A Stupid Question

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yv1berj2's picture
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I am in process of studying and looking into the possibility of opening/purchasing a B&B.  At present I am basically in the learning stages and I have that typical "Stupid Question" that we're all afraid to ask.

Is there any specific criterion as to the appearance of a property for it to be considered a B&B? 

To be specific, I have seen a property that seems interesting,  as far as location and acreage.  The place is now a motel and is a typically motel looking building in appearance.  An office at one end of the building and a long row of rooms stretching along a long building.  The place does need a fair amount of work, but, I would like to create a B&B out of it, which will be a "B&B for Pets and Humans".  It would have facilities with "Doggie and Human Beds" in the rooms and a Day Care facility for the pets while the human part of the family is out doing whatever.

But the question comes down to the layout of the building.  Would I be able to call this a B&B?

I'd love an intelligent answer to a dumb question.

Thanks.

 

 

egoodell's picture
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 I don't think the appearance has anything to do with being a B&B. While living in Napa I saw one made up of private train coaches. I've seen them in churches.

And the town of St. Helena has a charming - I think it's still a motel but can't recall or tell - motel that is darling. They have grape vines painted out side the doors and is really really cute.

Just make sure in this economy that you are choosing a LOCATION where people are already visiting. I would be more afraid of striking out in a location that has no attractions than the appearance of the inn.

As long as you can make it interesting and the rooms have their own bathrooms and you're in a destination location then it's just up to your personality! And cool amenities.

Riki

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I'm doing something very similar with the inn I have recently started running.  I thought our area needed a pet friendly place for people who travel with their 4 legged babies.  I am also in the same type structure as you mentioned.  It's great because they can take the dogs right out and not have to go thru a maze of halls and doors.  As the weather warms, I plan to make more accomodations for the pet owners and their 'babies'.

This whole project kind of just fell into my lap, but I'm really enjoying the challenge.  This place is going to end up a little eclectic like myself, but I think that will be great.  We will have alot of area for the pets to exercise. And so far, all the doggy guests have gotten along great with my little feist terrier.  I think he's going to end up in a long distance relationship with our current cutie pooch guest!

Many people consider their dogs part of the family and I feel that it's important to have a place where they feel welcome too! It should not be much more of a challenge, as long as we make sure they are RESPONSIBLE pet owners. I am not exclusively seeking guests with pets, but I do let them know it is an option and will accomodate them. 

I've had a long day, so I don't really have any cute catch phrases to offer. You could do a play on words with the idea of it being a doggy inn, owners welcome too! (Ugh .. I hope I'm still making sense at this hour!)

I wish you much luck and please email me if you would like to exchange ideas on this venture.

egoodell's picture
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Bed and Biscuit

Riki

Proud Texan's picture
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Bark Fest sounds much better than "This Place Smells Like Wet Dog"

[BTW I guess you regulars know who I am.  I took the advice of this forum and made myself a little less conspicuous by removing references to my name and B&B so  I can vent without repercussions.]

 

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"Barkfest" sounds to me like a bunch of dogs barking non-stop.  We took our dogs to a very well known and recommended doggie camp here one time when we went on vacation & when we picked them up, they were both voiceless.  Needless to say, they haven't been back. 

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Proud Texan's picture
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Call it a Bed and Barkfest

seashanty's picture
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ooh, i don't know. barkfest is somehow confusable (is that a word?) with barf-fest

bed and bark?

bed and woof-fest?

goofy me, i know.

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trishany's picture
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I saw the pictures of your dogs (cute, cute, cute) and forgot the question!!!!!

yv1berj2's picture
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Wow or should I say BowWow!  I certainly did not expect so may people to reply in such a short period of time.

I am grateful to all of you for your input and help.

To elaborate a little.  First, we would definitely be offering a full breakfast. 

The location is close to two ski areas.  Initially I was just thinking about skiers bringing their pets and leaving them in our daycare center while they ski,   But as I studied the area more, it is in an almost 4 season outdoor recreation tourist area good for hiking, biking, sightseeing, fall foliage, etc.  This makes the area much more appealing in that, hopefully, you are doing business year round instead of just one season.

I've also seen some buildings that I don't need to spend the time or money to renovate, but, unfortunately, most of them do not have the land that I need for the doggie daycare center, which would be a separate building.

This location has more land than I need, but instead of having to build a separate building, I can renovate the existing buildings.

If I can buy this cheaply enough, then it would be worthwhile doing the work, assuming of course, that the local laws and codes are amiable.

Morticia's picture
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yv1berj2 wrote:

Wow or should I say BowWow!  I certainly did not expect so may people to reply in such a short period of time.

I am grateful to all of you for your input and help.

To elaborate a little.  First, we would definitely be offering a full breakfast. 

The location is close to two ski areas.  Initially I was just thinking about skiers bringing their pets and leaving them in our daycare center while they ski,   But as I studied the area more, it is in an almost 4 season outdoor recreation tourist area good for hiking, biking, sightseeing, fall foliage, etc.  This makes the area much more appealing in that, hopefully, you are doing business year round instead of just one season.

I've also seen some buildings that I don't need to spend the time or money to renovate, but, unfortunately, most of them do not have the land that I need for the doggie daycare center, which would be a separate building.

This location has more land than I need, but instead of having to build a separate building, I can renovate the existing buildings.

If I can buy this cheaply enough, then it would be worthwhile doing the work, assuming of course, that the local laws and codes are amiable.

You want to be really clear on the doggie daycare aspect of the zoning. If there are ANY neighbors, you may immediately get complaints that it will be too noisy.

I think it sounds like a neat idea. If you had groomers on hand you could do a great biz in the 'doggie day spa' line. I totally do not get that, but it is big biz for folks who have money to burn. We JOKE when we have our dog groomed (and I cannot believe I am sending her out for this, but we're busy) that she is off for her 'spa day'. She comes back all spiffy, but more stressed than when she went.

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yv1berj2's picture
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Thanks Bree. 

Yes, the zoning was at the top of the list of things to look into.

There seems to be enough distance between the neighbors that I don't think it shoud be too much of a problem, but you are right about having to add that to my list.

Our dogs get groomed more than I do.  It is amazing how much money people spend on their pets.  My wife owns a Pet Sitting Service and she has reached a point after 6 years that she is turning people away. 

The economy stinks, but her figures are up almost 25% for the year.  Go figure!

 

 

Morticia's picture
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I know how hard it is to get my dog in for 'service'! But, it's more of an assembly line sort of thing...she has to be there at 7 AM!

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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"A Bed and Breakfast that bowwows them all." Is a saying on a local kennel nearby us.

Why not call it LODGING instead, and use diff words to portray what it actually is all about. Bed and Biscuit or something catchy. 

Obv it is not a traditional B&B where the owners live IN THE HOUSE and it is a house. There are a few on this forum with diff variations, cabins, guest houses, larger inns.

Is it near recreation? Is it just a kennel or is it place for families can bring their pooch along for all the fun, ie hiking, boating, etc?

PS The quote at th start of my post is Apsen Grove Bed and Breakfast - it is ONLY for dogs, and my husband argued it was a B&B for years until I showed him their website. after they made one.  SO make sure whatever it is, it is good and clear and people will enjoy that!

All the best in finding your answers.  This is a good bunch here...

 

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swirt's picture
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Bed and Buscuits are becoming more and more common so any play on that could have B&B in it.  I think in the general public there are lots of assumptions about B&B's both good and bad.  If you are clear about what you offer and don't offer then I don't see a problem with using the term bed and breakfast.  We have cabins that are detached from our house but we server breakfast in the house and in our 6 years we haven't had any complaints that we are not a "typical B&B" nor has there been any confusion that we are aware of in that direction.  If anything the confusion is in the other direction, that we are camping cabins or something more rustic/less comfortable.  So we go out of our way to break up those misconceptions. 

From a firecode/health code classification though it may be different.  Some areas require that an innkeeper live on premises, some limit the number of bedrooms.  But those requirements have more to do with what laws apply as opposed to how you market yourself to the public.  If you offer a truly great experience for 2 and 4 legged guests and you are clear about it, I don't think you will end up with too many noses bent out of shape about calling yourself a B&B.  Sure some may not choose to stay with you because it is not an old victorian home, but there will be others who would stay because you offer exactly what they want/need when traveling with a dog (private entrances, ensuite baths, ...)

swirt's picture
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Forgot to add, welcome to INNspiring.com   And no this was not a stupid question. 

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I think it could be a good bnb.  There are many people that travel with their pets and it would be easy to market to that market. 

You would also need an area for breakfast as someone else mentioned here too.

On the down side, is that the only market.  You should look for more than 1 market.

Morticia's picture
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Frankly, I don't see why you couldn't call it a B&B if you offer a real breakfast. You do need to know if there are facilities for doing that on the premises. Unless there is a nice 'caretakers' suite' you won't have much of a kitchen from what I have seen in looking at motel properties to purchase.

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Honestly, if it is a typical looking old motel. I would not call it a B & B. Sorry.  B & B has the connotation of "one's home" and the comforts provided there by the innkeeper, what you are suggesting is just another motel.  Though the concept is interesting?  You can call it anything you want, but don't mislead people into thinking they are going to the "usually thought of" B & B.

Innkeep's picture
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As a relative newcomer, my take on your idea is that it's the hospitality and spirit that makes a bed and breakfast, as well as offering the accommodations and the real breakfast.  I would think that an old motel might end up being even more of a money pit than an old house would, but the advantages include the fact that each room would already have an ensuite bathroom.  Still be absolutely sure that you have your zoning in place before you do anything else.  Also check your building codes.  Depending on the amount of remodelling you do, it is possible that the entire structure will have to be compliant with the most recent commercial building codes, and that could lead to unforseen expenses.

Innkeep

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