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 ‘Select Registry’

Vermont is a Strong Brand

January 12th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

Vermont is a strong brand

View of Bromley Mountain, Vermont

As US states go, Vermont is a strong brand. What comes to mind this time of year is Snow, with a capital S.  For downhill skiers, snowboarders and snowmobile enthusiasts, Vermont’s snowfall is the envy of the nation. This according to the Burlington Free Press.

In fall it is the ultimate leaf peeper locale. Early spring brings maple syrup and the prospect of the most spectacular lush shades of green seen anywhere.

Vermont is also synonymous with country inns and cozy fireside bed and breakfasts. To prove this, here are a few quotes from an early Country Inn & Back Roads directory by Norman T. Simpson. For those of you who may not know, Norman and his directory were the foundation of Select Registry. Norman passed away in 1988 but his words and legacy live on.

Vermont is a strong brand

Country Inns and Back Roads

Describing a country inn in Stowe. “The gentle summer mood of northern Vermont is reflected in this gracious Green Mountain hostelry.”

I love Norman’ descriptions and how he identifies the simple pleasures of the Vermont inns he visited .

  • The laden book shelves set by the gathering room hearth.
  • Fresh muffins with small pots of country butter.
  • A friendly maple outside your guest room window.
Vermont is a strong brand

Kitzof Inn, Mt. Snow

Now here is another quote from Norman that many innkeepers and guests can identify with.

“The floor has an engaging list to port but that’s part of the game of country inns.” I have never heard anyone describe a tilting floor in such an appealing and positive way! Beautiful.

This is Vermont’s brand. Rich in a legacy of hospitality (and tilting floors). Allot has changed in the 40 plus years since Norman’s Country Inns & Back Roads was published. Many of his featured country inns and bed and breakfasts still exist and some are…just history. Many have undertaken expansions and renovations keeping the strong Vermont hospitality brand alive. Yet many are in a prime position for new owners to add their creative touch, their own personalized legacy. This is where The B&B Team can assist you, the aspiring innkeeper. We invite you to start your search for bed and breakfast inns for sale in Vermont right here.

Vermont is a strong brand

Hearthside at the Shoreham Inn & Gastropub

Whether it is a local landmark country inn in Chester,Vermont…an authentic lodge style bed and breakfast in Bromley Mountain ski country…a custom built resort lodge at the base of Mt. Snow…a classic historic country inn in Shoreham, Lake Champlain Valley …or a Main Street village boutique country inn in Quechee. The variety of these offerings is as rich and varied as the state of Vermont!

Vermont is a strong brand

Melding of modern & antique at this Quechee boutique country inn

If you are looking for Vermont inns for sale, we welcome you to give us a call. The Vermont brand is strong and enduring. A good place to build your business and your home.

Another Norman quote. “We were looking for the ‘lost Vermont” and we found it here. Gardens, trees, peace, history, laconic natives, covered bridges, mountains, lakes, antiquing, auctions…a sort of warm feeling of coming home.”

Chester VT country inn blanketed in snow. Watercolor by Debra Webster Irons

I will end this writing with how I started…Snow. 2017 Vermont state predictions from the Farmer’s Almanac.

“…slightly above-normal precipitation and near-normal snowfall. The snowiest periods will be in mid-November, late January, mid- and late February, and early to mid-March.”

Sounds about right to me and Vermont innkeepers are thrilled.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Green Living Lodging

February 18th, 2016 by Janet Wolf

green living lodging

Birchwood Lodge & Farmette cottage

Kermit the Frog once reflected in song that it wasn’t easy being green. Today Kermit would be a great spokesfrog for living green and promoting eco-friendly practices. Green is in! Go Kermie.

There is an increasing interest in staying in lodging that is more sustainable. Starting in 2013 Trip Advisor launched its GreenLeaders program.

‘The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Program showcases a variety of eco-friendly hotels and B&Bs, from budget to luxury – and they’re all committed to green practices like recycling, local and organic food, and electric car charging stations.’

Back in 2013 ‘Travelocity polled consumers about their usage of the new site, results showed that 23% of respondents had made a deliberate choice to go eco-friendly in their travel choices, and 85% felt better about their trip after doing so.’

Now 2013 stats are ancient history but eco-friendly and green living practices are growing and I am sure the percentages are much higher today. I personally like seeing the separate recycling receptacles in the guest rooms. I love hearing about the local food used in the breakfast. From solar panels, rain barrels to eco-friendly toiletries, it’s all good. In addition, the Tesla and electric charging stations being installed in Select Registry Inns is a great example of a forward looking green living vision for hospitality.

Birchwood 68

On the coast of Maine, the Birchwood Lodge & Farmette is a property that is hyper green living, hyperlocal with a real sense of place. It started as a 1940’s era roadside motel with location, location, location. On scenic Route One in Camden with water views of Penobscot Bay. Current innkeepers purchased this basic roadside motel fourteen years ago. They had a vision and the evolution into what Birchwood Lodge is today is a beautiful thing.

green living

Guest rooms all have Pergo floors, platform beds and clean line simplistic furnishings

Here are a few quotes from an article ‘Maine hotels find what’s good for Earth is good for business’. Birchwood Lodge innkeepers Simon and Jenny were interviewed.

“Simon leads a visitor around the back of the low-slung motel and past a flock of curious chickens to show off a big red barn built next to the pond the Simons made to collect storm water runoff.  Because of the barn, those rows and rows of vegetables and fruit bushes and trees planted behind the motel made visual sense.  We say we’re a ‘farmette,’” Simon said with evident satisfaction.

The rules in the garden are simple. “Can we use it for something or can nature use it for something?” she said. “Otherwise, why is it here?”

Penobscot Bay Views from the Birchwood Lodge & Farmette

Penobscot Bay Views from the Birchwood Lodge & Farmette

These quotes really give you a true picture about the innkeepers and their green living lodging misson. And the photos tell a truer story, and they don’t lie!

Green living is not only about best practices but also about savings (money as well as compost!). The Birchwood is partially sustained using solar panels that have cut the property’s oil usage by 2/3.

In conclusion, more words from Kermit…

green living

‘I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful!’

Green’s the color of Spring. And green can be cool and friendly-like.

And green can be big like the ocean, or important like a mountain, or tall like a tree

I am green and it’ll do fine, it’s beautiful! And I think it’s what I want to be.

The Birchwood Lodge & Farmette in Camden is a property for sale by The B&B Team that not only celebrates green living and best eco-friendly practices but surrounds itself with the beauty of green, ‘cool and friendly like’. If you are a buyer that is looking to establish yourself in Maine in a lodging business that is ready for you to embrace and make your own, then this may be your opportunity. Green also means GO!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Norman T. Simpson – Country Inns and Back Roads

January 10th, 2013 by Janet Wolf

Back roads lead to the 'perfect inn'

A Perfect Back Road

Once upon a time there was a man by the name of Norman T. Simpson. He travelled the roads of our vast country and wrote of the unique country inns he visited. He talked with the innkeepers and the guests and quoted their words of wisdom and advice. His comments were light hearted and full of witty truisms and local country lore. Each entry in his travel books are a joy to read. If you can get a hold of an old edition it is worth the find. I picked up one in a used book store a few years back for $1. My first thought when rereading some of the entries was what a great blogger he would have been! As many of you may know he was the father of Select Registry. Mr. Simpson died in 1988 at age 69 but what a legacy he left behind. He helped what was then known as a ‘cottage industry’ grow, today the bed and breakfasts and country inns he introduced to the travelling public have flourished under the leadership of Select Registry and PAII, our national organization. The rest as they say is history and the 400 inns he originally recommended have grown into thousands.

I found a wonderful article written in 1982 entitled “America turns ‘in-ward’ and Norman T. Simpson is showing the way”. Simpson was quoted in the article about when he first started his travels and writings in the mid-60’s.

“Finding real inns – as opposed to hotels or motels that call themselves inns – was a problem. Although definitions of inns vary, Simpson and other experts agree there are several common ingredients. Besides a certain distinct ”atmosphere,” derived in part from its antiquity, an inn must ”draw people together” in camaraderie and friendship.”

”You tend to find friendship replacing many of the amenities of a large hotel,” says Wayne Berens, president of Revere Travel Inc. ”The people who like to stay at country inns are also really looking for a kind of tranquility that they may not find in a large glass and steel hotel.”


The man himself!

‘Mr Country Inn’

Thirty-one years ago and many of these quotations could be written about today’s bed and breakfasts and country inns. I am not one to recommend living in the past. The B&B Team is a huge supporter of  ‘A Better Way to Stay’ campaign. Evolving and adhering to today’s traveler’s changing needs and staying in tune with current travel trends is very important and much needed for the health and growth of our industry but… understanding the origins of our small lodging industry is also very important.  Phrases like; ‘distinct atmosphere’ and ‘drawing people together in camaraderie and friendship’ and travelers seeking ‘a kind of tranquility’. Those distinctions are timeless and should never be forgotten.

Later in the article Mr. Simpson was asked which inn was his favorite. Being a gentleman and smart businessman he answered brilliantly and diplomatically.

”I refrain from choosing favorites,” he says. ”Aside from the fact it is not a very good idea, it is also a very difficult question to answer. It depends on your mood and I find in almost every case that where I am is the place I like best – whether it’s up in the Vermont woods or on the California coast.”

For him, finding the ideal country inn is ”a state of mind”. If you bring that state of mind with you, you’re going to find the perfect inn.”

Taking Norman T. Simpson’s lead and inspiration I plan to post some future blogs about some of the back road country inns The B&B Team is representing for sale. Many of which were in the original travel books by Simpson.

First posting will be about Chester Vermont. Stay tuned.

Thanks for listening,

Janet Wolf




First Days of Innkeeping

July 16th, 2012 by Janet Wolf

Yoshio and Diane attending The B&B Team’s Better Way to Learn Innkeeping Seminar last November in Kennebunkport, Maine

‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’, advice we hear frequently. But with new innkeepers starting off in the height of the season that small stuff can seem awfully BIG. Many of you may recall your first jittery days as innkeepers and can look back with a nostalgic chuckle or two. We received a very expressive email from newbie innkeeper, Yoshio Endo last week that we would love to share. Yoshio and Diane Endo purchased The Inn at Ormsby Hill in Manchester Vermont earlier this month. The B&B Team was proud to represent the Endos in the sale of this beautiful Select Registry, Four Diamond AAA property. Read on and see if any of this ‘small stuff’ sounds familiar.

“Friday the 13th was our 3rd day as innkeepers. The first day was frightening with the movers unloading and 3 guest check-ins. Diane was working until 10 pm to get prepared for breakfast the next morning. We didn’t even know where the light switches were for the outside and other places (as we never went through the night closing routines). We forgot how to adjust the air conditioning zone for some of the guest rooms and the guests were coming any time. Panic time! But we figured it out in the end.

The breakfast on the 2nd day was a bit rough as Diane was not used to the oven and each oven seems to have its own kinks. The bread did not come out as practiced in Westport and the hot entrée was suspicious of being slightly undercooked. The Japanese buns came out in funky shapes and certainly looked homemade, not very professional. Just when the guests started to sit down, I went to get an extra juice glass and dropped it. The glass shattered in the dining room with me standing like a deer in a head light. Candi, our housekeeping guru, came to the rescue. The guests were really great and very accepting of my mistake. We got lucky this week with a great group of people. Diane served 12 breakfasts on the 2nd day and 14 on the 3rd. There were supposed to be 15 tomorrow but two are leaving early so they are skipping breakfast. We offered to make a special arrangement for an early breakfast but they knew how busy we were and graciously declined. We gave them our travel mug in lieu of breakfast and they gave us a hug!

One less juice glass

There was a party of four who were very experienced B&B travelers so they researched and booked their own restaurant. They asked me about the restaurant but we had never been so I could only give them a general description.

Saying the good-byes and the thank-yous is the best time of the innkeeping experience. It is so fulfilling and rewarding! Confirmation of the right decision we made…did not know we would get that feeling as quickly as we did.

Today those frantic days seem to have passed and we even had time for dinner on the patio after the guests had gone to dinner. Your advice to have time for each other away from the millions of things rushing in our heads is truly the best advice. We can’t forget why we wanted to do this to begin with. A balance in life…

It’s 9:45 pm and I am waiting for the guest who said they would check-in between 8 and 9. Well, that too is innkeeping. I am getting thirsty, if you know what I mean!

P.S. I didn’t get to finish my story about the experienced B&B travelers who booked their own restaurant. Despite my extremely limited information about the restaurant and not being able to help them much, the guests talked about us at the restaurant. The next day we found a vase full of flowers at our front step. The restaurant owner sent us the flowers welcoming us to the community and wishing us good luck!

Thanks to The B&B Team for introducing us to the wonderful life of innkeeping!” Yoshio Endo

We are so proud The B&B Team was able to be a part of their launch into innkeeping. We feel confident that with their enthusiasm and passion they will soar. Thank you Diane and Yoshio for sharing your first days with us.


  • PAII
  • AIHP
  • Stay Local