Transportation

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Hello, and thank you for taking the time to read this thread. I did a search and have not found the thread that addresses this topic. 

Having spent the last few days, endlessly reading this forum, I realized a few things. One of them being that I need my money back from the inn workshop folks Smiling But it has also made me stop to think about location.

I live in PA. My desire is to open a B & B in Merion County, Oregon. The airport is not close.  We picked this location to piggy back off of current highly attended tourist attractions as well as for the quality of life my family and I desire.

So my question:

Do you offer airport pick up and drop off service?

If yes, do you charge extra or is it such standard practice to your establishment that it is built in to the room rates already?

Also, if yes; do you use a service or do you (or DH, staff etc) do it internally?

Thank you

Rachael

 

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Thanks to everyone. I am regrouping. 

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Make an arrangement with a taxi company or a limo service for something that you can resell. Let them cover it with their insurance. Or let them give you a kick-back, however small, if you refer them. Don't offer your own service, you will likely need a limousine licence and more.

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Don't go there. You will need insurance for sure. And, who wants to be servant to the whims of airlines departure and arrivals. Let them rent their own car to get to you. This is just opening up a whole other can of worms you don't want to hassle with.

gillumhouse's picture
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I would not even consider transporting guests from the airport. I thought about doing it from out "puddle jumper" and may still for a "fly-in" package BUT here is the problem. IF you do the transport - how are the guests going to go anywhere or do anything? Not many people are willing to use "shank's mare" these days. Unless my "fly-ins" were wanting to use the rail-trail for the  weekend they would be captive here. They could walk to restaurants and shopping and the shopping would probably last an hour or two if they look at EVERYTHING in each shop. Three if they are talkers.

I want them to be able to drive to see and do things - even if it is just to the grocery for a bottle of wine.

egoodell's picture
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To offer transportation you will need to contact your DMV and see what you need as far as a license. We had to go through an application and post a bond but your area may not be as picky. You will have to purchase livery (limo) insurance as well. Or it may be easier to get a taxi license.

Here in Virginia we don't need a special driving permit so long as we are driving less than 12 - we use and like the KIA Sedona vans.

Absolutely set up firm time or you will have inconsiderate people expecting you to "wait as we are just 45 minutes late" who will think that you and the other guests can just sit and wait for them. Believe me, that will get old fast.

There is no B&B insurance that will cover you driving your guests.

We have found that having the wine tours with the transportation to dinner helps fill our rooms.

Riki

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Madeleine's picture
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BD has covered a lot of info here but my perspective is this:

  • Are you a licensed, insured chauffeur?
  • When will you have time for driving what sounds like a long way, both ways, at the whim of the guest?
  • Willing to haul someone for an 11 PM flight home or pick up at 6 AM?
  • What about having multiple guests at multiple times of day?
  • Do you have a large, very reliable vehicle?

It's not something I would get into. Even the large hotels here in town only pickup at the in town train station. (We contract the local taxi guy and we pay the fare.)

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As far as hosting weddings, again it will depend of if the property is in a city or unincorporated area. Are there neighbors that will be impacted? I don't know any b&b that has been denied the ability to do weddings, except in cities.

Now, whether you SHOULD do weddings is a whole other topic!

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I have looked at one property that my DH loves. But overall we are open to anywhere in Marion Cty. I have been uncertain if it is too soon to actually contact them.

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Rachel,

I don't think it is too soon to contact them. Your regs sound like ours - zoned rural and allowing a list of things from B&B to farm shops, etc. I would contact them and tell them you are thinking of doing a B&B and ask for the regulations and a copy of the application.

That's what we did - we found that we were allowed 5 rooms and there were few regulations to open. We opened with 2 rooms and then expanded to 4.

I would find out now what is required before any changes. If it's an area that is getting popular and the regulations could get more difficult as time goes by. And the regs may affect where you pick your property.

Don't fall in love with a property before you know it's legal. Dont' don't don't pick one that is not and think you will apply for zoning change unless you have money to BURN. There WILL be a property there that will fit the regs.

Make sure you pick a property that is close to restaurants and things to do. LOCATION is KING.

Good luck!

Riki

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I've got a few questions:

Is the property already a b&b?

How many guest rooms will it have?

What is the property zoned now? Is it in a rural area or city?

There are certain regulations that are from the state level, then county, then city. I work very closely with my county health department and I've never been told we can't use what we grow. We only grow berries on our property. At one point we wanted to have chickens and that was a big problem. We would have to be registered by the Dept. of Ag and licensed as an egg reseller. Too much hassle for us to go through, we are not a farm, but we are rural. We would have had to have a lot of chickens to make the hassle worth it. We can buy fresh eggs only from a licensed reseller. There are many b&bs out there using their own eggs and I know they are not licensed, but believe me, you really want everything to be legal and above board.

I would contact the Marion county health dept with your questions. You can also contact the county extension agent. As I'm sure you've read on here many, many times, no matter what an 'official' tells you...GET IT IN WRITING! Contacting the health dept by e-mail will give you a paper trail.

If the county regs say you can't cook with foods grown onsite, there must be a way to be registered as a grower or small farm.

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Rural and zoned as  B & B "supposedly" but never opened as one. Is being used as a home.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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Rachael wrote:

Rural and zoned as  B & B "supposedly" but never opened as one. Is being used as a home.

There is no such thing as zoned as B&B. It's either commercial or not. If it's not commercial, then you would need to get a special variance for a b&b.

NEVER believe what a real estate agent tells you about opening up a b&b. They're just trying to sell a property and will feed you a lot of bogus information. Not necessarily because they are trying to be devious, but because they don't know better.

With any property you must get everything in writing from county/city BEFORE you buy.

Rachel, please e-mail me using the contact form here (click on my screen name) and tell me what town this property is in. I know a lot of innkeepers and may be able to get you more specific information.

Joey Camb's picture
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INN (get it?) the UK it would be totally cost prohibitive the insurance would be astronomical plus I think you would have to actually register as a taxi which again isn't cheap = slightly different for our location as we have a shuttle from the airport ever 30 mins to the bus station which is 7 mins walk away with a taxi rank and the train station is next to the bus station so for most they just walk or late at night get a taxi.

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Thank you. I will do that now.

egoodell's picture
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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Rachael wrote:

Rural and zoned as  B & B "supposedly" but never opened as one. Is being used as a home.

There is no such thing as zoned as B&B. It's either commercial or not. If it's not commercial, then you would need to get a special variance for a b&b.

NEVER believe what a real estate agent tells you about opening up a b&b. They're just trying to sell a property and will feed you a lot of bogus information. Not necessarily because they are trying to be devious, but because they don't know better.

With any property you must get everything in writing from county/city BEFORE you buy.

Rachel, please e-mail me using the contact form here (click on my screen name) and tell me what town this property is in. I know a lot of innkeepers and may be able to get you more specific information.

We build our  B&B as a private home and then got our B&B license. We are not zoned commercial and will not change. When we retire, it can then be sold as either a B&B or private home. Our rural zoning is listed for several things, including B&B. 

Riki

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Ditto for us.  We renovated the house and then converted to a 2 suite B+B.  Later we added a cottage and maxed out our permit  with a total of 3 accommodations for operating a B+B in the zone we are in.  I don't recommend following our example since a business is an expensive proposition.  But in our case, we can sell the place as a residence and do not have to jump through all the hoops that owning a commercial property would entail.  

As far as transportation for guests...don't do it.  We live 2 hours from the major airports in the area.  But we are in a popular destination where you need a car to get around because it is basically rural and seasonal.  Everyone who stays here has a car.  Either they drive here in their own or rent one at the airport.  People who do not want to drive stay in cities where there is an abundance of public transportation options. 

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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Hi Rachel, you don't have to worry about airport service. People arriving at PDX will rent a car. I know of no b&b that offers the kind of service you're asking about. The attractions in Oregon are so spread out that unless the guest is just staying in the metro Portland area, they'll have a car.

I have had my b&b in Oregon for 13 years now, so hopefully I'll be able to answer a few questions you may have.

 

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Breakfast Diva wrote:

Hi Rachel, you don't have to worry about airport service. People arriving at PDX will rent a car. I know of no b&b that offers the kind of service you're asking about. The attractions in Oregon are so spread out that unless the guest is just staying in the metro Portland area, they'll have a car.

I have had my b&b in Oregon for 13 years now, so hopefully I'll be able to answer a few questions you may have.

 

Oh thank you Breakfast Diva. I have so many questions but have also done much research. 

My one big question that I cannot seem to find the right person to ask is:

In the county regs a B & B cannot serve food that is grown on site. Is there a way around this? Like if we were to get additional permits or it it just a no?

I ask this because this would mean a big difference is pricing and property purchase. I would not buy the property with the apple orchard and an acre of other fruit (berries) if I could not cook with them to serve to my guests. 

Also,

I cannot find a complete list of B & B regs. I found this http://www.co.marion.or.us/NR/rdonlyres/503A8B17-3960-44A6-AF3C-FEA54D9E9821/51050/cu1319.pdf which is for land previously zoned EF and not sure if, as a BB you are able to host weddings and events at all.

egoodell's picture
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[akfast Diva. I have so many questions but have also done much research. 

My one big question that I cannot seem to find the right person to ask is:

In the county regs a B & B cannot serve food that is grown on site. Is there a way around this? Like if we were to get additional permits or it it just a no?

I ask this because this would mean a big difference is pricing and property purchase. I would not buy the property with the apple orchard and an acre of other fruit (berries) if I could not cook with them to serve to my guests. 

Also,

I cannot find a complete list of B & B regs. I found this http://www.co.marion.or.us/NR/rdonlyres/503A8B17-3960-44A6-AF3C-FEA54D9E9821/51050/cu1319.pdf which is for land previously zoned EF and not sure if, as a BB you are able to host weddings and events at all.

[/quote]

I would not trust what you find online as far as the regs. If your area is like ours, it is not what you find online that are the regs, it is what the current authorities ENFORCE as the regs. You need to go to your County or City office, and ask for a copy and ask them to go over them with you. Here they enforce as they see fit. But once you have your license you are set.

About not being able to serve food you grow - I don't know if you will be able to get past their ignorance. We cannot use grey water here - water from showers. I siked the state after my county when the state started trying to get businesses registered as "green" and the solution was that they offered that for a large fee I could hire their approved engineer to come and approve me using my shower water. 

Do you have a farmer's market? How are they regulated? Can you get approved? You will have to ask your authorities. Maybe you can create something that will work for both of you.

You may find, as we have, that weddings these days are more of a headache than it is worth. If you need the money to survive, go for it. But more B&Bs make plenty doing elopements so look into that as you don't need special permits. Big weddings will destroy your lawn, plug up your toilets, create filth to clean in your toilets, and be prepared for hugely entitled brides and mothers who will fill your B&B with photographers, makeup artists, people arriving to change that are not staying with you, cars driving all over your property, and when you try to control the situation, gobs of nasty TripAdvisor reviews. Google TripAdvisor reviews for those who do weddings and see.

I would concentrate on elopements or small wedding ceremonies, and partner with a location away from you for the reception. Let them destroy someone else's property.

For what it's worth!

Riki

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