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 ‘Vermont’

Snowfall Equals Dollars-White is Green in Vermont and New Hampshire

March 21st, 2017 by Janet Wolf

snowfall eguals dollars

Okemo Mountain, Vermont-Snowfall Equals Dollars

Yes…for innkeepers in the Northeast, snowfall equals dollars. A crystal white covering is green for innkeepers in Vermont and New Hampshire.


  • “Northern New England Gets Buried in Snow, and Skiers Love It”   US News article.
  • “Visits to Cannon Mountain Ski Area in White Mountains, Franconia NH, are up by 65%.”
  • “Good morning skiers and riders and happy first day of spring! I hope you love spring conditions as much as I do, because today’s forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies and soft snow! We’ll be working on our goggle tans as we make buttery turns all day long.”  Mount Snow Vermont Report-6:33 AM Monday, March 20, 2017

Reports like this come in daily and skiers, snowmobilers and snowboarders use them to help make their plans. Staying at a Vermont and New Hampshire country inn or lodge has historically been an excellent way to stay for lovers of winter and everything that beautiful snowfall has to offer.

snowfall equals dollers

Bernerhof Inn, Jackson NH

Jackson NH, Bernerhof Inn partners with cross country and alpine ski resorts in their White Mountains location. Near Attitash Mountain, Cranmore Mountain Resort, Bretton Woods Ski Resort and Jackson Ski Touring. Quite a list! After a day on the slopes the Bernerhof offers  great pub food at the Black Bear Pub and martini bar and an onsite spa.  Spacious recently renovated guest rooms.  Winter packages that bring in the green!

Snowfall equals dollars

Cozy up and relax before dining-Sugar Hill Inn

Sugar Hill Inn, White Mountains of NH. A classic country inn and restaurant. The Inn is centrally located in the Franconia Notch region in the heart of the White Mountains. The rural beauty of the location is a real draw that includes winter sports on nearby Cannon Mountain Ski Area. Sugar Hill offers not just skiing packages but tubing, dog sledding and winter hiking. The restaurant offers fine dining yet is relaxed in a  warm welcoming atmosphere.

snowfall equals dollars

Apres-Ski at the Parker House Inn & Bistro

Parker House Inn and Bistro in Quechee VT has a relationship with Quechee Lakes Country Club that offers winter activities that include an illuminated ice skating pond, horse drawn sleigh rides and snowshoeing. The Quechee Ski Hill is a great place for beginner skiers and snowboarders. The Parker House has a great lively apre-ski atmosphere. Great food and cheer and updated contemporary guest rooms. Great place to chill from the chill!

snowfall equals dollars

Bromley View Inn Labrador Lounge & Tavern

Bromley View Inn is minutes away from Bromley Mountain which boasts the only New England ski area with southern exposure.  Known as ‘Sun Mountain’. Bromley View Inn is perfectly situated between two wonderful mountains… Stratton and Bromley. Long known for family skiing. The Bromley View Inn is perfect for multigenerational gatherings. A growing travel trend which has the color of green all over it. The Labrador Lounge & Tavern is a wonderful addition to the Inn’s friendly atmosphere.  The circular gas fireplace with surround seating is a favorite gathering spot.

snowfall equals dollars

Kitzhof Inn Lounge

Kitzof Inn is located near Mt Snow. Recall what was said about spring skiing? “goggle tans as we make buttery turns all day long.” Location is key! Walk or ride to restaurants and bars in West Dover village. The free ‘MOOver Bus’ takes you directly to the lifts at Mount Snow just 2 minutes away. Return to the Inn, enjoy their Hot Tub, Fireplace Lounge, BYOB Bar, Games Room and Wifi. Dinner is available to groups.

snowfall equals dollars

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

Okemo Valley VT is location of the Village of Chester and the Fullerton Inn and Restaurant. A country inn and a Vermont classic. Okemo is in south-central Vermont, featuring southern Vermont’s highest vertical drop and vast trail network that spans five distinct alpine areas, an exceptional skiing and riding experience for all ability levels. Also close to Stratton Mountain and Magic Mountain Ski Resort. The casual restaurant is a central hub for locals and inn guests alike.

Interested in these Vermont and New Hampshire Inns for sale? Give us a call. In New England resort areas the green doesn’t stop when the snow melts. If you have ever spent any time in Vermont and New Hampshire in the summer and fall you know what I mean.

A great winter season brings in the green but just around the calendar corner is spring skiing, warmer sun and longer days and March maple sugaring. Followed by summer hiking and biking, fall foliage and that crisp air with the hint of winter to come.

Question? Do you know what ‘stick season ‘ is? That brief time after fall foliage when the trees are bare and innkeepers can take a brief break!

Vermont and New Hampshire are not the only winter wonderlands.  Maine winters are prime time for winter lovers. Next blog will feature the green that comes from the Camden Hills, Rockland, Bethel, Fryeburg, Moosehead Lake and more. Stay tuned.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf








Old Fashioned Mountain Lodge Experience

May 2nd, 2016 by Janet Wolf

old fashioned mountain lodge expereince

Bromley Mountain Vermont-View from the Bromley View Inn

If you are a skier and love to ski with your family, an old fashioned mountain lodge experience is something you may seek. ‘Old fashioned’ can evoke a number of images as well as fond memories. These may be memories you recall from your youth that you want to re-live and share with your family. Let me list a few experiences here and see if you get the picture.

  • Rising early to a hearty breakfast of eggs, home fries and toast. Like something sweet for breakfast? Kids can have cereal or what kid doesn’t like pancakes or French toast. Topped with ‘real’ Vermont maple syrup.
  • Grab your skis and off to the slopes where there are serious and gentle slopes. Runs for all levels.
  • Back to the lodge in the afternoon to rest and re-group.
  • Relax by a roaring wood fire in a comfortable lounge with other like-minded folks and kids. A large screen TV, video games and a pool table complete the picture.
  • The tavern opens in the late afternoon for ‘adult beverages’.
  • There are board games and books and time to enjoy them.
  • All in all, old fashioned fun you may not have time to enjoy in your over-scheduled everyday life.
old fashion mountain lodge expereince

Bromley Mountain Kids Ski School

All of the above old fashioned mountain lodge experiences can be found at the Bromley View Inn. An intimate cozy family owned and operated lodge located in southern Vermont near Stratton and Bromley Mountain, couldn’t get any better! Bromley was voted #3 in the East by Ski magazine for Kid Friendly Activities in 2015.

old fashioned mountain lodge experence

Bromley View Inn Labrador Lounge & Tavern

The view of Bromley Mountain is what gives the inn its name. View the sun on the mountain as you enjoy breakfast and preview where you will be heading for a fun family day of skiing.

What else does the area have to offer? Summer and fall family fun, too. Bromley has alpine slides, zip-riders and bungee trampolines. These are great soft adventure activities that appeal to all ages. Want to go back in time? There is miniature golf and movies at the Village Picture Show in Manchester. There are sleigh rides just down the road and ice skating on a frozen pond.

old fashioned mountain lodge experience

Bromley Sun Mountain Flyer


Bromley Mountain Water Slide

Bromley Mountain Water Slide

Vermont’s Bromley Mountain does a good job at delivering the Vermont mountain experience. While on vacation, travelers want a place to retreat to where they feel like they belong. Not just a place to stay. Bromley View Inn delivers a friendly face of innkeepers that welcomes your family or group and dogs, too! Knowledgeable innkeepers that know how to help you make your vacation days full of as many Vermont mountain experiences you desire, catered just for you.

The Bromley View Inn for sale with The B&B Team , Inn Consultants LLC awaits new innkeepers that desire to live the Vermont mountain lifestyle and provide guests with that old fashioned mountain lodge experience. New innkeepers have the opportunity to create their own ‘new’ old fashioned experiences. Fun!

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Is Cycling the New Golf?

October 27th, 2015 by Janet Wolf

Is cycling the new golf?

Discovery Bike Tours in Vermont

There have been many articles with the subject title ‘cycling is the new golf’ in the last year or so. Is cycling the new golf? I was curious so I did some research. This is what I found.

  • According to the National Golf Federation
    • Number of golfers in the US between 2005 and 2013 down 5.7%
    • Number of rounds of golf played in the US between 2000 and 2013 down 10.2%
  • According to USA Cycling the number of people taking out cycling licenses from 2002 and 2013 increased 76%

To a golfer, which I am, and to a cyclist, which I am not, this trend is an interesting one to look at. Also to look at the reasons why?

Let’s look at some recent consumer lifestyle trend stats that may shed some light.

  • “According to Mintel flagship report American Lifestyles 2015, a comprehensive look at American consumer markets, over the next five years total sales are forecast to increase by 21.9 percent. Nonessential categories, including vacations and dining out, are expected to see the greatest gains with projected five-year increases of about 27 percent each.”
  • “The vacation and tourism market is supported by relatively wealthy Baby Boomers who are taking more vacations as they retire from the work force, as well as Millennials who are increasing spending in the category.”

Spending more on ‘vacations’ and ‘dining out’. Great news for innkeepers. Add the increased cycling trend and I think we have a winning package here.

Is cycling the new golf?

Lake Champlain Shoreham Vermont

With the increase in cyclists there is bound to be an increase in the cycling tours. The Shoreham Inn in Shoreham Vermont has been hosting cycling tours for many years. It is one of the stops for cyclists experiencing their slice of Vermont paradise.

“Tidy apple orchards, grand views of Lake Champlain, fields of grazing sheep and cows, and the classic beauty and simplicity of the surrounding towns and villages with vistas of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks.”

is cycling the new golf?

Shoreham Inn

I have been to Shoreham and this describes the area beautifully. The countryside is magical and what better way to experience it than on a bike.

Shoreham Inn’s 3 Day/2 Night Bike tour package with Discovery Bike Tours includes more than just riding from one point to the next. It is truly all about ‘experiential tourism’, with the dining included.

  • Day One: Arrive at the Inn for a family style dinner at the Inn’s ‘Gastro Pub’
  • Day Two: Cycle from Shoreham to Middlebury and visit and sample Otter Creek Brewery and the Woodschuck Cidery and explore the town. Then cycle to the University of Vermont’s Morgan Horse Farm before easing our way back to the inn.
  • Day Three: Follow quiet country roads to the pretty village of Orwell and then visit Norton’s Gallery where he has on display his ever popular whimsical wood carvings. From here we cycle down to the shores of Lake Champlain to Larrabees Landing before winding our way back to the Shoreham Inn.
is cycling the new golf?

Norton’s Gallery

Now I still love golf and will continue my unrelenting path to improve my game but…this tour is definitely enticing. A lot to see and do with the bonus of burning calories!

That is another reason that cycling is trending upwards. It is a fitness activity that not only can be measured in burned calories, heart rate with devices like jawbone but…it is an activity paired with experiences. And food too. Check this out, The Shoreham Inn in the UK Times. “Just rustic enough and just chic enough, it’s the best gastropub you never found in the UK, with ambiance and food to match” The Times, September 2015

Is cycling the new golf?

Shoreham Inn Gastro Pub

If you are an aspiring innkeeper that is looking forward to providing your guests with authentic experiences and good food, consider the Shoreham Inn for sale. Yes, cycling tours are a successful segment of their business but the ideal Vermont location plus the authentic New England hospitality provided in the lodging and casual dining is the heart of the Inn’s business.

And if you are a golfer, don’t worry. Vermont is known for their good courses with some of them nearby.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Is Your Bed and Breakfast Attracting the Millennial Traveler?

September 3rd, 2014 by Janet Wolf


Millennial traveler

The Millennial Traveler. Smart phone and back pack will travel.

A recent article in Budget Traveler listed ‘6 Needs of the Millennial Traveler’. You may have seen our posting of this piece on our Facebook. The B&B Team likes to put out information that may be useful.  It is also good to take some of the information from articles like this one and pick it apart. That’s the fun part!

Point #1 – Constant Connection. Free Wi-Fi and plug-ins, it’s a given. First of all it is not only the millennial traveler generation that wants this and requires this. Parents and even grandparents of the millennial want this too! Come on!

millennial traveler connections

All generations want to stay connected.

Point #2 – Comforts of Home. Budget Traveler says the millennial traveler likes: ‘Broken in spaces where they can feel familiar and feel a part of the community.’ They mention Airbnb as a provider of such an experience. OK, I know that this is what Airbnb promotes and many of their property listings provide this. But, here is where the ‘pick apart’ comes in. Bed and Breakfasts, Country Inns, Boutique Hotels have been providing this kind of experience for decades.

Point #3 – Authenticity and Personal Experience. The emotional connection to travel with unique offerings.  Two of the examples listed were: cooking with a real Italian or a road trip to off-the-beaten-track places. Again, great stuff and the small lodging industry have also been providing experiences like these for a very long time.

I am going to stop here with the rest of the list. Because, all of the above brings up an interesting question. If Bed and Breakfasts have been providing the kind of experience the millennial traveler appears to want, are Bed and Breakfasts reaching them? Are Bed and Breakfasts connecting with them? Yes, some are but are the majority?

The opportunity to reach out and connect to this emerging generation of travelers is so ripe. And the time is now.

A few ideas and suggestions come to mind. If you have the ‘born after 1980’ guests staying with you…ask them a few questions.

  • What kind of activities do you look for when searching for places to visit?
  • What other kinds of lodging besides bed and breakfasts do you like to stay?
  • Were there any amenities they would like to see offered that weren’t?

Ask them if there were any negatives about their stay. If they hesitate, just reassure them that this kind of information, positive or negative really helps and is very much appreciated. Remember this should not become the Spanish Inquisition, just a friendly conversation.

Social media, your website (gotta have a mobile site), have to reflect a sense of now. What is current and happening in your area? What specials and promotions you may be offering that offer value. The millennial traveler may be looking at rates and deals, what Budget Travel calls ‘Low Cost luxury’. A few examples follow.

The Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn in Cape Cod, on their website pop down menu are the choices to click on, ‘Experience’ and ‘Convenience’. Words the millennial traveler may pick up on. These two terms are fresh alternatives to the traditional, ‘Things to Do’ and ‘Amenities’.

Millennial traveler cape cod

Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn, a place for the Millennial Traveler to experience Cape Cod

Inns at Blackberry Commons in Camden Maine have a ‘Promotions’ side window on all their pages that lists their rate saving promotions and the area’s ‘deals’. A real eye catching window that would make any visitor to their website stay and view what is happening, now.

Promotions for millennial traveler

Beautiful Camden Harbor. Sail FREE in September! A great promotion from The Inns at Blackberry Commons



The millennial traveler may be looking for ‘off the beaten track’ lifestyle experiences where they can feel a part of the community. It may be apple picking in the afternoon and a trendy café with unique ‘hand crafted’ cocktails and local music in the evening. It is important to ‘show and tell’ these kind of experiences on your website. The Shoreham Inn in Shoreham Vermont offers just this kind of experience. And the trendy cocktails can be had at their Gastropub. You can meet and mingle with the locals there too. Community!

Millennial traveler community

Gastropub at the Shoreham Inn VT-mingle with the locals for good food and drink


Bed and Breakfasts have so much to offer the millennial traveler. Get the word out and they will arrive with their plug-ins and back packs ready to be filled with experiences.

Thanks for Listening,

Janet Wolf

Shoreham Inn-Vermont Way to Stay

October 17th, 2013 by Janet Wolf

Mill at Sunset

Sunset on the southern shore of Lake Champlain minutes from The Shoreham Inn


The Shoreham Inn is a true Vermont Way to Stay. An Inn with a location and thriving business worth a visit. In our “Better Way to Learn Innkeeping” aspiring seminars, we ask our attendees what area of the country they would like their inn to be located in.  The B&B Team believes aspiring innkeepers should focus on the location they believe they would want to live and work. It is a very important component of their search process.

For many aspirers New England and especially Vermont is a location on their list of places to explore. The Green Mountain state has long been known for country inn hospitality. More reasons for owning a business in Vermont is that it has been named the ‘second most peaceful place to live’ in the US as well as the healthiest state in the US four years in a row.

Once you have identified an area then you can start identifying some properties.  Shoreham Vermont is a classic Vermont town surrounded by vistas of century old dairy farms and orchards. Shoreham is known as the ‘Heart of the Land of Milk and Honey’. And this is pretty literal. The area is famous for its apple orchards (with bees) and pastures of grazing sheep and cows (milk). Shoreham has one of the oldest and most picturesque apple orchards in Vermont, Champlain Orchards. It is also home to several growing businesses. Tata Harper Skin Care and Whistle Pig Rye Whiskey. Middlebury is 15 minutes from Shoreham, home of Middlebury College. A highly rated liberal arts college with its own ski area, small but a tremendous value.

The beauty and simplicity of Shoreham and surrounding area is truly a location to fall in love with. Set near the southern shore of Lake Champlain with the Green Mountains to the east and the skyline of the Adirondacks rising over the lake to the west as a backdrop. Travelers flock to this area for all the reasons stated here. Cyclists especially love to explore the challenging roads and vistas.

Cyclist and travel writer Jeff Katz for the Boston Globe

Cyclist and travel writer Jeff Katz for the Boston Globe












There is a classic country inn for sale right in the middle of it all. The Shoreham Inn has ‘retained its fine country feel and essential 1790 Vermont character while adding those comforts and amenities that make our stay special. The dining room, with its exposed beams and open fireplace, exudes warmth and charm and sets the friendly atmosphere for delicious home-cooked meals.’ These accolades and many more have been written about the Shoreham Inn Vermont.

Shoreham Inn Vermont

Shoreham Inn patio outside a suite

Unlike many buildings that have been converted into country inns, the Shoreham Inn has been welcoming guests for over 200 years! Talk about hospitality, if walls could talk. But lets’ talk about the present Shoreham Inn. The walls today are filled with guests enjoying great food and beverage in the ‘Gastropub’ and great comfort and modern amenities in their 10 guest rooms which include 3 contemporary loft style suites.

The total view looks pretty good here. Great state, great area and great town. Add a thriving full service country inn business to this view and you get the Shoreham Inn & Pub. New innkeepers can take an established and growing business and make it their own while enjoying a vibrant community and much sought after Vermont lifestyle. A great quote from the current innkeeper…”Vermont and Addison County is particular is a true melding of committed outsiders with diverse tastes and excitement for this beautiful place, and long, long term locals, also diverse, enthusiastic in their own ways and happy to live where they do.” They know because they are a part of the community and welcome these diverse folks to their pub frequently. Not just customers but friends.

Shoreham Inn near Lake Champlaine for sale

Fall colors surround The Shoreham Inn

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


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




Living Social Tips from Innkeepers

April 6th, 2011 by Janet Wolf

ShoppersAttention shoppers…group buying marketing companies have hit the air waves. In radio days the airwaves were the frequency that transmitted the signals that carried information to the world. We all know what claims the airwaves today, social media.  And the latest addition to the social media tool box is…

If you haven’t heard, Living Social along with Groupon are the front runners when it comes to social commerce. These two companies have attracted the largest audience of consumers.  Since the introduction of Living Social Escapes (many of us were first introduced at the Charleston PAII Conference) there have been a number of innkeepers that have taken advantage of this form of ‘social shopping’.  This is a new way to attract buyers to your brand. Increased exposure, isn’t that what we all need?

I recently interviewed Janel Martin, Innkeeper/Chef (extraordinaire) of The Wakefield Inn in New Hampshire about her experience with Living Social Escapes.

Chef Martin in The Wakefield Inn Kitchen

Q.  What was your motivation for using this social media tool?

A.  Marketing exposure. In the past I tried all the conventional advertising media and spent lots of money with no results. It has been a struggle to get my name, brand out there. I got instant and phenomenal exposure with my package posting. It went viral instantly.

Q.  What did your package include?

A.  I tell myself all the time, sell what you know and what you know will sell. I do cooking classes that are hands on; I love to get the guests involved. So my package includes a cooking class, a massage and a Deneen mug to take home, and the room of course. Oh yes, I believe it is important that the guest take home something with the Inn’s logo to remind them of the great time they had, so don’t forget to pre order the mugs, I ran out!

 Q.  What kind of feedback have you gotten from the participating guests?

A.  They all leave saying they can’t wait to tell their friends about the experience. I got at least 20 new reviews on Trip Advisor from these guests. Also there were at least 100 people that contacted me saying they missed the deadline and was I going to post one again. These are new people that are now in my database. Many of the people are from as far away as Montreal.

Q.  Would you do it again?

A.  Definitely!

Q.  What advice would you want to pass on to innkeepers who are considering putting a special on a social commerce site?

A.  If I was to do it again I would be more specific and firm about the rooms I offer and the dates. It would be for mid-week only and for a shorter period of time. You must structure your package very carefully and be very detailed about what you offer.

                Thanks Janel.

A point that Janel wanted to empathize is that you can do all the number crunching to see if your package will be profitable and that is important but her real motivation was the increased marketing exposure. This is what we at The B&B Team also believe is a prime reason to use any social media tool.  Marketing 101: Draw customers to your sell!  Your package is your invitation to customers to experience what you have to offer and it must be worth their while. If the growing number of customers using social commerce see your ‘escape’ and think it is worth their while than you have a new customer X 100, 200, 300, 400! Is it worth your while too?  Hope this helps you decide one way or the other.

This will a part of a series of interviews I will have with innkeepers that have participated in Living Social. Stay tuned.

Janet Wolf

New Innkeepers and the Yankees are Coming!

February 4th, 2010 by Janet Wolf

Not the New York Yankees…..but Dan and Penny Cote, the proud new Innkeepers of Inn Victoria of Chester, Vermont!


Welcoming these new Yankees are the former Innkeepers, Jon and Julie Pierce, who just happen to be British! The B&B Team is pleased to have been the Transfer Consultants to both the Cote’s and Pierces, on January 26th, 2010.  The transfer was smooth and a happy affair…no Redcoats or Green Mountain Men were present.


Now a question…will the new Innkeepers serve pie for breakfast?  The New Englanders out there may know the answer to this question.  For those who don’t, there is a wonderful and humorous answer from writer E.B. White:


-To Foreigners, a Yankee is an American

-To Americans, a Yankee is a Northerner

-To Northerners, a Yankee is an Easterner

-To Easterners, a Yankee is a New Englander

-To New Englanders, a Yankee is a Vermonter

-To Vermonters, a Yankee is somebody who eats Pie for Breakfast!


So, the many Yankees of yore served pie for breakfast in their inns and taverns…..not so different from the wonderful sweet and savory breakfasts served by Innkeepers today!


All of us at The B&B Team welcome Dan and Penny to the wonderful community of Innkeepers and say farewell to Jon and Julie as they return to their native England.


A Breakfast Pie


Pies needn’t be confined to dinner either.  Ralph Waldo Emerson, the great American essayist and philosopher who was dubbed a “hopelessly confirmed pie-eater” by his biographer, hewed faithfully to a diet of pie for breakfast!  Why not take his cue and try a riff on the classic English wake-up: a pie of caramelized, chopped tomatoes, browned mushrooms, thick-cut bacon and hard cooked eggs?  Or maybe a mash-up of spiced pears sautéed with leeks and country sausage? 


Enjoy the recipes!


Moonlight in Vermont and New Innkeepers at The Brass Lantern Inn

December 17th, 2009 by Janet Wolf

One of the best songs ever written about Vermont is by John Blackburn.  Mr. Blackburn spent only two years in Vermont, teaching Drama at Bennington College.  He lived the rest of his years in Southern California, as far away as one can get from Vermont, in more ways than just weather!   But he must have loved the place while he was there, just read a sample of these immortal lyrics in which each verse is haiku.

    Ev’nig summer breeze

    Warbling of a meadowlark

    Moonlight in Vermont


 Icy fingers-wave

Ski trails on a mountainside

 Snowlight in Vermont

Written in 1943, the poetic words of this romantic ballad are timeless and describe so well the romantic vision most people have of Vermont.  Native Vermonters and visitors alike to this wonderful state know this and keep it close to their hearts.  

One Vermont location and Inn that met his criteria is The Brass Lantern in Stowe.  The B&B Team is pleased to have been involved with the transfer of the inn on December 16th as Consultants to the Buyers.  Please join us in congratulating and welcoming Mary Anne and George Lewis, new Innkeepers of The Brass Lantern Inn.  The Lewis’s are recent graduates of our Aspiring Innkeeper’s Seminar.  With their knowledge and our commitment to an ongoing relationship with our clients, we feel assured of their future success as Vermont Innkeepers. 

Some very famous natives, at least to the many fans of the Vermont Country Store, are the Orton family.  They are in their 8th generation of ownership!  In the beginning, Vrest and Ellen Orton had a family goal, “sell products that don’t come back to people that do”, and “we take great care to treat you right so that you come back often.”  These values still exist in the running of the store.  You see it everywhere, from their dedication to their product line as ‘Purveyors of the Practical and Hard-to-Find’ to the warm and cozy feel of their two stores and the unique format of their catalog that hasn’t changed much in 60 years.  This home grown friendly and practical approach to business is what makes this state’s hospitality so genuine.

Norman Simpson once wrote in one of his Country Inns & Back Roads volumes, that he was always looking for the “lost Vermont”.  His vision was of “Gardens, trees, peace, history, laconic natives, covered bridges, mountains, lakes, antiquing, auctions…a sort of warm feeling of coming home.”

 Lost Vermont”…?…sorry Norman but we don’t believe it has ever been lost.  If you visit Vermont this winter I am certain you will be welcomed with the warmth of an ‘icy-fingered wave’, a road map to the ‘ski trails on a mountainside’ and a beautiful evening view from your guest room window of ‘Moonlight in Vermont.’  The Lewis’s and the Brass Lantern Inn will be happy to be your hospitable guides and hosts.  Oh yes, and while there, do drop in and see the folks at The Vermont Country Store too!


Janet Wolf

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