In the Winter months we:

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Offline
Joined:
10/07/2008
Close down
9% (2 votes)
Offer a limited room choice
0% (0 votes)
Have a min 2 night stay
9% (2 votes)
Do not offer discounts
14% (3 votes)
Open only on weekends
0% (0 votes)
Go with the flow
50% (11 votes)
Depends on the temps
0% (0 votes)
Other
18% (4 votes)
Total votes: 22

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Joined:
05/30/2008

I went with the flow, but if I had it to do over again I would have closed everything from around December 10th to15th through right before Valentine's Day.  I had a lot of business guests during the week, so it wouldn't have been a good idea just to be open on the weekends because those were really the guests that I got. 

I would have been concentrating on our family time at Christmas.

This is an area where there are no events that draw people to the area during that time of the year.  Our source of biz guests didn't bring people in then. And it really did not pay to have a few room nights for the heating bill and grocery shopping. 

I think you definitely need to look at the cost/benefit of staying open when it's super slow.  Although, I did meet some of our most interesting guests during that hit and miss period of being open. 

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People don't notice whether it's winter or summer when they're happy.
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Joined:
02/28/2010

Winter is a very busy time for us...everyone escaping the snow & flocking to the Caribbean Smiling

 

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

We're open all winter, except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. It's surprising how many requests we get for Christmas Eve, but I'm not getting up Christmas morning to cook breakfasts and make up rooms.

Have enough people through in November to make any big projects impossible, no-one tonight or tomorrow (hurrah) but had people in since Friday and more in this weekend. End of November it will go very quiet until the gap between Christmas and New Year, and then Jan, Feb and early march will be very quiet.

Spent today reprinting the guest information packs for each room. Need doing every year, they get very tatty and people use them as coasters.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

We are open all year but Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day they are told breakfast is minimal - juice, coffee, and muffins because the stove is occupied with dinner (whether the dinner includes them or not).. This year, no one booked out Thanksgiving package but I am actually glad as my brother is coming to visit on his way home from Niagara Falls as he goes back to Georgia. Since he has his trailer with him, he has his beds, but I want to be able to visit properly.

Arks's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2010

gillumhouse wrote:

Since he has his trailer with him, he has his beds, but I want to be able to visit properly.

Hope they're LONG beds!

Enjoy your visit. It will be a great Thanksgiving.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Arkansawyer wrote:

gillumhouse wrote:

Since he has his trailer with him, he has his beds, but I want to be able to visit properly.

Hope they're LONG beds!

Enjoy your visit. It will be a great Thanksgiving.

This is the short one.

When my little/big brother gratuated from college, slept on a rollaway bed (feet flat on the floor) for a couple years until his student loans were paid off. His FIRST purchase after he was out of debt was a custom-made bed and linens.

Madeleine's picture
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Joined:
09/29/2011

We'll get up to make breakfast on Christmas Day but we don't clean rooms. We let guests know the housekeeping staff is off that day.

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gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

We have the advantage of each room upstairs has electric baseboard heating. I keep heat in the bathrooms with the doors closed (on low) because all pipes are on outside walls (although all bathrooms are now well-insulated due to all having been remodeled/created since 2006). Guestrooms are heated on low only when the temps really dive, otherwise they are turned off. We keep the central heat downstairs at about 66 now (DH is getting worwe tolerating cold) during the day and 60 at night. We wear sweaters and fleece jacket (me) and plug in an electric heater in his area.

January has been our worst bill the last 2 years. We have 2053 sq ft of house.

Month                 gas units/cost            KW / cost     (both are raw costs - no taxes added)

January 2010    21   254.31           2263        189.76
 

January 2011    23   263.99           1731        156.14
 

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Joined:
10/07/2008

I thought an inn here closed all of January?

I am looking at it due to our blinkin' power bill over those months. I paid this past months which is 1/3 of what Dec or Jan is, and we wear sweaters and are not super warm in here, let me assure you.  I know I ask this every year and every year I end up "going with the flow" but thought, hm weekends only, and perhaps a 2 night min to make the $ worthwhile.  But then in the off season will have some attorney here on a case or visiting business person and it all goes out the window.  I just don't want to be open and have to heat everything for ONE ROOM ONE NIGHT.

DH and I will be sitting down this evening and discussing, so I wanted to get your feedback.  I have shown him the figures so we need to talk about winterizing this house better, doing something! Insulation is not done properly in some areas of this place, or critters have pulled it out!

Alibi Ike's picture
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Joined:
08/08/2010

We close in Jan. We reopen the day our usual repeat guests show up for their week's vacation. Whatever day in Feb that is. Don't know what we'll do if they decide to not show up one year. ;) Other than some groups who want to book the whole house we rarely get calls for Jan. It's Feb when things pick up again. We look forward to this in an alarmingly desperate way. We need this time.

When we close in Jan, everything in the inn gets unplugged and turned off including alarm clocks, the guest fridge, the computer, TV's, all of that. We do leave the pilots on the gas stoves for a little heat. Then the thermostat goes down to 55. In an ironic twist, last year's Jan electric bill, with everything shut off was higher than Dec when we have Christmas lights, laundry and all of that.

We could probably shut down for March as well because it is nowhere near spring here at that time.

Joey Camb's picture
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Joined:
04/02/2010

We are big enough that I can operate easily with one room out service at a time so we just try and do renovations when it is quieter. all the big jobs that do make internal mess done now so the next one is the roof!

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

We keep the same rates and minimums all year. When people ask about a winter rate, I just tell them we keep the same rates all year, but probably our rates next sumer will be higher.

Then we just go with the flow. Whoever books, great, but I'm not going to obsess about it. It gives us time to do projects that we have put off. We'll be having the hardwood floors redone in 2 guest rooms this winter, repairs and if there's any money leftover, we'll tile our OQ bathroom which didn't get done last winter.

muirford's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

 Weekends only for January and February.  We do our projects during the weekdays.

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Madeleine's picture
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Joined:
09/29/2011

Business as usual unless we see some time where there is nothing happening, then we close up shop and go on vacation.

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