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 ‘The B&B Team’

Innkeeper’s Daily Grind

May 31st, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Innkeeper’s Daily Grind

One of my favorite monthly newsletters I receive is from Adam Grant. American psychologist and author who is currently a professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania specializing in organizational psychology.

Granted May 2018  “To understand success, pay less attention to the final product and more to the mundane process. It’s way more fun to read Harry Potter than it would be to watch J.K. Rowling write. And I can only imagine how dull it would be to sit in a library and watch Lin-Manuel Miranda reading books about Hamilton.

But the seeds of greatness are planted in the daily grind.”

Innkeeper’s  daily grind ? You can relate to this.  Take breakfast as an example. Most guests would rather be presented with a well prepped, well prepared, beautifully presented plate than get up with you at the crack of dawn or late evening and watch a blurry eyed innkeeper with whisk in hand.

Stripping wallpaper or watching paint dry, another good one.

Sometimes the final product does not have anything to do with your décor or your breakfast table. It is another process that at times is mundane and a grind but oh so very important to your success.

Marketing

A good, well researched, well designed, well optimized website takes hospitality industry experts multiple ‘daily grind’ hours to complete the ‘guts’ of the site. A good site looks and more importantly works the way it should.  So worth it for your inn’s success.

“The more professional your website is, the more advantages you can gain.Acorn Internet Services, Inc. 

New innkeepers often focus first on much needed repairs, room upgrades, new amenities and new and innovative breakfasts. These are satisfying accomplishments, especially when guests see the final product and give you kudos (maybe not the new boiler in the basement, unless you like to take your guests down and show off your basement improvemets?)

But … you make all those improvements to your brick and mortar yet your website is five or more years old and tired…STOP… don’t ignore or put off this improvement. And pleeeease don’t skimp and take the easy (cheap) non industry professional bargain basement route with your website, it will get you nowhere. Take the time and expense to market your new baby. Your website and social media tools are available to educate and engage your potential guests.  And guess what?  Your online presence is available to your guests 24/7/365, unlike you who needs sleep!

To help you take the correct route, The B&B Team’s Industry Referrals page has a list of our industry’s internet marketing professionals.

Greatness after the grind!
Photography by Jumping Rocks

Your innkeeper’s daily grind can plant seeds of greatness. It is so satisfying to see them grow.  Especially when you take the time and expense of engaging marketing professionals to help you market your greatness, 24/7/365.

Thanks for Listening… and get some sleep while your website works for you,

Janet Wolf

 

Breakfast Going Global

April 11th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

breakfast

Breakfast Going Global

Thank you, Linda Hayes, for sending me a most enticing and inspiring article, ‘The World of BreakfastThe shifting definition of what counts as breakfast food now embraces flavors from around the globe’. Explore breakfast going global.

Trends in food are constantly evolving, new flavors and creative presentations are certain to elicit the WOW factor. Are you ready to push the global envelope?

In our most recent ‘Better Way to Learn Innkeeping’ seminar we had two women with a Caribbean background who expressed a desire to introduce Caribbean recipes in their future B&B. Love it.

Rick and I were visiting The Inn at English Meadows recently and innkeeper Kate was serving Chilaquiles. Even though I am a huge fan of Mexican food, I had never heard of this dish. Fabulous, clean plate club for both Rick and me.

Here are a few of the dishes that got my attention. Let’s start with sweet.

Hong Kong Waffles

Breakfast going global

Area Four in Cambridge, Mass., combines the waffles with pistachio ice cream and blackberry sauce

“Also known as bubble or egg waffles. Soft, chewy in the middle with crisp lacy edges, made from sweet, eggy batter.”

I found a good ‘how to’ and recipe from food blogger “ginger & scotch”.

breakfast goin global

This is how they come out from an egg-waffle pan

Now let’s take a savory journey.

Chilaquiles

It is famous in Mexico. A dish of fried corn tortilla strips simmered (but not to long to make them soggy) in salsa or roasted tomatillo sauce and topped with egg, cheese (I like Queso Fresco) and possibly beans, squash, tomatos. Make your own combination, that is the fun of it. But a must on my plate would be avocado!

breakfast going global

Image credit: Alanna Taylor Tobin | The Bojon Gourmet

Off to the Caribbean.

Another food blogger; ‘Immaculate Bites-Afro-Caribbean Recipes Made Easy’. Some beautiful and very enticing recipes. Dishes like, Sweet Plantain Hash & Eggs or this one…

breakfast going global

Jamaican Corn Meal Porridge

What you want to do, as suggested by The World of Breakfast authors is… “find that perfect balance between home and away.” That is what innkeepers do everyday at their inns. Now it may be fun to take that trip to Hong Kong, Mexico or the Caribbean or anywhere you like.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

What do Millennials Want?

March 26th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

what do millennials want

What Do Millennials Want?

Remember this catchphrase from TV’s The Brady Bunch? “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha”. Her sister Jan thought she got all the attention. Today it’s millennials, millennials, millennials, its’ all about millennials!

What do millennials want? How much attention should we give them? One thing for sure, we must pay attention to them as active consumers with disposable income. About 10 million millennials make over $100,000. And double that for 2 income couples.

Wednesday at the AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace. I listened to Jeff Fromm’s session, ‘The Financial Impact of Millennial Influence on Travel‘. Among many attributes, Jeff is known as the Millennial Marketing Guy. He’s done all the research, written the books and has some great insights.

Some millennial facts:

what do millennials want? All you Baby Boomers out there know this TV catchphrase. For everyone else, Google it. I digress…

Millennials were born between 1977-1995

Comprising of about 25% of the U.S. population

As a group they are larger than the Baby Boomers

Three times the size of Generation X (born 1965-1976)

These facts alone give us reasons to pay attention, work on your business to be relevant and attract this generation of active consumers. “Brands old and new, cannot afford to ignore this generation.”

An interesting insight from Jeff; “Consumers date brands before they fall in love”. Online dating of course.

Let’s start the conversation with this mindset.

Timeline: shop..date…fall in love…get married for life?

Maybe, unless that brand messes up, becomes irrelevant, inconsistent and loses their trust. Or if you are a millennial, you may just get bored and want to try something new. Think about it. Would you, millennial or not, go back to the same brand if it disappointed you, or would you shop another brand? You know the answer.

“Understand that millennials are the ultimate day traders, and that’s what’s driving changes in food, restaurants, travel, insurance,” says Jeff Fromm. “If your brand isn’t unique, you run the risk of being traded out for private-label or a low-cost alternative.” Jeff Fromm

Our industry’s B&B’s could be described as ‘private label’. We sure aren’t the Hilton or Motel 6.  So how can you get that millennial to trade out to you?

I am picking 3 areas of focus from Jeff’s session. Focusing on what may help you create and sustain a brand that millennials will shop, date and fall in love with.

Unique and Innovative

put an egg on it

New England Johnny Cod Cake with Poached Egg, Oven Roasted tomatoes and Lemon-Tarragon Aioli– Inn at Pleasant Lake, NH

Are you serving the same breakfast you served 5 years ago? Breakfast is half your name. Millennials as well as older generations with millennial mindsets are adventurous eaters. Food trends are constantly changing. Discovering and trying out new recipes is fun. Make them as visually appealing as they are appealing to the pallet. Millennials want to share their experiences on social media but only if they are worth sharing.

Adventurous

Millennials are searching for new experiences in everything. Travel for sure. Does your website show potential guests unique adventurous experiences inside and outside your property? Or do you show the same outdated guest room photos, typical romance packages (that everyone else has) and lists of ‘things to do’ (without any links or photos) that hasn’t been updated in years. Unfortunately, The B&B Team sees this all to often.

what do millennials want?

Dogsledding-Mush your own dogsled memorable adventure. Lodge at Moosehead Lake, Maine

It is easy to connect with local businesses that offer unique and adventurous experiences. Create packages with them. Wherever your inn is located, there are adventures nearby.

Frictionless Journey

How easily are you found on a web search? First, you want to come up at the top of pages in a search of Inns in your area. If not, your SEO needs help. Pretend you are a potential guest (millennial or not) and do a search. You may be surprised. Second, how easy is your booking process. Seamless? Is your PMS (property management system) outdated? May be time to research a new, innovative user friendlier system. Third, how frictionless is your check-in procedure? Can guests access your inn after hours with a keyless lock system? Or do you wait up for them, greet them with tired eyes and impatient words?

These questions and examples just touch on the insights that Jeff spoke about.

A final insight from Jeff Fromm. Successful brands: “Treat others the way they want to be treated”. Plus…“Always be helping”. These things are huge when sustaining your brand.

Innkeepers have got that down, right? But there is always room for improvement, for more love.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Wellness Tourism-Growing Trends

March 19th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

wellness tourism growing trend

Wellness Tourism-Growing Trends

Wellness tourism is a 500-billion-dollar segment of the travel industry. Looks like something innkeepers should consider integrating into their business plan. Don’t leave a piece of that 500-billion-dollar pie on the plate!

AIHP Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace, day two.

I attended Julie Pankey’s session, Top Trends in Wellness Tourism, The Guest Experience. After many years of experience managing and growing successful hospitality spas, Julie formed her own spa consulting services company, J M Pankey Partners. She is very passionate about what she does, a huge key to her success.

Here is a brief summation of Julie’s top ten wellness tourism trends, with some added observations from me.

Welltality

A nice take on the word hospitality. Is welltality the new hospitality? In the hotel industry many are marketing themselves as ‘healthy hotels”. Take a look at what hotels are doing and incorporate some of the features into your ‘healthy B&B’. One example from Julie’s session was introducing dawn simulator alarm clocks or sunrise clocks into your guest rooms. For more information: The 10 Best Wake-up Light Therapy Alarm clocks to Buy in 2018. Listing the types of clocks available and their individual attributes. Possibly a nice wellness touch to your Inn? Also, take a look at Nature’s Tribute-doTerra Essential Oils.

Wellness trends

Dawn Simulator

Incorporate the Outdoors

 

Wellness tourism trends

Jumping Rock Photography-Cheshire Cat Inn, CA

Create outdoor spaces that become an extension of your Inn’s brand, style and ambience. The B&B Team is seeing Inns create outdoor spaces that are transformed into outdoor rooms. Not just a few chairs on a deck.

  • Private decks with an outdoor shower, hot tub, fire table with a nice view. That’s the ticket!
  • And beyond the porch, fire-pits, waterfalls into pools, fountains, great landscaping with outdoor lighting.
  • Winding paths to secluded spots with seating.

And don’t forget to showcase these areas with great photos. It’s not only the Wow affect but the Ahh affect. To add that Ahh affect to your property, check out Outdoor Lighting Perspectives. They were an exhibitor, speaker and sponsor at the conference.

Wellness tourism

Fire Table-Hermann Hill Inn, Hermann Missouri

Sustainability

Being mindful of using local products. Food especially. Many inns incorporate this into their brand and marketing successfully. Important to capture the guest looking for a ‘foodie’ wellness experience.

From The Inn at Weathersfield in Vermont

We know our farmers by name. 

For most of the year, over 75% of our ingredients come from within a 25 mile radius of the inn or from our IW Heirloom Garden. Just before winter appears, we stock our root cellar to carry us through until spring.

So…when tomato or corn are not in season, you’re probably not going to find it on our menu unless it’s been preserved.

To be an authentic farm-to-table restaurant, we know we have to keep things REAL.

 

Extreme Wellness

One step beyond the expected. One example mentioned was ‘salt rooms’ and ‘salt lamps’. I had never heard of this. What I found:

Salt therapy is a natural therapy that has been practiced since the 18th century. it involves inhaling dry salt, which can help cleanse both the airways and the skin to relieve congestion, inflammation and skin irritations. In a salt rooms or salt cave a halogenerator grind up pharmaceutical grade salt into minute particles that become airborne when dispersed into the room.”

May be worth finding out if you have one in your area and partner with them. Business partnerships can be a real asset to your Inn business. Making your partner businesses easily accessible to your guests.

Well NOT Wealth

This is offering your guest a retreat from technology. Regaining personal connections. Turn off the Wi-Fi, no phones, tablets, etc. allowed. Lock them up in a safe! This is a tough one, but just maybe this could be attractive to guests seeking a real getaway from it all. You must admit, todays small portable electronics glued to our eyes and ears for hours on end can create a lot of stress. There is always the old fashioned land line open for emergency communication.

Inn at English Meadows-Sunrise Room-Soft colors, clean, fresh. AHH

Another trend The B&B Team has been seeing is incorporating a spa like feel into guest rooms.

  • Hardwood floors.
  • Soft color palettes.
  • Bathrooms with spa features, luxury showers with body sprays, rainwater shower heads.

Another example of the non-extreme and more reasonable wellness approach from Julie.

“I am working with an Inn in Sandwich, MA to help them transform their suites into wellness suites.  Each of these rooms already have smart TV’s, king size beds, jacuzzi tubs, in room air purifiers and sleep sound machines so it will be really easy to incorporate yoga mats and a smart TV on demand fitness and relaxation programs as well as relaxing bath accessories and products, we will also add a mini bar of wellness products which may include sleep mask, relaxing pillow mist, anti-aging pillow case, foot cream and cozy spa socks, hydrating facial sheet mask and other goodies that just transformed these rooms into wellness rooms with very little money being spent.”  

wellness tourism

Upon arrival…Warm or chilled towels depending on the weather plus refreshment. Not just in the tropics but anywhere! Ahh

Think beyond the massage. Whether you have a spa, plan on opening one or just want to integrate some of these trends into your own business, being aware of these ‘welltality’ trends is enlightening and good food for thought. Always know that improvements, additional services and amenities are investments that will pay for themselves with increased rates and well marketed packages.

Thank you Julie Pankey for your enlightening session. JM Pankey Partners offers a Spa Hive Community, a place to “share ideas, solve challenges and connect with leaders and colleagues in the spa industry in a secure and private group.”

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Online Marketing Made Simple

February 22nd, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Online Marketing made simple

The Lodge at Moosehead Lake’s New Head of Guest Relations and Marketing!

Online marketing made simple? I think this is an oxymoron (a figure of speech in which apparently contradictory terms appear in conjunction). Any moron knows online marketing/social media is NOT simple, but I got your attention, right?

In a recent article by Steve Olenski in Marketing Insider Group, ‘4 Online Marketing Tips That May Sound Obvious But Should Not Be Overlooked’, the author attempts simplicity. I will further attempt to simplify his 4 tips.

Understand that Social Media Constantly Changes

  • Instagram is taking the lead with “more than 500 million active daily users”.
  • Facebook has fallen behind for the first time recently.
  • “Facebook created quite the buzz when they began limiting organic exposure in an effort to drive more businesses to run paid ads. Instagram is currently making headlines for doing the same thing now.”
  • But Facebook is still an important social media tool for you. It is still a good place to share basic information and direct visitors to your website. Don’t give up on it, even though those ads may drive you crazy.
  • Instagram-Show what you offer

whitefenceswatermill#breakfast on the go! #international #travels can’t stay for breakfast but we have them covered! #coffee and #croissant #bedandbreakfast

Don’t Get Hung Up on Outdated SEO Techniques

The one and most important tip here is, SEO is not a good DIY project!

  • Old outdated techniques and strategies are just that, old and outdated. “What worked several years ago just simply isn’t effective these days, and in many instances can get your website penalized.”
  • “Want to master 2018 SEO? Learn from people who are practitioners, not just talkers.”
  • We have many excellent ‘practitioners’ in our industry. Work with them and you will get the best results.
  • Refer to The B&B Team’s Industry Referrals page for a list of internet marketing companies that are leaders in our industry.

Share Your Story and Leverage It to Connect with Your Target Audience

This is my favorite tip. Something innkeepers should make sure they do, not only on social media but face to face with guests, community and staff.

  • “Your personal brand can be one of your most valuable marketing channels, but it requires putting yourself out there and sharing your story. Most consumers will connect with a person over a brand much easier.”
  • “The average consumer is going to welcome inspirational and educational lessons coming from a business owner, while blocking out messages that come from a company and reek of an advertisement.”

Create Content That Delivers Value

Content Marketing, the buzz phrase that has been out there for a long time. On all Social Media platforms.

  • “Focus on creating content your audience loves so much that they are encouraged to share it on social media. The referral traffic and social shares will positively impact your SEO naturally.”
  • This includes the image driven platforms, Instagram and Pinterest.
  • Check out this blog; ‘The Nine Ingredients That Make Great Content’.

I am going to end with sharing what I believe to be a very clever and compelling email newsletter from The Lodge at Moosehead Lake, it illustrates great personalized content that connects, tells a story and promotes. Opening with an image of a cute dog, always a great way to engage! Go Phoebe.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Moosehead Lake-Maine Tourism Region

February 8th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Moosehead Lake Region Maine

Moosehead Lake-Maine Tourism Region. Photo by Peter Frank Edwards

What is the top industry in your state? Do you know? In Maine it is tourism.  The Maine Office of Tourism is very robust and they work hard at promoting and expanding Maine’s top industry. Their Marketing Partnership Program provides marketing funding to the eight Maine designated tourism regions in the form of grants.

The recipients of grants range from the Whoopie Pie Festival (don’t laugh, it is a big whoopie in the state), to the Portland Bach Experience.

Moosehead Lake-Maine Toruism region

Whoopies!

A grant was awarded to Moosehead Lake Region Chamber of Commerce, (a nice 4 figure amount!). The Moosehead Lake Region, located in The Maine Highlands (Bangor-Katahdin-Moosehead Lake) is one of the eight Maine tourism regions. All 8  regions have their own flavor, their own merits and their own attractions to tourists. Moosehead Lake Region is no exception.

 Congratulations to the chamber, we all need a boost at times. Visitors flock to the region in all seasons but there is always room for more. Bring them on.

One of the great things about the Moosehead Lake Region is the diverse choice of adventures available. From hardline to soft. Since it is February lets’ talk about winter. You can snowshoe, ride the snowmobile trails or…attend a Pig Roast & Bonfire and the 14th Annual Moosehead Lake Chocolate Festival or…attempt all four!

But if you like to have someone else do all the planning, let me count the ways. Many of the Inns in the Moosehead Lake Region offer packages that arrange your adventures for you.

Example package offered by The Lodge at Moosehead Lake

NORTH WOODS IMMERSION

Immerse yourself in the North woods of Maine with an experience you will long remember. This intimate Adventure Lodge has just what the outdoor junky is looking for.

This 4 nights & 3 full days package includes:

  • Day 1: Enjoy scenic one-hour seaplane ride to the tip of the Penobscot River; includes canoe ride to Lobster Lake, hiking, fishing, exploring and a delicious fireside lobster or steak dinner cooked shore side by your private Registered Maine guide (full day trip)
  • Day 2: Full-day whitewater rafting including lunch, back by 4:00
  • Day 3: Complete hiking instructions to Gulf Hagas with picnic lunch – be sure to bring a camera and water shoes to cool off in the river
  • DINNER: One night at the lodge, three course meal in the Lakeview dining room on day other than Fly-In canoe trip. (Alcohol not included.) Lodge serves Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evenings.
  • Gourmet breakfast every morning
  • Lodge at Moosehead Lake Tote bag as a memento
Moosehead Lake

Moosehead Lake, Greenville Maine

Maine is also fortunate to have active Maine Guides that offer a variety of tours. Innkeepers in the region partner with the guides to create some wonderful outdoor adventures. Maine Guides are “recognized around the world as the gold standard in outdoor skills and knowledge.” They have been around since 1897! They are a treasured part of Maine tourism. 

In my most recent blog on destination locations I mentioned that destination locations are not only good for tourism but can be a terrific place to live, raise a family, own a business, as well as visit.

Moosehead Lake

Greenville Inn-Moosehead Lake Country Inn

The B&B Team invites you to explore our two properties for sale in Greenville, Moosehead Lake. The Lodge at Moosehead Lake and The Greenville Inn.

The Lodge at Moosehead Lake

In addition The B&B Team recently sold the Chalet Moosehead Lakefront Motel.  New innkeepers with their family will be welcoming guests this coming spring.

Live the robust life in a robust Maine tourism region. The B&B Team is here to help pave your way.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

Charlottesville Virginia-Destination Location with a Capital C

February 2nd, 2018 by Janet Wolf

Destination location

Charlottesville Virginia-Destination Location

Charlottesville Virginia is a true destination location. What is a destination location? Here is how we describe it in our world of hospitality.

A tourism area where people want to come and is easily accessible.

An area with a well-established ‘name’ or identity.

The B&B Team represents a first-class collection of properties for sale in some prime destination locations.

Let’s talk about Charlottesville. I’ll throw out a few phrases that spell well-established identity with a capital C for Charlottesville and the surrounding Virginia countryside.

Charlottesville Virginia-Destination Location

Monticello-Charlottesville Virginia

Monticello – Historic Home of Thomas Jefferson

University of Virginia

Shenandoah National Park

Blue Ridge Mountains

Historically, Monticello is up there as at the top as a historic destination location. Even if folks are not history buffs, learning about Thomas Jefferson on his home turf is a lesson worth learning all over again. His Virginia home tells the story of the man, his ideals and the way of life once lived in Virginia in the formative years of our Nation’s birth.

Charlottesville virginia-Destination Location

Charlottesville Virginia-University of Virginia

The University of Virginia is an architectural masterpiece. Designed by Thomas Jefferson. Regarded as one of the most beautiful and prestigious universities in the world. Along with Monticello it is a World Heritage Site, people travel all over the world to visit these sites.

Charlotteville virginia

Skyline Drive-Shenandoah Valley

Charlottesville Virginia, easily accessible? You bet. The vistas, byways and highways of the Shenandoah Valley and Blue Ridge Mountains are travelled and marveled at by thousands annually. On route to Charlottesville by automobile? Example… from Washington DC the Skyline Drive route takes you through Shenandoah National Park along the tips of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Did you know that this type of road trip is referred to as ‘skidriving’?  New one on me! Charlottesville, by the way is numbered among the one-of-a-kind mountain towns along this route. More of a small city I think, but with the charm of a hometown. Possibly your new hometown?

When I mentioned the definitions of a destination location there is one point I left out. Easily accessible, well-established identity plus…a great place to live and own a business.

The Foxfield Inn-Charlottesville Virginia

The Foxfield Inn is a Charlottesville Virginia bed & breakfast located in the area’s hunt country. Thanks to its Charlottesville Virginia destination location, the business is solid and profitable with room to grow. Annualized occupancy is above 50% with an enviable ADR around $250.00. With five guest rooms and private owner’s quarters and a wonderful kitchen. It is a charmer.

By the way, Charlottesville weather is, as one native describes, ‘mostly wonderful’. Summer highs average in the mid-eighties and winter average in the low to mid-forties. Can it get hotter and colder? Hey it’s weather, you can answer that.

Oh, and if your guests don’t like ‘skidriving’, Charlottesville has a top-notch airport and thruways for fast tracking.

We welcome you to give us a call. For details about The Foxfield Inn, please contact the exclusive listing broker, Peter Scherman, 434-286-4600 of The B&B Team, Inc.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

 

The Connection of Passion and Knowledge

January 11th, 2018 by Janet Wolf

the connection of passion and knowledge

AIHP Summit 2018…the connection of passion and knowledge. Norfolk VA, Feb. 26-Mar. 1

The connection of passion and knowledge in the innkeeping world has evolved. In times past when we first started our seminars for aspiring innkeepers, our attendees had slightly different answers to our pre-attendance questionnaire. Many espoused their love of entertaining and cooking. Yes, that is an important part of innkeeping, the gift of hospitality and the passion for food. But…

The comments we receive from our questionnaires now include topics they would like covered on financing, bookkeeping, operations, websites and marketing plans. All the behind the curtain essentials of operating a successful Inn. Smart.

 If our attendees don’t realize before our workshops, that the joy they receive from feeding family and friends a lavish breakfast on holidays and other celebrations is only a portion of what innkeeping is all about. They will know when they leave our seminars, with eyes wide open.

Operate a successful business and that joy of hospitality will remain joyous and the accolades from your guests, in front of the curtain, will be the icing on the virtual sticky bun.

The tools for operating a successful business are very readily available, all one needs is the desire to learn. The willingness to tackle new skills, without doubt or fear.

When Rick and I were new innkeepers (a few moons ago), one of our neighbor innkeepers asked us if we were going to attend the upcoming Innkeeping conference. We answered that we were ‘thinking about it’. He said; “Don’t think about it, just do it…go.” We did, and immediately after attending, understood the value and essential benefits of ongoing innkeeping education.

Look at the wealth of knowledge that will be available at AIHP’s ‘Knowledge Sharing Summit & Marketplace’ February 26-March 1 in Norfolk Virginia. The byline message for the AIHP summit is; ‘the connection of passion & knowledge.’ Love that! 

Here is just a sampling the workshops that will be offered.

  • Ten Steps to a Successful Digital Marketing Plan
  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Your Property’s Imagery
  • Ten Steps to Making Google Happy and Improving your Revenue
  • Advanced Paid Marketing Strategies – Beyond the Free Stuff!

And for new and aspiring Innkeepers:

  • Running your Business so it Won’t Run You
  • Benchmarks for the New Innkeeper: How do I Measure My First Year in Business?
  • Financial Record Keeping

The list is very extensive and complete. Besides the learning, there is the networking, exploring the marketplace and the recharging of your innkeeping engines. Its’ all there. A lot of fun and food too. All of us from The B&B Team will be there. Stop by our booth.

Connect that passion you have for sharing your love of hospitality with ongoing education. They not only go hand in hand, they must be successfully married to each other.

In conclusion I will re-quote former innkeeper and good friend Lindsey Copeland, “Don’t think about it, just do it…go.”

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

End of Year Musings from an Innkeeper

December 29th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

end of year musings from an innkeeper

End of Year Musings from an Innkeeper

Each year at this point in time we get a letter from innkeeper/client friends in New Hampshire. It includes innkeeper Scott’s end of year musings. His reflections are both poignant and very funny. I would love to share excerpts from the letter.  Innkeepers will find some familiarity with all of these selections.

“Each December I sit and reflect on what the year has brought, and what lies ahead. Each year I marvel at the enormity of it -all the experiences, all the adventures, all the memories. We may feel comfortable in the conventional measure of a year in units of time, but how do we measure the value of the moments that passed? And how many moments do we experience in a year? Despite the discomfort of immeasurable elasticity, moments are full of meaning. They form our memories, and they stay with us. So, here’s hoping we may share joyous moments!

We continue to enjoy our new lives as innkeepers, now with 3 solid years behind us. It’s never a dull moment, whether we’re chatting with guests or upgrading the facility. We never know what each new day will bring, and we seem to constantly be learning new things. For instance:

Oops!

Did you ever wonder where the water will go when your Jacuzzi on the third floor starts to leak from one of the jets behind the wall? We now know the answer. It seems that Dr. Seuss had apprenticed as a plumber in the early 1900’s at our Inn. The water travels across multiple rooms and ends up exiting directly over the guest sleeping in Room #4. We know this as the diagnosis required complete removal of two other bathrooms to trace it back to the source. Of course, there was no access panel. Apparently, they had yet to be invented.

Did you ever wonder how many candelabras would be required to set off the fire alarms during a busy summer dinner? We did when our guest shipped us 24 candelabras for their private dinner of 18 guest, each holding 8 candles a piece. Set up was fun for this one!

Have you ever stood at a window looking out at a gorgeous view and asked yourself if it were real or not? We had a similar experience when one of our guest claimed they could not see the lake or mountains from room #2, as we stood there, looking at the lake and the mountains. It’s strange how certain situations induce a complete loss for words.

end of year musings from an innkeeperI see a lake…and a mountain!

Did you ever wonder what was the useful life expectancy of a cast iron waste line that was installed in the early 1800’s? The answer is no more than 3 years after you purchase the Inn. Unfortunately, the corollary question of why they would install it in a wall, behind and industrial refrigerator and ice machine, must go unanswered. The dismantling of bathrooms in rooms 7, 5 and 9 left little time for further pondering.

It seems there are lessons for innkeepers in every discipline form Sociology to Darwinism. But the truth is, it’s inspiring to meet so many great folks from all walks of life, and to see them enjoying the experience we have to offer. Plus, there are tractors, and tools, and projects!”

Scott and Jen

The Inn at Pleasant Lake, NH

“We wish you many magical moments in the coming year that will fill your lives with joy and happiness.”

Thank you Scott, for your musing and these final heart felt sentiments. Ditto and…

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf (and Scott)

The Season for Giving

December 15th, 2017 by Janet Wolf

The Season for Giving-Even Scrooge learned the joy of giving. The Muppet Christmas Carol

Do you remember the gifts you have given more than the gifts you received? Most of us do. However you celebrate the season for giving; with 8 days of Hanukkah, Christ’s birth or a secular celebration, it is all about giving and the joy it brings others.

Here is a fun memory of mine that illustrates my point. The same year my sister and I received a stereo HiFi (it was HI before it was WI), we gave our Dad a bright orange soft cushioned toilet seat. It matched the crazy wallpaper he picked for his bathroom ‘sanctuary’.  It was the hit of Christmas morning! It was a gift that kept on giving, comfort and joy. That crazy toilet seat is a cherished memory.

the season for giving

The gift that kept on giving-comfort & joy

Whether or not you believe that Christmas has become too commercialized, we are a country that is very charitable during the holidays. The last few months of the year make up what is commonly called the Giving Season for the nonprofit community. I love seeing the Toys for Tots box at our gym fill up three, four, five times. I love the Coats for Kids organization. New or gently used coats are donated each December and dry cleaned for free by local cleaners. During Christmas Prelude in the Kennebunks, the Historic Inns of Kennebunkport collects admission fees that go to our local food pantry. The donated food box at our local grocery store overflows.

The season for giving is not all about dollars and material items. The gift of time is also valuable. It can be cooking and serving at church suppers, driving and delivering Meals on Wheels or sharing our knowledge and talents on town councils and chambers of commerce, the list is endless.

Innkeepers are givers, in all seasons. Innkeepers go beyond and above when it comes to the giving of their time and knowledge. In this season for giving, The B&B Team celebrates you. We thank you all for your hard work and dedication. 

The B&B Team wishes you all comfort and joy in the season of giving. 

Peter & Peggy Scherman   Rick & Janet Wolf   Eliot & Tish Dalton   Dana Moos   Linda Hayes   Scott & Marilyn Bushnell

 

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