Washington B&B Guild educational conference November 5-6

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12/13/2011

FYI.... 

The Washington State Bed and Breakfast Guild (www.wbbg.com) will be holding its annual educational event/conference November 5 and 6, 2012 at Bremerton, WA, in "Puget Sound Country", a ferry ride from downtown Seattle.  Link to details:

http://wbbg.com/about/2012AnnualMeeting

I attended last year, found it VERY worthwhile (excellent speakers), and plan to go again this year.  

Sessions on website optimization, financials, marketing, state of the industry, etc.

 

For aspiring innkeepers, perhaps as, or even more importantly, it offers excellent networking opportunities at evening dinner, breakfast, and all during the days for that matter, to find someone to lease or sell or finance what you are looking for?   I know attendees last year included aspiring innkeepers as well as experienced owners looking to sell and retire, but also those looking to acquire and expand their holdings.

 

E.g. personally, I financed a Puget Sound island B&B in 2007, ended up having to foreclose in 2009 after my borrowers defaulted, have had it continuously leased to two consecutive operators since then, and am looking for an eventual exit strategy which I'd even finance (again).  For me, attending these events is one way to potentially accomplish a win-win for me and some aspiring innkeeper or an existing operator who wants to add to their portfolio? 

 

From reading the posts here, I realize it's a distance to go for most of you, vs easy for me as it couldn't get much closer from where I am.  

 

But it's all FYI and FWIW if nothing else to anyone who might be interested in including this as part of a trip to our beautiful state or to plan for a future trip?

 

BTW, I've only posted here once before, and am wondering if I should repeat post this to the "aspiring innkeepers" forum as well?

 

Armen Yousoufian

B&B owner/lessor, real estate investor, lender, former hotel owner, etc.

Vashon Island, Washington state

 

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Armen Yousoufian, Maury Island, Washington

 

Skamokawa's picture
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08/24/2008

Hi, I grew up on Maury, just down the road from the former Angels of the Sea B&B (the 1917 wooden church on the main road near the fire station).

I vaguely remember a larger, purpose built B&B further on, up in the hill area south of Dockton, is that the one you financed?

The B&B guild membership is too rich for our blood, as although it looks like a good organization, it places our location in "Volcano Country", and people don't come here for Mt. St. Helens - they come to paddle the lower Columbia, we really have more in common with the coast.  So the WA B&B guild doesn't place at all in Google searches here. But the conference looks like it will be a good one, thanks for the post, and welcome to the forum.

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Twin Gables Inn
On the Lower Columbia Water Trail

 

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Joined:
12/13/2011

Skamokawa wrote:

Hi, I grew up on Maury, just down the road from the former Angels of the Sea B&B (the 1917 wooden church on the main road near the fire station).

I vaguely remember a larger, purpose built B&B further on, up in the hill area south of Dockton, is that the one you financed?

The B&B guild membership is too rich for our blood, as although it looks like a good organization, it places our location in "Volcano Country", and people don't come here for Mt. St. Helens - they come to paddle the lower Columbia, we really have more in common with the coast.  So the WA B&B guild doesn't place at all in Google searches here. But the conference looks like it will be a good one, thanks for the post, and welcome to the forum.

What a small world ! 

(Forgive me while I kibbitz with a former Maury Islander, which only has maybe 1500 people on a few square miles out in Puget Sound)

The Angels of the Sea B&B closed at least a few years back, as I recall.  Yes, by the fire station, which was my duty station for awhile when I was a volunteer with the Vashon/Maury Island fire district. I don't know of any "larger, purpose built B&B further on, up in the hill area south of Dockton," you could be referring to or how long ago this was.  The place I financed (in 2006) was, in fact, a "larger, purpose built B&B", but in Burton, on Vashon island, built in about 1991 and known as the "Back Bay Inn" through 2009.  4 rooms on 2nd floor, with full service restaurant on main floor - best food on the island.  As posted elsewhere, the folks I financed lost more money in the restaurant than they made in the rooms, defaulted, and I foreclosed in 2009 with no one bidding at the trustee sale.  So I became the owner.  Leased it for 3 years to a local business couple who renamed it.  Since leased to another local businessperson, who renamed it yet again and closed the restaurant, sub-leasing the former dining room space to a Pilates studio.  There's a cautionary tale for others who venture into the F&B business, and creative alternative use of space.

As for the Washington B&B Guild, based on my experience last year, I thought the conference was extremely reasonably priced and I got a lot out it.  Maybe for other readers the same is the case with their state B&B conferences?  And I say that from having attended dozens of national lodging conferences and events all over the country with far higher registration fees, plus airfare, during 17 years when I was operating a 135 room full service Seattle hotel.

So maybe I'll see you there, or at your place down south?

Skamokawa's picture
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Joined:
08/24/2008

Wow.  The Back Bay Inn was a great place, built to resemble the turn of the century building originally on the property (moved to another location, I believe).  I have been to the restaurant, it had a lovely dining room, and yes the best food on the island.  With years of hindsight, it seems now that it was woefully undermarketed.  A lot of islanders didn't seem to know it was there. With more and better restaurant competition in downtown Vashon nowdays, it might be difficult to support a fine dining place with the attendent personnel costs year-round.  Another ex-Vashon-ite, Fred Johnson, of Fred's Homegrown (restaurant formerly in downtown Vashon) has moved to a farm in Naselle, about a 40 minute drive from here.  We're now CSA customers of his (Community Supported Agriculture).  Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be helping out at the big Labor Day do at his place: Farmstock.  Some of the proceeds go to our local public radio station.  Fred is putting on a big dinner at the event tonight and tomorrow, so he still gets to put on his chef's hat.  I love buying produce from him, because as a chef himself, he knows what cooks want!   

Re: the conference, the cost of that is very reasonable, its the year to year membership costs that don't pencil out for us.  We operate on slim margins here, part of being in a very out of the way place, rather like that place on Maury was, back in the late sixties and early seventies.  We still have friends on the island, and like keeping up with what's happening.  Like the bumper sticker says:  "Keep Vashon Weird"

 

Sorry for the thread hijack here, last one, I promise!

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Joined:
07/23/2008

I think I might just attend!! Thanks for letting us know!! Smiling

 

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Sunshine

 

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06/24/2008

Thanks for the post.  There are some on here that are on your coast!  There is no need to post it again, it all goes under the same feed.

Oh and Welcome!  Join the conversation!

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