Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

The B&B Team

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

Posts Tagged ‘Portland Maine’

H is for Hipsters, Hepcats and Hippies

May 11th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

Travel & Leisure Magazine publishes an annual survey where their readers are invited to vote on ‘America’s Favorite Cities’. Recently the ‘winners’ of a sub category ‘America’s Best Cities for Hipsters’ was revealed. The survey participants were asked to rank 35 metropolitan cities on culturally relevant features like live music, coffee bars and independent boutique businesses. They also included the best micro-brews and the best places to view and connect with ‘offbeat’ and ‘tech-savvy’ locals. Remember when those ‘offbeat folks’ were tagged hepcats? A bit later in our history we got the hippies, thus the evolution to the term hipster. So who are today’s hipsters? Are they the Gen X & Y youth culture customers that is the hot topic of discussion among innkeepers as of late. Let’s take a look.

Every generation has a ‘youth culture’. In other words, hepcat or hippie we were all young once! But cultures evolve to what eventually becomes mainstream culture. For the Gen X & Y technology and the internet are at the center of their culture, they are intensely intertwined with their life. Technology unifies the culture of this generation and makes their life efficient.

Today’s youth culture is also seen as consumers. The focus here is to look at the Gen X/Y Hipster consumer’s wants and needs. We want to identify the how, what and why. This is tough because remember youth culture is continually evolving. The ‘how’ is pretty easy to identify, the internet, social media. The why and what is the moving target. Let’s go back to the Travel & Leisure survey, look at a few of the results which may give us a window into this generation’s consuming mind.

#1 – For those innkeepers located in and around Seattle you are once again at the top of the ‘where’ hipsters like to visit and live. Congratulations! You Seattleites have the edge on the smart and tech-savvy folks as well as high octane coffee. Example: The Walrus and the Carpenter, an oyster bar owned and operated by three Gen Yers offering ‘high quality food in a space that is stripped of pretense and feels like home.’ A hipster magnet!

The Walrus and the Carpenter owners Jeremy Price, Renee Erickson and Chad Dale

#2 – If Seattle is smart, Portland, OR is quirky with great beer, creative street food mixed in with bicycle enthusiasts. Example: Hopworks Bike Bar features stationery bikes that generate electricity for the pub and it is kid friendly. Tinker Toys is the proud sponsor for their pub’s play area. Quirky? Yes but in a real positive interpretation. It can be what makes Portland unique and fun to explore. So to all you quirky (and smart) Portland innkeepers, congrats on your #2 status.

Family Friendly Hopworks for Generation Z

#5 – The other Portland in Maine is a top winner in the food and beverage category which includes coffee and micro-brews. Example: Coffee by Design, a business started by two local Gen Xers with a focus on two of their passions, coffee and community. From a humble street front coffee house to five local shops and a flagship coffee shop in LL Bean, they have created a reason and multiple places for the hip to sip.

#6 – Providence ranks high in its mix of nerds and artists. Performance art and cafes are a great draw for RI hipsters to connect. Example: The Providence Geeks hub AS220. This is a center for concerts, lectures and classes. The Geeks goal is to ‘help RI digital innovators connect and collaborate’. To all the innkeepers in this small but mighty state, your nerd status is dully noted and appreciated. Nerds can be hipsters too!

A Happening at As220

A very interesting thread that runs throughout this survey is that this generational pull is toward places that have thriving and innovative entrepreneurial businesses. William Deresiewicz in his article ‘Generation Sell’ says; “Today’s ideal social form is not the commune or the movement or even the individual creator as such; it’s the small business. Every artistic or moral aspiration – music, food, good works, what have you – is expressed in those terms. The characteristic art form of our age may be the business plan”.

This says to me that the Gen X/Y Hipster is drawn to the new and innovative micro-brew, restaurant, coffee shop/barista and art gallery business because they may be or aspire to be entrepreneurs themselves. I find this very interesting. We know that it is imperative for the future of the small lodging business to market to this generation of youth consumer. We also see them as the innkeepers of the future. The B&B Team notices the interest in innkeeping increasing in this generation and it is very exciting to us.

To all the hepcats and hippies of the past who once claimed the realm of the hip, it’s not over yet! We may appear a bit mainstream to the Gen X/Y Hipsters but we recognize their innovation, their enthusiasm and their desire to view the future as a positive force. I see the entrepreneurial spirit in the Gen X/Y folks that attend our Better Way to Learn Seminars and the PAII Conferences and its real groovy.


G is for Gastronomy

November 14th, 2011 by Janet Wolf

91 South Dining Room and Bar at the PineCrest Inn


Gastronomy is defined in Wikipedia as the art or science of food eating that also involves the discovering, tasting and the experience of eating. Last weekend Rick and I made a reservation at 91 South, the restaurant located at the PineCrest Inn in Gorham, Maine. Our clients, Matt and Amy Mattingly are the keepers of the Inn and their hospitality includes a love of food and wines that results in an extraordinary experience and gastronomic discovery!

From the moment you approach the entrance your senses are engaged. The aroma of roasting spices was the first sensory stimuli start to our evening. The soft lights and sound of live jazz guitar music were next, followed by a warm welcome from Matt and Amy with only a short admonishment for waiting so long to dine with them. Sorry, no excuse!

We walked by the kitchen on our way to the dining room and were briefly introduced to Chef Noah Gaston. On the website the cuisine is described as ‘global comfort food’ with ‘innovative fusion’. Chef Gaston describes his cuisine and passion for food as ‘…the primary gateway into another culture and a form of art…at 91 South we fuse them to bring it all together’. And all together it came, from the variety of wines personally selected by Matt specializing in small vineyards from across the world to the food that we discovered as some of the best we have experienced anywhere. The innovative menu is your next portal to 91 South’s food discovery. Here are a few examples:

maine caprese (*v . gf . vg) tomatoes . mozzarella . olives . basil . blueberry vinaigrette

savory salmon (*v . gf . vg) peppercorn and juniper berry encrusted salmon .roasted cauliflower mash . garlicky broccoli rabe . green peppercorn . cognac

five hour beef shank ( gf .) creamy brie mashed potatoes . fig and apricot jus . roasted asparagus

The * items can be modified to vg=vegetarian, gf=gluten free and v=vegan. This is a very thoughtful added choice for today’s diners.

I know now we should have taken photos of our plates as they were presented to us to accompany this blog because we all know you eat with your eyes first. The presentation is right on backed up by wonderful aromas and taste. After finishing our meal with pumpkin cannoli (Wow!) we were able to chat with Chef Noah. We had to ask about his unusual and flavorful spices we tasted in all our menu choices. He specializes in collecting and blending spices from around the world. These aren’t your ordinary grocery store spice selections.  He mentioned some spices that were new to our knowledge. An example is a blend of roasted spices that is served with slices of fresh warm bread and aromatic virgin olive oil. A double dip and you experience happy mouth bliss!

Chef Noah Gaston

Thank you Matt and Amy for creating the PineCrest Inn and 91 South Restaurant in Gorham, Maine, just a short distance from Portland, Maine. Thank you for  Chef Noah Gaston and your attentive and knowledgeable staff. Thank you for the soft guitar music of Ken Karby and…there must be more. Oh yes, 65 wines offered by the glass. Guess we will have to come back!

Gastronomy can also involve the writing about food and the sensory qualities a dining experience can bring. I hope I have expressed our enjoyment and the next time you are in southern Maine, the PineCrest Inn and 91 South will be your lodging and culinary destination.

Janet Wolf




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