PBS Web Site Seeks True Stories of Frustrations

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Greetings to all,

I'm on assignment with Avenue Next, a PBS-sponsored digital platform, and am looking to speak with any inn or B&B owners who quit their jobs to pursue this dream... and are not so sure they made the right decision. This is not to disparage owning an inn or B&B, but as you all can attest, it's extremely hard work and sometimes folks aren't ready for it all.

My piece is about these kinds of dreams that don't always pan out. I'm featuring a woman who left a big job to raise lavender organically in the San Francisco area and is really bummed she did. My editor has asked me to find a B&B/inn owner/s with a similar story.

If this is you, or you know someone who would be willing to be interview, please respond here or email me directly. My deadline is in about two weeks, so please respond at your earliest. Many thanks!
 

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Tracey Minkin, freelance journalist/editor
tminkin7761@gmail.com

 

Proud Texan's picture
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 We retired THEN decided to open a B&B.   But there are no horror stories.   The amount of business we get exceeded our expectations.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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You've come to the right place! Every one of us has a different story and different reasons why/how we got into this industry.

Our member "Samster" is someone you might also be interested in communicating with if she's interested.. She has a very interesting & relevant history with getting in/out of being an innkeeper.

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BD, don't think I fit the profile either of someone who quit their job to pursue the innkeeping dream and then decided it wasn't for me.   

But thanks for thinking that my story might be relevant!  hahaha... 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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I guess I was looking more at the angle of the reality of the lifestyle was difficult and getting out.

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Actually, the reality of the lifestyle/business requirements didn't fit my dh's preconceived notion, despite doing all the research.  At least I didn't use my cast iron frying pan on him! 

Proud Texan's picture
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Samster wrote:

Actually, the reality of the lifestyle/business requirements didn't fit my dh's preconceived notion, despite doing all the research.  At least I didn't use my cast iron frying pan on him! 

We were out shopping yesterday and I got into a conversation with a lady who "had a house"  and she was thinking about opening a bed and breakfast.  She had all the romantic notions that some have about running a B&B with none of the reality checks in place.

She hadn't a clue about running a business.  Her husband was not supportive plus he was a homophobe and a bigot. She was in her 70's and planned on doing all the cleaning and cooking and yard care herself.  After a short discussion,  she decided maybe she should just rent the house. 

Yes dear,  maybe that would be best.    Bless her heart.

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  Good for you!  You really need the actual support also, not just talk, when you own a business unless the biz is small enough for one person to handle on their own.

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Proud Texan wrote:

We were out shopping yesterday and I got into a conversation with a lady who "had a house"  and she was thinking about opening a bed and breakfast.  She had all the romantic notions that some have about running a B&B with none of the reality checks in place.

She hadn't a clue about running a business.  Her husband was not supportive plus he was a homophobe and a bigot. She was in her 70's and planned on doing all the cleaning and cooking and yard care herself.  After a short discussion,  she decided maybe she should just rent the house. 

Yes dear,  maybe that would be best.    Bless her heart.

Yeah no clue, I tell people when they say those things "Any house can become a B&B" it is NOT THE HOUSE! DANG IT ALREADY! haha

Big house, yeah spend a half mill to turn it into an inn, then what?

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gillumhouse's picture
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That is so funny! When I was the stand-in for my friend's daughter at her wedding rehearsal (at the daughter's request) we got to the part where they were to light the unity candle. She was the only one other than the groom-to-be who could hear what I was saying when the minister said she was to look into his eyes and for them to speak to each other. I said to him as I looked into his eyes, "This is where she tells you - Look you SOB if you do not do as you should, I have a cast iron frying pan that will ding off your head perfectly!" He looked at his bride-to-be and said, "Help me!" We were laughing almost uncontrolably when she replied, "I can't, I am taking notes." Everyone wondered what we were laughing at but we never told.

The true role of the cast iron frying pan!

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07/21/2012

What a cool and engaged community! Thanks so much to those who have already posted.

I'll add a few clarifications here: the interview would be via email or phone (whatever is most convenient for you, the source).

I will ask my editor (this is his story idea, so I'm marching to his orders) about the notion of being hemmed in by the economy... an interesting angle, for sure!
 

Please feel free to comment/question here, or email me directly via my profile signature/link.

And thanks again!

 

birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

i e-mailed you a couple days ago, I guess we dont fit the profile?

birdwatcher's picture
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We quit our jobs in the big city, bought two homes and renovated them for a B & B and four years later were not able to keep one of the homes, we are still however Innkeepers but not owners-doest that fit your profile?

birdwatcher's picture
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02/22/2009

Was going to edit my entry and it would not let me into that site, is there a special way to do this now?

Madeleine's picture
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Once someone has replied to your post you can no longer edit it. If you want to add something, just reply to your own post. If you want to take something out, that can't be done unless Swirt removes it for you.

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Everyday, for good or ill, we intersect with some else's story and become a part of it.

 

birdwatcher's picture
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thanks Madeline-

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birdwatcher wrote:

We quit our jobs in the big city, bought two homes and renovated them for a B & B and four years later were not able to keep one of the homes, we are still however Innkeepers but not owners-doest that fit your profile?

You get my vote!

Email her she provided it on her signature line. Sounds like what she is after.

birdwatcher's picture
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ok will e-mail her. thanks Joey-been busy at this inn and have not been on in a while...who knows eh?

gillumhouse's picture
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I quit a job I could not get laid-off from to become a start-up innkeeper.16 years later I still love it. When I fit your model, let me know.

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10/07/2008

 Tracey, interview in what way? Filming at the inn, or phone interview? This may bring in diff responses if you would please clarify this point. Thanks!

The "not finding it what it was meant to be" could be for some of us "You can check-in but you can't check out" in other words, we bought to own and work, and use as an investment, but with the economy the way it is we cannot sell (business loans near impossible to come by right now).

Also feel free to post a POLL here on this forum for ACTIVE INNKEEPERS to answer, you might find some true answers that way from a larger numbers of us.

Madeleine's picture
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Well, that doesn't fit my profile but if you're ever looking for someone who got let go from a lucrative career because their whole division was sold to China and they decided to roll the dice and become innkeepers and after a 10 year plan that is close to expiring have decided to just keep doing it, come on back here and let me know!

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