New user introducing herself: notAgrandma

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notAgrandma's picture
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07/07/2017

Hello everyone, 

I'm not sure where to post an introduction, but here goes.... A friend recommended that I join innspiring to receive input, advice, and support from our fellow innkeepers. Since I didn't see a forum named "Welcome" or "inn-troductions", I jumped right into posting for helpful advice. It was certainly a learning experience.

About me: I have a BS in microbiology from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin. My husband and I bought our B&B 6 years ago. I chose the screen name "notAgrandma" because I was in my 30's when we started this adventure. For the first few years, I was regularly asked, "Where are the owners?" I've even had older guests blurt out, "My goodness, you're so young!" before they even stepped over our threshold. It might sound flattering, but it implies that I'm not mature enough to own a business. Ageism exists. 

About our inn: We own a 130-year-old house in an urban setting in the midwestern US. We have 5 rooms. About half of our guests travel from within a 5-hour drive, the remainder fly into our city. We don't see many international guests, but those that stay with us quickly learn that we're not in a "fly-over" city. We have guests traveling for concerts, sporting events, conventions, sightseeing, and even some "stay-cations".

I guess folks will learn more about me as we interact on the forums. I tend to have a bit of a fiery personality, being an Aires and born in the year of the dragon. I am an INTJ, if that means anything to folks Eye-wink

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Silverspoon's picture
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10/16/2011

I will echo the Welcome given by others to all the Newbies.  Sorry I am late to the post...it's July.  

DH and I have a Historic Home in a National Park in coastal  New England with 2 suites and a cottage.  This is our 28th year and we are beginning to cut back by limiting our season and blocking out time so we are not run ragged.  This forum is an invaluable source of support and wisdom.  We have been quite successful because of our location and we are known for our personalized service.  Small is beautiful!

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01/14/2016

Welcome to notagrandma and doc b.  I am more of a reader that a writer here and am a newbie to this business.  We have been open one and half years and are loving every aspect of it so far.  Before that I was owner/operator a fifties-style diner for ten years, before that a homeschool mom of five for about twenty years, and back to my high school days: my first business was a garbage route using my '54 Ford pick-up. I've worked in car hops, restaurants, and even farming.  All experiences led to this desire of serving people and meeting their needs.  Sure have lots of great memories and now we are making more with guests from across this great country and our lovely neighbors in Canada.

The very best to you in this grand world of hospitality including this informative and helpful forum.

happykeeper's picture
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12/11/2008

Aloha e komo mai

We're entering our 13th year as innkeepers. Of that time and this forum, I am amazed how much we have learned, how dramatically different the industry is from the day we opened, and how valuable tips continue to pop up on this site. We're a bit different than many since we designed and built our inn ourselves. It was my third house construction wise. We figure we did about 70% of the it. We had help from family and friends when we needed it the most. That sweat equity gave us the ability to grow into our business. 

May you enjoy the world of innkeeping as much as we have. 

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

Welcome to all newbies. We are like any family - there are times we tick each other off, we go pout, and get over it and come back for more. My method is to flip the bird at the monitor, utter a mild expletive, and go away - for about an hour.  I would miss my friends terribly if I ever left They understand, empathize, sympathize, and give a wake-up call when needed Have met many, will meet another in September, and hope to meet many more  before I go room temp.

Highlands John's picture
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gillumhouse wrote:

 before I go room temp.

Ha-ha.... never heard that phrase before.

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Highlands John's picture
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Hello to both of you.

Breakfast Diva's picture
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05/26/2009

Welcome to both of our 'newbies'! 

We just started our 17th year of innkeeping. We're located along the coast in the Pacific Northwest. We're not a traditional style b&b since our niche is romantic getaway and offer a very private experience for our guests. Breakfast is delivered to their door and very rarely do our couples interact with each other. 

All of us here try to respect that there is no 1 right answer to questions/problems, but sometimes but you'll definitely get information without the rose colored glasses.

I'm looking forward to hearing about your experiences and questions!

Lee2014's picture
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12/11/2014

   Welcome!  I'm one of the babies on this forum due to my age.  We are a big happy family for most of the time so join in and step into the "picking order".  

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notAgrandma's picture
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07/07/2017

Thanks, everyone! @Doc B - I love Tybee Island! We visited it when my husband was traveling for work. He's an aerospace engineer & had to go to Gulfstream's HQ in Savannah. Such a beautiful area!

@TheBeachHouse - my other half still works a desk job, too. We'd love it if he could quit, but health care is so expensive & we need him to keep contributing to his 401K.

@Skamokawa - I wish I'd locked off my kitchen from the beginning. There's a pocket door dividing it from the rest of the B&B. I've had guests borrow things off of my desk, use my computer to charge their cell phone, eat the baked goods that I prepared for the following morning, and (the best one) use one of my gas burners to light a cigarette that he smoked in his room -- and he left the burner on!!!  I finally installed a chain lock, but it was possible to reach in if you opened the door & slide the chain over. I had a very drunk guest ignore the "PRIVATE - STAFF ONLY" sign and he unlocked the door anyway, then put his White Castle leftovers in our fridge instead of the one in his room. Now there's a padlock to shorten the chain. It's shocking what some folks will do!

@JimBoone - thank you for the kudos! & @Momma Smurf - thank you for understanding. Kids were never in the stars for us, but that doesn't keep folks from asking why don't we have them! Guess that's the midwest for you Laughing out loud

Breakfast Diva's picture
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notAgrandma wrote:

@Skamokawa - I wish I'd locked off my kitchen from the beginning. There's a pocket door dividing it from the rest of the B&B. I've had guests borrow things off of my desk, use my computer to charge their cell phone, eat the baked goods that I prepared for the following morning, and (the best one) use one of my gas burners to light a cigarette that he smoked in his room -- and he left the burner on!!!  I finally installed a chain lock, but it was possible to reach in if you opened the door & slide the chain over. I had a very drunk guest ignore the "PRIVATE - STAFF ONLY" sign and he unlocked the door anyway, then put his White Castle leftovers in our fridge instead of the one in his room. Now there's a padlock to shorten the chain. It's shocking what some folks will do!

We also have a pocket door for a kitchen door. We put a slider bolt on it. The main part of the lock is attached to the door frame and then we put a hole in our side of the pocket door. Slides in and out really easily and keeps the door completely closed.

TheBeachHouse's picture
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Our apartment is separated from the inn by a door with a deadbolt that gets locked when we are out of the house or going to bed.   I've never had someone just walk in.  Yikes.

 

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notAgrandma's picture
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Oh, we have living quarters that are entirely separate from our main house, too. Our living quarters are a full 700 sq.ft. apt with our own separate kitchen. We have a huge kitchen in our main house dedicated exclusively to the B&B. Unfortunately, the previous owners didn't have the foresight to put a real door on the B&B kitchen when they remodeled. They also were foolish to put a desk in the kitchen. Since our apt is small, I'm pretty much forced to use the desk in the kitchen for all of my B&B paperwork.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

People ask? That's so RUDE!

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

Welcome notagrandma and Doc.

I am the office job half of a couple who bought a 6 room B&B on the North Shore of Boston 4 years ago.  Most of our friends thought we were crazy.   Some still do.  Some have come around.  He runs the inn.  I commute to a sterile, climate controlled, fancy office in the city.  I wish every single day that I could be back at the inn.   I'll make it someday.

I'm here for the stories.   And recipes.   I'm astounded when I see pictures of our first year breakfast presentation, at how far we've come and how much we've learned.

I almost didn't stay when I first got here because some harsh criticism was applied.  But I've managed to make some friends, piss some people off and laugh a bit.

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06/20/2017

Hello notAgrandma and the rest of you innmates!

New to the forum and a new B&B owner. I've been lurking and learning  for a few weeks now, so I decided to jump in and introduce myself too.

I'm a practicing Doctor of Chiropractic in Atlanta GA, and my wife will be leaving her corporate America job to run our newly purchased B&B in Tybee Island, Savannah GA.

About the Lighthouse Inn, the previous owners renovated a 1910 Lieutenants home in historic Fort Screven 17 years ago. The Inn has three bedrooms and is only 100 yards from the Tybee lighthouse.  

It sure is nice to have a forum/family of Innkeepers to share and get advice from. I look forward to being an active member and I hope my wife joins as well.

Many thanks for all the information, Dr "B" 

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Welcome Doc B

We enjoy the cooler mountain air these days, but Savannah will always be considered home and we try to visit a few times a year to see friends and family. Picture is of mom and I near the south end of Tybee in the mid-40's.

Hope you enjoy this forum and the members as much as I have since joining a few years ago.

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Jim & Maxine

 

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06/20/2017

Great pic JimBoone! Is that near the Pier & Pavilion? 

We are excited about calling Savannah/Tybee home. We could use some cooler mountain air, you know how hot and humid Tybee is mid-summer. 

Drop by the Inn whenever your in town. We are new to the area and would love to hear some local knowledge and history of the area.

We take over in August, but will be semi-open to give the house a refresh. 

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Doc B wrote:

Great pic JimBoone! Is that near the Pier & Pavilion? 

Long time ago now, but I think that is past the Pavilion down close to 18th Street. Mom & dad sometimes rented a cottage from Mr. Smith for a week and we would vacation in that area, later I remember vacations at Ms. Wheelers on 18th Street, once rode out a hurricane there while dad's new Packard was safe in the garage back in Savannah.

I melt in hot weather so we ran away to cooler air 25 years ago, usually our visits home are during the cooler months of the year. I always have tales to share, mom used to talk of taking the train to Tybee before the highway was built.

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Oh, Tybee Island! We stayed there many years ago, around the corner from where you are. B&B was part of the old military hospital, I think.

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Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

Welcome aboard. I'm also in the Midwest with a 4 room place that I started from scratch. I owe 100% of my success from asking and following the advice garnered here. It took me 30 years to make the switch to innkeeping so you're ahead of me there. 

Sorry I don't give out much advice anymore but I have made many friends on this forum. Hope you'll stick around. 

Skamokawa's picture
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08/24/2008

Innkeep wrote:

 I owe 100% of my success from asking and following the advice garnered here. 

I'll echo Innkeep on that statement.  2 inn rooms to start but have added 2 separate vacation rentals and am currently minding another for a friend.  My top advice applies to neither of you:  

Have a kitchen you can close off and lock.

Have a 'public' restroom near your front door.

Two top pieces of advice we heeded before we started:

Private baths are a must.  Waterproof mattress covers are a must. 

Our tenth anniv is this week.

Still enjoying.

 

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On the Lower Columbia Water Trail

 

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

I'm Generic. Other half is Specific. Packaging is pretty B&W. And just when you get used to me, I change my username on here to confuse people. Or I post a fly that moves on your screen so you swat it Smiling

Morticia's picture
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05/22/2008

Yeah, if this is one big, happy family, you're the pesky kid brother. Eye-wink

Generic's picture
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Yeah, well...

Lee2014's picture
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Generic wrote:

Yeah, well...

   It keeps getting bigger each time too!  

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Welcome notAgrandma, hope you will find a family home here on the forum, of course like most families we don't always agree, but like family I feel my fellow innmates care about me and have my best interests at heart, several have gone far out of their way to offer me help and I'm the odd ball that runs a tiny motel.

Be proud that you're successful at an early age, I'd venture that most guests are just making conversation or surprised by your early success, me, I'd swap ages in a heart beat, we have a granddaughter in her 30's, not exactly fun reaching the downhill point in life, but I still enjoy.

Momma Smurf's picture
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Psych Major here.  Fiery personalities tend to be forthright.  Like.  Am happily a grandma though.

 

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