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 ‘Maine’

V is for B&B’s for Vets

August 14th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

As many of you already know, over the past few years on Veterans Day, B&B’s and Inns across the US have offered active and retired veterans free lodging for one night. This was started a few years ago as a grass roots program by an innkeeper in West Virginia that has taken off. 2012 should be a zenith year with PAII taking the lead with listing all participating properties on the ‘Better Way to Stay’ website.

Kristie Rosset, the new Chair of the PAII Board of Directors recently commented on the PAII Forum:

“B&B for Vets, is an ever-evolving process. The BWTS campaign is ever-evolving, with new video recently filmed across North America to highlight the diversity of the B&B experience. Where we are today is not the final product–just like our inns. We keep striving to improve and grow!”

Striving to improve by reaching out and connecting to more and more vets each year, thanking them for their service, one inn at a time, doing what innkeepers do best, providing comfort and service with a smile to those folks who really deserve acknowledgment for their service and sacrifice.

Here is a brief story of one vet The B&B Team is proud to be ‘connected’ with.

“I joined the Air Force in my mid-twenties. I was active duty Air Force from 1984 to 1988 and the Air Force Reserve Component from 1988 to 2007. I was on active duty orders from 2002 to 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, assigned to Northern Command, Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado. I was instrumental in the development and implementation of Northern Command and in support of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, pre- during and post landfall. During my time with NORTHCOM, I was responsible for numerous officers; their schedules, travel arrangements, lodging, orders and travel vouchers. During the hurricanes, I was responsible for standing up the command post and the outreach of hundreds of local, state, federal and international personnel. During my military career, I have coordinated hundreds of ceremonies and been responsible for coordinating meetings on the commander’s behalf. Among all the things I did in the military I also got to travel to many places around the world.”

Before I reveal who this ‘mystery’ vet is I would like to share a quote. For those of you who follow my blogs, you know I love quotes!

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heros and she-roes!” Maya Angelou

Well our ‘she-roe’s” name is Donna Pearce, new innkeeper of  15 days of the Admiral Peary Inn in Fryeburg Maine.

After retiring from the Air Force to early 2012, Donna’s story continues.

“One weekend I stayed at an inn in Maine and fell in love. Drove to their broker’s office in Kennebunk and met Rick Wolf. I had him put a letter of intent on the property the next day. After negotiating back and forth, the deal was made. UNTIL, a higher bid with no contingencies (like selling my house in Colorado!) was accepted. I sure was disappointed but could not blame the owners one bit. So Rick started searching for me and working with me on different aspects of owning and operating a bed and breakfast. The consultant extraordinaire that he is taught me a lot in a short time. He discovered a place that had been on the market for quite some time and called me. I saw the Admiral Peary House the first time in March 2012. A mere two months later I passed papers on the property and spent my first night in my new inn! Since then I have had several family members and friends, old and new, help with making the inn mine. We took down wallpaper, ripped up carpet, laid new floor, moved furniture around, painted, and tweaked. On August 1st I was issued my license by the state of Maine to open the Admiral Peary Inn. Oh and I must tell you, it is seven rooms, my own living quarters, HUGE kitchen and guest dining area, two acres of land (great for my VERY dog friendly inn), formal dining room, formal living room, great room, game room, three season porch, two decks and a library and a mile from the Saco River.”

So you think Donna will offer free nights at her B&B for Vets on Veterans Day? You bet. She also offers like many innkeepers, specials for vets throughout the year. We love Donna’s story and wish her the best in her efforts to strive, improve and grow as new innkeeper and ‘she-roe’ at the Admiral Peary Inn.

Thanks for listening

Janet Wolf


Donna and Friends

F is for Family

March 9th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

the Cranky Empty Nester

“After raising families and pursuing successful careers, we are fulfilling a long standing dream of running a bed and breakfast”. This is a typical statement from empty nester innkeepers of a certain age, you may be one of them. Rick and I certainly were when we purchased our bed and breakfast, our son was in college. On the other hand there have been and continue to be many couples who have built and feathered their nests as innkeepers and have managed to be successful at doing both.

Rick and I had the pleasure of staying at the Saltair Inn Waterfront Bed and Breakfast in Bar Harbor, Maine last month and meeting innkeepers Kristi and Matt and their three (count them one, two, three) young children. The B&B Team conducts many aspiring innkeeping seminars throughout the year and our attendee couples are getting younger and younger and many of them have growing families. A question most of them have is; “Can we realistically raise a family and run a bed and breakfast?

We say yes you can and it can be a wonderful lifestyle for the entire family. Picture this scene; one daughter being swept out of the inn by Matt into the car at 7:30 to be dropped off at choir practice. Later that morning their adorable 5 year old son gets bundled up (dad put one jacket on his son, mom said ‘no not that one, it’s cold today’ and a warmer jacket appeared, sound familiar?) As I viewed this memorable scenario, a blog subject came to mind. I asked Matt and Kristi if they would agree to an interview and talk about their experience as active parents/innkeepers. They generously agreed. The following questions are based on the inquiries that many of our aspiring innkeepers ask us.

Question – How do you maintain the separation of your personal family space from the guest space?

Matt – Walls!

Kristi – We told our daughter Katie who was 5 when we moved here that the threshold separating our home from the inn was between the kitchen and the guest dining room. She started calling it, ’the big house and the little house’. The other kids naturally picked up on this and there has never been a problem.

Kristi – We searched to find an inn that had enough space in the owner’s quarters for us so we didn’t have to share space with the guests. As with any home we spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Question – What is the hardest part of balancing your personal time from your innkeeping time?

Matt – Splitting up the time between the two of us, who does what, can be a challenge. One of us drops off or attends an event while the other stays at the inn. Together we often miss some of the big evening events but we make a point that one of us is always there.

Kristi – But we rarely see both parents at events, sometimes there are no parents attending their kid’s events. Many times one of us may take some time off in the afternoon to take one or two of the kids for a hike or something while the other stays here for check in, how many parents have the flexibility to do that?

Question – Do you ever take time off for just the two of you?

Kristi – Yes in the off season. We went to Phoenix for a week and left the kids with Matt’s parents. We are lucky to have them live nearby.

Matt – We take a two nighter here and there. But everything has to be planned ahead, spontaneity is out the window. We could try harder for the two of us to go out more often.

Kristi – Our daughter Katie (now 11) says to us sometimes; ‘You and Daddy should go to dinner tonight!’

Question – What about family time away from the inn? Is this important to you or not?

Kristi – Again we take time away in the off season. What is important is that we as a family or the two of us have breakfast, lunch and dinner together every day. Much more than other couples or families. This is a real plus to owning your own business where you live.

Question – What do your kids like most about the inn?

Matt – When we don’t have guests! Seriously, I don’t think they know any different, they were all so young when we bought the inn. Adam was born here, he definitely doesn’t know any different.

Kristi – At this time I don’t believe they realize the advantage they have of us being at home with them all the time. Dinners together, etc.

Question – Do you feel obligated or not to welcome families at your inn?

Kristi – No. The inn is really not set up for kids. There are plenty of other places in Bar Harbor with pools, playgrounds and rooms with multiple beds. This is not us.

Matt – Most of our guests are here for a vacation away from their kids. If they ask we tell them our kids don’t have the run of the inn. There has never been a problem. Many of our guests like the fact that we are a family business. They like seeing the kids going off to school and occasionally around the inn, especially grandparents and wanna be grandparents.

Question – Anything you both want to add?

Matt– We’re glad we did this when we did. We were both 35. We know we are much happier because we can be around our kids more than if we had stayed in our other careers. There are many more pros than there are cons.

Kristi – The hard part is owning an old house and the upkeep it takes. Raising our kids here is the easy part!

Thank you Kristi and Matt. To conclude I will add a quote from Trip Advisor from a couple that stayed at Saltair for 8 days last November. “One thing we really enjoyed about this inn was how well Matt and Kristi work together. They’re a team. I love that they’re raising their family and running a successful inn.”

Another quote, this one from Matt and Kristi that appears on their website. “It was a decision that we have never regretted, and likely never will.”

Innkeepers and parents, Matt and Kristi




Cool Hunting in Lewiston/Auburn Maine

June 23rd, 2011 by Janet Wolf

Younger audiences are consumed with ‘cool hunting’ and Lewiston/Auburn Maine is cool. What is ‘cool hunting’? According to Wikipedia it is a term coined in the 1990s referring to a new breed of marketing professionals, called ‘cool hunters’. It is their job to make observations and predictions in changes of new and exciting cultural trends. So why is Lewiston/Auburn cool? They are Twin Cities that have reinvented themselves into a cultural force worth visiting and experiencing. They have everything young people are looking for, urban life, arts and culture, a riverfront, plenty of good restaurants and talented people as well as Bates College, a world class liberal arts school. One needs to go no further than their website L-A: It’s Happening Here! to understand its coolness.
The Economic Growth Committee has also created initiatives for young, creative entrepreneurs and is committed to helping them succeed. These initiatives recently brought in the Baxter Brewing Company started by a young man of 25, Luke Livingston. He has created the first craft brewery in New England to can its entire line of beers. From what I hear they are doing a great business with a growing distribution of their line throughout New England.

Up Up and Away in L-A

Baxter Brewing Co. Logo

Encouraging new creative businesses will ultimately encourage new young visitors to the area as well as those that are young at heart!  Visitors from all generations hunt for places to stay with an experience that they can tell their friends about, in other words bragging rights.  Ware Street Inn is the bed and breakfast in town that can promise the unique experience ‘cool hunters’ are looking for. This unique inn also offers an opportunity for new owner innkeepers to embrace and become a part of the lifestyle of this rising community. The B&B Team is proud to represent the Ware Street Inn for Sale. We believe the inn and the L-A community offers an exceptional opportunity and way of life that aspiring entrepreneurs of any age can embrace and make their own. Just take advantage of the links provided and you will discover for yourself. Its cool man.

Ware Street Inn Staircase. Look for the cool guy half way up!

Graycote Inn – A Retreat from the Everyday

March 10th, 2011 by Janet Wolf

Graycote Inn Front Gardens

When looking for Maine Bed and Breakfasts for sale one often thinks of Bar Harbor.  It is the iconic Maine coastal town for visitors to our great state. Even though we live in Kennebunkport and are quite partial to our bit of coastal paradise, many folks think of Bar Harbor and Acadia when they think of coastal Maine and for all the right reasons.

The early visitors to the area were called “rusticators”.  This was in the mid 1800’s and there were only the local village fishermen and farmers who opened their homes to these visitors for a small fee.  Fast forward and we find 18 hotels that would accommodate 25,000 guests!  During this early growth one of these visitors was John D. Rockefeller Jr.  Fearing commercial encroachments he bought vast tracks of land in 1919 which he donated to the Federal Government.  His foresight gave us Acadia National Park, all 47,000 acres!

Alas, most of the hotels have long been gone as well as many of the early ‘cottages’ that the early wealthy ‘rusticators’ built. If you know your Maine history you know that there was a devastating fire in 1947 that burned over 17,000 acres in Bar Harbor and Acadia.  One era was lost in the fires but another emerged. Many of the surviving grand homes have become some of the most popular of Maine’s Bed & Breakfast Inns.

The B&B Team is privileged to represent the Graycote Inn for sale, one of the grand homes that has been lovingly restored and continues to welcome “rusticators” seeking a true Maine, Bar Harbor experience.  The current owners of the Graycote Inn describe their Inn’s experience as a “Retreat from the Everyday”.  For those seeking a solid business in one of the most popular destination resort  locations in the country this may be the Inn for you.  A place to create your retreat, a place to welcome a new age of “rusticators” and a place to call home, everyday!

Janet Wolf

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.


Eastport…Downeast Maine’s Must See Destination!

September 18th, 2009 by Janet Wolf

One of the joys of being part of The B&B Team is the opportunity we have to work with great Innkeepers at great Inns in great locations.  Many of the locations are in well known ‘destination locations’ and some are in less known ‘undiscovered’ locales. 

Eastport, Maine is a small town on an island accessible by a causeway and is touted as the eastern most US city, where the sun rises first.  Just northeast of Bar Harbor off US Route 1, definitely worth the journey.

So…what’s new in Eastport and what makes it the newest must see destination?  To start with there is The Pickled Herring, Eastport’s newest upscale dining venue.  But don’t let the word upscale turn you away.  More like innovative…clam martini!… that got my attention.  Here are a few excerpts from Trip Advisor reviews that tell it all.

“A most wonderful surprise in a beautiful but under visited Maine seacoast town.  If in the area of Eastport, it is definitely worth the detour.”

“A great meal in an interesting little town, I would recommend a trip to Eastport anyway, but the addition of The Pickled Herring means you can now get an excellent meal while you are there.”

“Eastport has come of age with the recent opening of The Pickled Herring Restaurant.  Everything is fresh, prepared to order and the wood fired grill imparts a wonderful flavor.”

These reviews not only praise a wonderful new restaurant but they also give the reader a glimpse into a most interesting town.  To go back a few years , a 2005 article from Fodor’s Travel News describes Eastport as “still undiscovered by the sunburnt crowds that jam Mt. Desert Island and Bar Harbor every summer, Eastport’s surroundings are as scenic as the more popular downeast destinations.”   Eastport may still be undiscovered in 2009 but for those that work and have businesses there they know there is plenty of ‘downeast Eastport’ to share with the lucky visitors that ‘discover’ their part of the world.  The wealth that the town and surrounding area offers is unique.  Another quote from the Fodor’s article describes the town as having a “wonderfully eccentric vibe”.  With many of the 2,000 locals being artists, writers, filmmakers and now innovative restaurateurs, the creative atmosphere could be catching.

Another way to see Eastport is from the viewpoint of someone that has been vacationing there for almost half a century!

“Let me start by saying I have been going to this island city since the 1960’s. Not a lot has changed in all those years (not a bad thing) we have made a lot of friends here and always look forward to our next trip back.  The sunrise over Campobello is amazing, gotta get up early though.  So much to see:  the Old Sow whirlpool, the tremendous tides, life in the slow lane for sure.”

So whether you stay at a turn of the century campground (as these folks did) or a lovingly renovated, elegant Bed and Breakfast like The Chadbourne House, Eastport’s unparalleled scenery, home grown traditional festivals and events and creative locals welcome you to ‘discover’ them.  Come with an explorer’s heart and you won’t be disappointed!

Janet Wolf