New B&B in the Maritime provinces

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09/08/2008

Hi everyone.  We are "inn" the market to buy a large heritage home in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick or PEI and could really use your input.  This will also be our first try as innkeepers.  There are so many gorgeous properties already operating there so we need to find a "niche"  Have been reading there are various seminars available, love the concept of the cruise seminar.  We'd love to hear from anyone who has some insight on operating a B&B in the maritimes or just starting out.  PS:  I'm not real good in the kitchen but willing to learn.  We don't want this to be a problem from the get-go.  How fancy do breakfasts need to be?  Thankyou all.

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Joined:
08/04/2008

Yes, it is in the middle of nowhere! I have learned a lot while I've been here about the area and attractions. There is fishing, hunting, canoeing, all the outdoor activities that Kris was talking about. Then in the winter it is a HUGE snowmobile area. They apparently have great snow trails up here.

I don't think I could live this far north, but it sure is pretty countryside.

Yes, Bree, I was still hoping to get together with you next week on our way back thru. We'll be in your neck of the woods on Tuesday. Will you be available for a cup of coffee?

Morticia's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

So far it looks like I'll be here!

 

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Joined:
08/04/2008

I'll give you a call when we leave Mount Desert Island on Tuesday.

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Joined:
08/04/2008

Hi and welcome to the forum!

What are some of the criteria that you are looking for?

An aspiring innkeeper seminar is probably a great idea for you guys. But like someone already stated, don't go knowing nothing. Make an apt with an innkeeper around your area and pick their brain for an hour (in between loads of laundry, of course!!!! ) 

Are you concrete in your search area? I am in very Northern Maine right now and I know of a gorgeous property right down the road from my inlaws that is for sale. It isn't a B&B, but it has 10+ bedrooms, 7 bathrooms, and many fireplaces. It abuts the St. John's River in the Saint Francis area.

Some people are set on a certain area only to find their dream place in a different area.

I am a Mid-Western girl (currently, we live in Ohio) but my DH is from Maine. I love the cornfields and rolling hills of Ohio, but I am totally addicted to the rocky coast of Maine.

As of right now, it'll be a huge suprise where we actually end up. I could live in Ohio forever, but I think my heart's desire B&B might be found in Maine...Unfortunately, as prospective B&B owners, we aren't really supposed to use our hearts for the whole situation...there has to be more brain used than heart.

My best piece of advice is to read EVERY single post on this forum. It'll take you a while, but it will be worth every second. Even read the threads that you don't think pertain to you because I have learned that the original topic can be a source for a totally different conversation.

Good luck and ask away...there are a lot of aspirings on this forum who absorb info like sponges. Your mind might think differently than ours and all of us can stand to learn something new!!!1

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Joined:
09/08/2008

Emspiers, love the idea of the Maine b&b.  We live in western Canada.  I don't think it's too easy for us to move to the states and open a business or just get a job.   Not sure if a b&b would be different.  Have been reading through the forum and there's lots of great ideas and advice.  Thanks for all the replies

 

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Joined:
08/04/2008

I don't know what the regulations are since Sept 11, but I do know of some Canadians who started a business and they just have to keep their visa current. It might not be as difficult as you think, but then again....

I might be a good idea not to leave any stones unturned...

Might not cost any money to ask some questions at your local govt office. Contact Maine's Dept of Taxation, they might have some info, too.

Morticia's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

OK, THAT is in the middle of nowhere! There aren't even any ROADS showing on the map to the west and south!

Are you going to end up coming down this way while you're in the 'area'?

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Joined:
05/30/2008

Hi Deanna, welcome to the forum!

I own a B&B in Ontario, so the provincial regs may be different for me than for you but some things will be the same. This forum is the best place to learn about the daily operations of a B&B, about the hurdles and joys you'll encounter along the way.

For the regs and the business end of starting up, start with this link:

http://www.canadabusiness.ca/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=CBSC_FE/disp...

Then take a seminar, read books, go stay at B&B's in the areas that appeal to you. Ask some innkeepers if they would be willing to meet with you and talk to you about the business (ask to set up an appointment in advance, don't just show up!). If you can't find a seminar near you specific to innkeeping, see if a gov't agency or local college offers workshops for new entrepreneurs--a B&B is still a business, even if it's run from your home, so make sure you understand budgets and feasibility and taxes etc.

And don't worry about the cooking at this point. I think that's the easiest part to learn!

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Joined:
05/22/2008

You REALLY should attend a good aspiring innkeeper workshop.  I work with lots of aspirings and they think because they have read the books etc..they will be fine. But there really is no replacing the "expertise" of real innkeepers where you learn from first hand experience.  Like one I am working with  now..she wants to send her guests to a nearby restaurant for breakfast????? NOT....It is a bed and breakfast.not bed and I send you to a restaurant for breakfastSad  She doesn't get it.

Then of course, stick around here for all the expertise and "down to earth, tell it like it is" info we share.

Best of luck

 

 

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Joined:
08/19/2008

Hi and welcome to the forum! We are just opening our B&B and we will be serving simple but tasty breakfasts. We will also offer refreshments in the afternoon and evening if guests wish. as for decor again simple but comfy. We are located in Durham Bridge New Brunswick. Ours was not a B&B but built like one. 6 bedrooms all with their own bathroom and separeate entrance.

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Joined:
09/08/2008

Thankyou both for replying.  We have been looking at Nova Scotia.  Did stay at a couple of gorgeous inns there.  Have either of you been to a seminar?  Just wondering if they really are helpful.  We have some definite ideas in mind and look forward to reading through the forum.  So nice to have replies.

Morticia's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Deanna wrote:

Thankyou both for replying.  We have been looking at Nova Scotia.  Did stay at a couple of gorgeous inns there.  Have either of you been to a seminar?  Just wondering if they really are helpful.  We have some definite ideas in mind and look forward to reading through the forum.  So nice to have replies.

Yes. Go to a seminar. But go prepared. Read thru this forum which is run by innkeepers. If you've got a question, it's probably been answered. (Other than location-specific questions.) If you can't find the topic, ask it yourself! But, a class will give you a focused presentation, with materials you can review and some contacts in the field. Better if you found a seminar run by Canadians because the tax and housing laws are different. But, a good class in the US will give you a foundation to build on. But don't go knowing nothing or you will overwhelmed by the info.

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)'s picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Welcome to the forum!

There are a couple innkeepers in your ideal location on this forum.  A couple that are not here very often, so I hope they check in soon and can help answer your question.

Have you stayed at any B&Bs? That would answer the HOW FANCY fo the breakfasts need to be. 

Of course it depends on the type of B&B and niche, as you mentioned.  If you were in a lodge on a river I would hope to find bacon and eggs and fried tators.  That is what comes to my mind.  If you are more upscale, higher priced rooms and fine linens then you better have something a bit 'fancier' up your sleeve. 

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