The long con

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robline's picture
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Hello!  I'm introducing myself because I might start posting questions soon and you might as well know a bit about me.  I'm buying an acre of land and building a dome house.   I'll initially build a small dome and live in that, then expand it as time and funds allow. It should go pretty fast if my calculations are correct.  I think I can build a few dome bedroom/bath combos and be debt free within a year. 

I plan to Air BnB those two bedroom domes for a couple years (for the sheer novelty if nothing else) and segue that into either more extensive Air BnB or an honest to goodness BnB.  By that time I can essentially build as many additional bed/bath units as I want, and as code will allow.

So for the next two years, between the seams of building, I'll be procuring the items necessary to run this thing decently.  I already have a soapmaker on my list of suppliers, and I'm a fair cook, and the place will have a couple of brick ovens to make bread and chickens for eggs. 

The first step I've taken is linens.

I can't figure out how to post an image but the link is: https://www.dropbox.com/s/rtg8jaz1jzatfjg/DSC_1232.JPG

I've spent $336 thus far and procured the following:

  • 52 pillowcases (mostly white STD from a Hilton hotel, but several color-commentary pillowcases)
  • 34 flat queen sheets (half of them white Hilton seconds, half cream or other neutrals)
  • a handful of fitted sheets
  • 6 mattress pads
  • 14 pillows, 4 hypoallergenic.  Most normal polyfill, 2 feather, and several in different firmnesses.  That's a word, right?  Firmnesses.
  • 8 zippered pillow wrapper thingies
  • a dozen accent pillows
  • 6 pillow shams
  • two squishy "therapy pillows"

All of them washed for one hour at high temp with oxyclean and dried at high temp for one hour.

That's pretty good for under $400.  Especially considering I'll only have two queen beds to let out at first.  But I guess that's the point of this whole intro, which is to show you how I'm approaching this and seeking alternate means to supply a BnB operation.  Those pillowcases can sit dormant for two years if need be.  I lucked upon hotel quality bedding for sale at $0.49 a pillowcase and I grabbed them all.

Fortune favors the prepared mind, and thanks to this great forum I'm preparing my mind.  For example, in the dryer right now I have ~50 lbs of denim factory samples, all neatly hemmed to about 16x20", which shall magically become an unlimited supply of hand towels.  Admittedly quirky handtowels, but they are legion.

 

 

 

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Aspiring Innkeeper who is hoarding linens like a squirrel.

 

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happykeeper's picture
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must admit i don't quite understand the title of the thread.

 

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Arks's picture
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happykeeper wrote:

must admit i don't quite understand the title of the thread.

Thanks for asking! I keep wondering the same thing.

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PhineasSwann's picture
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"“There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey.”

― John Ruskin

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robline's picture
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This is great!  Your consensus is compelling.  I think that all told I got enough linens in the group that are usable.  For example, the mattress pads and hypoallergenic pillow covers.   About 1/3 of the sheets are flat king or fitted queen.  I will definitely try these out myself given your comments and evaluate the comfort.  But if you still think this is not the way to go I'm listening.

There are two comments I'm really interested in.

 

JimBoone wrote:

I don't know if you saved enough to get excited about, well not in the scope of overall costs, PM me if you like and I could share some suppliers.

Thank you, Jim.   I may PM you once things get rolling.  What I'm really intrigued by is it seems you're saying that there are suppliers who can provide new linens that are superior to used hotel linens for comparable price.  I spent about 50 cents per pillowcase and $1.50 per sheet, so I'm really surprised the suppliers cost could be that low.

 

Generic wrote:

 I wouldn't buy a used pillow if it came with a $1 bill attached to it.

Thank you, Generic. 2/3 of those pillows are new. Even so I am really surprised by this comment.  Any pillow you purchase from any supplier will be 'used' the first time a guest lays her head on it.  Once you have pillows, new or not, you'll have to launder them the same way to kill pathogens and bugs.  If you can obtain a used pillow that is pristine white and barely used, why not buy it? 

 

In any case thanks to you all for steering me the right way.  That's what I'm here for.  I consider the money well spent because it was really fun and also forced me to think through the logistics of laundry and making beds.  However I do not expect to take this approach thoughout the life of this venture as I learn more and nail things down.

Also I'll think carefully about my target customer and tailor the experience.

 

JimBoone's picture
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Robline, no not as cheap for sure, but maybe not as different as one might think. Don’t have info in front of me, but think pillowcases in a 15 - 20 a dozen, flat sheets start out around 80 a dozen, pillows start around 4 dollars, hand towels around 12 a dozen, but all depends of the quality you choose. 

I’m sure my views have changed over the years, but at my present point in life I would be weighing the idea of 400 now and having to keep/store stuff till I was ready or spending more next year when I was ready. Okay maybe I’m old and lazy, but I’ve seen styles and my ideas changed, a year from now I may have a different vision for my project.

I wish you luck, don’t mean to sound negative, pretty much the same thoughts I share with our daughter who is slowly sharing our work and responsibility 

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Jim & Maxine

 

Generic's picture
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You are talking to people that may have been doing this for decades. I'm over 2 decades.... 

I'm not buying a pillow that I don't know where it's been, how long it's been used, what the fill is, etc. A pillows life is never as long as you think it will be. And you don't launder it often, if you know how to protect it and use it... because they are difficult to launder. 

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JimBoone's picture
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Welcome to the forum

We run an 8 room motel, so different from most here, but similar in size, more like my friends here than a large hotel.

We do use flat sheets as the wife prefers them, however it takes a king sheet to do a decent job on the bottom of a queen bed. We use hotel linen, pillow, towels, etc. from one of the supply houses, other than perhaps a minimum quantity of items being required, I don't know if you saved enough to get excited about, well not in the scope of overall costs, PM me if you like and I could share some suppliers. I also expect some would point out that hotel quality is more about being durable than luxury.

An early question once you get past the physical property, permits and such, is "who is your intended guest", as that answer will help guide you as to what to purchase and the general design of your property. You're going to want to WOW the person that is your ideal guest. My goal is clean, cute and friendly, not cheap, priced above cheap, but a great rating and a better deal than the big chain place in town, with my goals I can't very well purchase leftovers from that chain place in town.

Generic's picture
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Hi. Welcome.

There is a reason that stuff is for sale cheaply. I don't think you have described anything of a quality that I would buy. For example, flat sheets for a mattress... likely sold off because they are too short for modern mattresses which are now thicker. And hotels use flat sheets for simplicity... when you do 16 rooms a day, it cuts the time to get sheets, etc. In a small operation, fitted are better.

You need to start asking questions before spending money. I wouldn't buy a used pillow if it came with a $1 bill attached to it.

Highlands John's picture
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04/16/2010

Ditto that. In our first year we started in May and bought all new bed linen from the local bedding shop, sale stuff. By August all the stitching was falling apart and the colours had faded.

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