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Old 09-01-2009, 08:51 AM   #21
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If you like having houseguests all the time, Urchina, you would probably love a bed and breakfast. You could subcontract the cleaning (and the cooking too) and just do the management.

I imagine there are B&Bs available to buy? I'm thinking it would be more difficult to start from scratch and get permits and renovation done on a big old house otherwise.

We were in a B&B this summer for three nights and the mid-70-year-old owners said they would tidy up our rooms every day while we were sightseeing--I told them please don't as the guilt feelings sequed over me thinking about them crawling on the bed to tuck in the corners.

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Old 09-01-2009, 05:22 PM   #22
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Our next door neighbor is a B & B. We know the current owners and knew the former owners quite well. The prior owners took the somewhat rundown victorian and spent time and money fixing it up. Each room has its own bath. A couple rooms have their own functional fireplaces. One has a jacuzi. The woodwork is beautiful. The owner's unit is on the top floor with three bedrooms and a beautiful Lake Superior view.

The original owners got tired of never having time to themselves, especially in the summer when it was booked all the time. The only time they had to themselves was in the crappy weather months. They sold out about 5 years ago. Both the original owners and the current owners had one person in the family working outside the B & B. The original owners had a cook and housekeeper (same person). The current owners do all the work themselves. One of the current owners is also a licensed massage therapist and gives messages to guests and others for a fee.

During this recession business is down substantially. If it is the off-season and only one person wants to have a room it hardly pays. Especially if they are trying for a discounted rate. Firing up the heat for the entire huge place plus making breakfast isn't cheap.

Each of the two owners have interesting stories to tell about one problem guest or another. Though not common, there are always some people who think the owners of the B & B are their servants, there to cater to their every whim and if the whims are not percieved to be satisfied they will dispute the credit card charge and have a hissy fit. Or leave a day early and demand a refund for a room that will not rent out on such short notice.

We have another neighbor up the block that also is a B & B. The owner's unit is in the basement. No thank you. The building is gorgeous but who wants to live in a clammy basement?

The B & B owners are always complaining about one thing or another city government does which makes life more difficult for them. For example, licensing rules that don't make sense, restrictions on the things you can do and can't do (yes breakfast, no dinner, yes wine, no beer), and serious restrictions on the owner's use of B & B rooms.

You couldn't ask for better neighbors but I never would want to run one. Seems too much like being a servant in your own home, living in the maid's quarters and catering to those who get to enjoy the place.


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Old 09-01-2009, 05:30 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Martha View Post
One of the current owners is also a licensed massage therapist and gives messages to guests and others for a fee.

... Inspector Clouseau, I presume?
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Old 09-01-2009, 05:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Westernskies View Post
... Inspector Clouseau, I presume?

Yes, I have a message for you!

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Old 09-02-2009, 11:16 PM   #25
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Thanks, all. I'm actually in the exploratory phase of this. I've had some hospitality experience and worked my way through college as an RA (talk about being on-call for EVERYTHING). Quite frankly, I enjoy people, like making things special for others, don't mind cleaning and tidying, love to cook and bake, organize well and enjoy hooking people up with the resources they need. Plus, I'm social and want something that I control, as well as challenges. The B&B industry seems to match a lot of these things.

I'll be taking hotel management classes at our local community college (which has a very nice program, as it turns out) to see if the nuts and bolts are as appealing.

I'm just really interested in what people find comforting. I think there are some universals (private bath, hello!) and I'd like to home in on these. Even if I never open a B&B, it would make me a better hostess for the people who do stay with us, and for our family as well.

As for never having time off -- having made the transition from full-time work to stay-at-home parenting, I can attest that when you are your own boss, time off is something that YOU have to schedule.

Thanks for the feedback -- if there's more, I'd love to hear it!

(Oh, and Bestwifeever, yes, you can buy them as established businesses. One of the reasons they're appealing is that we'd like property and there are several B&Bs for sale in areas we like, with acreage, at about the same price point as single-family homes in the same areas with acreage. Except, with a B&B, you have some income to offset the mortgage).

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