and Beverage for the conference. But wait there is more, our latest addition, Eliot Dalton will also be there swingin with the team. Oh and Peggy Scherman and I will also be there, you’ll find us at the tables…our booth tables of course.

To top off the festivities, The B&B Team is celebrating our 20th Anniversary this year and would love to welcome all our old and new innkeeping and vendor friends at our booth on the trade show floor. Stop by and help us celebrate. So get out your bangles and beads, get ready to recharge your batteries and meet us at the Tropicana on January 28-31. Can’t wait!

Thanks for listening,

Janet Wolf


Chester Vermont-Country Inn and B&B Mecca

January 16th, 2013 by Janet Wolf

Chester, "the Vermont you've been hoping to find"

Chester, “the Vermont you’ve been hoping to find”

In southern Vermont lies a quiet, friendly town, Chester. The town is known for many things, it boasts of two historical districts and three villages as well as zero stoplights! Its location is idyllic, nestled on the eastern slopes of the Green Mountains in the heart of Okemo Valley, the well-known ski and year round cool resort for all. It is also known for the number of bed and breakfasts that dot the village streets and countryside. The Chester Vermont Innkeepers Association lists 13 properties totaling 125 rooms. In days of yore travelers would journey by stagecoach along the Green Mountain Turnpike that stretched between Boston and Montreal. Chester was a major stop for many a weary, hungry and thirsty traveler. Like many towns and villages in New England, Chester had an Inn and tavern that became the anchor of the Main street business district and it still stands as vibrant and welcoming as it did in those early days.

Going back to the article about Norman T. Simpson from 1982 featured in my previous blog, I quote the author; “It was near dinner time. The fire crackled and flames leaped high in the brick fireplace in the Inn. Guests and townspeople came in from the cold winter night, and stood in front of the blazing fire for a few moments before going into the formal dining room or the more rustic tavern.” This scenario has been played out numerous times in country inns everywhere, such a welcoming vision.

The fire crackled and flames leaped high

The fire crackled and flames leaped high

This Chester Vermont Inn with its lantern shining brightly is the gathering place for locals and travelers from away who join together around the constant welcoming hearth. The Inn features fine yet casual dining and tavern fare and has facilities for meetings and events. Yes there may be a number of restaurants and watering holes throughout the region but being the anchor, innkeepers of the Inn will always have that strong standing in the community. It is a great place to be. The lodging has been recently refurbished and rounds out the total picture.

The anchor of Main Street

The anchor of Main Street

The B&B Team is proud to represent this quintessential Country Inn in Chester, Vermont. Norman, in his search for country inns always looked for inns with a “distinctive personality, integrity, pride and dedicated inn keeping.” If you as an aspiring innkeeper are also searching for these qualities in a country inn or bed and breakfast we can help guide you through your search. The Okemo Valley Country Inn we are offering for sale is a prime example of the kind of Inn Mr. Simpson visited and recommended in his many travel books. The B&B Team invites you to read, learn and be inspired and join us in one of our ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ Seminars. I think Mr. Simpson would concur.

Thanks for listening

Janet Wolf


Airbnb – In the Air or Your Backyard?

October 9th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

[365] 073

Great experience,NOT.

There was a recent thread on the PAII Forum initiated by Scott Thomas, innkeeper at the Brewster House Bed and Breakfast in Freeport, Maine. Quoting Scott; “Just received a solicitation to become a member of Airbnb (for “free”). …they offered to create a free listing for us, then we could log in and change things.” This really got my attention. I didn’t realize they were soliciting legitimate lodging businesses. What next, door to door solicitation in residential neighborhoods? Here is a bit of background on this groundbreaking ‘collaborative consumption’ business.

Airbnb was born in September ’08 and has grown in leaps and bounds. Just like the concept of Airbnb is troubling to the hospitality industry, its growth is scarier. They are in 192 countries and 24,693 cities. The statistics change daily but the latest from their website claims 10 million nights booked since their conception. Their recent bad publicity, (a host’s property was trashed), is being addressed aggressively. They make it very clear to all about their 1 million dollar insurance guarantee for their renter client’s assurance. It sounds like they are really trying to cover their proverbial derriere big time. Here is a statement from their website. “Please note that Airbnb assumes no responsibility for a host’s compliance with any applicable laws, rules and regulations.” So who is responsible? Who gets blamed when things go wrong?

Here is the problem as I see it and I am sure most innkeepers will agree. Airbnb is getting away with murder. The website is slick and professional and the process of booking is streamline, so nothing appears illegal or problematical on the surface. I hope legitimate bed and breakfasts innkeepers don’t get enticed. Scott Thomas certainly wasn’t. He received a follow up email stating they had created a draft listing for his approval and stated he can edit it at any time and quote:”If you like the listing, we can make it appear in search results allowing people to discover the Brewster House.” Again the process for the host property appears to be slick and streamlined as well.

The legality of Airbnb has been speculated on and addressed by municipalities since its beginning but what is disturbing is that it not only continues to operate but thrives. Cities like San Francisco (where the company’s headquarters are) are actively attempting to deal with the problem. They know that Airbnb represents a loophole and that the owners of the host properties listed on thier site fall under the city’s definition of a bed and breakfast, and thus are breaking the law. From their statement on their website,”…they assume no responsibility for a host’s compliance with any applicable laws.” So again we ask the question, who gets blamed and in turn gets punished? As in many cases when a powerful  phenomenon like Airbnb prevails and prospers the law abiding businesses often suffer. We have seen it happen in New York City. Last May Jay Karen testified on behalf of the B&B industry before the New York State Assembly Committee on Housing with a NYC innkeeper, Vanessa Milando. Like San Francisco NYC is attempting to crack down on the illegal ‘hotels’ operating outside the perimeter of state regulations. All good on the surface but in the process the legitimate B&B’s in the city were fined a very large and punitive amount of money. Please read the press release detailing Jay’s involvement and testimony in this case.

Airbnb claims they will work closely with city and town officials and here is their unbelievable spin on why ‘collaborative consumption’ is good for municipalities and consumers. “Airbnb seamlessly integrates travelers into a neighborhood’s existing infrastructure, relieving congestion in tourist zones and distributing their economic impact to new neighborhood economies – which is a win-win for residents and businesses in those areas.”

Ask any innkeeper and I believe they would love a share of that tourist ‘congestion’ on their reservation books! Also what about the tourist who prefers to stay in a ‘tourist zone’, it is called a destination location. And about the win-win, all on the side of Airbnb in my opinion. So be alert and fasten your seatbelts, there may be a bit of Airbnb turbulance coming.

Recent article on the issue worth reading. Read more on the subject.

Thanks for listening

Janet Wolf

Comic Relief

May 22nd, 2012 by Janet Wolf

Bob -Innkeeper?

We all need to laugh sometimes or a great deal. Rick and I are fortunate to have a brother-in-law who makes us laugh a lot. Just before we bought our bed and breakfast we were staying with my sister and brother-in-law over the holidays. We were presented with the following on our departure. We still laugh out loud whenever we read this. Hope you enjoy this bit of comic relief and have a good laugh.


Bed and (no) Breakfast

Guest: Mr. Rick Wolf

Referral: Grand Winner – FREE Lodging Rose Parade Contest

Lodging December 29, 1991- January 2, 1992     No Charge

Additional charges not covered in promotional offer

Added guest (adult)     $240.00

Added guest (junior)     160.00

Honors Bar     36.00

Hiding the Dessert Penalty     50.00

Stand Up Shower      12.00

Cocktail Service (+ delivery charge)     112.00

Limousine Service     80.00

Phone Service     24.00

Utilities Premium (flush toilet)     9.00

Maid Service   72.00

Recreational Facilities     100.00

Phone Abuse     25.00

Cable Television Surcharge     6.00 X 8 = 48.00

Seasonal Premium    125.00

Concierge Services     100.00

Family Surcharge     1000.00

Food Service     35.00

Total Charge for Free Visit     $2,173.00

15% Gratuity ($500. minimum)     500.00

Total     $2,673.00                                                                

Additional charges will be added as they are thought of.

Thank you for your patronage. If you have any comments or suggestions, please keep them to yourself.

We reserve the right to refuse anyone even if you have paid.


Thank you Bob for being our brother-in-law and making us laugh a lot! The check is in the mail.

Janet and Rick