Going to visit some new innkeepers

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PhineasSwann's picture
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09/25/2012

Our daughter is visiting, and has always wanted to see Maine, so we're taking her for a quick 2-day getaway to see Acadia National Park. 

While there are several great Inspiring friends in Maine, we chose to spend two nights with a mother-daughter team that just took over the Captain Nickels Inn in Searsport, about an hour from the park. They're looking forward to our visit an "picking our brains."

Any advice fellow Innspire-ers would like to pass on to these new additions to our noble profession?

__________________

Darren
Innkeeper & Owner

 

ChrisandShelley's picture
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04/13/2014

Find time for yourself and your partner. Shelley and I have struggled with that aspect and we are paying the price. Start early making sure that you have time away from the phone, doorbell, other people, etc. We are just getting into our 5th year and that is something we wished we would have done earlier in our tenure.

Also make sure that you and your partner are on the same page as far as where you want to go with your business. We entered our business venture with two different visions in mind and we didn't really discover that until we were well into ownership.

__________________

Christopher and Shelley Smith, Innkeepers
The Wildflower Bed & Breakfast, Mountain View, AR

 

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

ChrisandShelley wrote:

Also make sure that you and your partner are on the same page as far as where you want to go with your business. We entered our business venture with two different visions in mind and we didn't really discover that until we were well into ownership.

Expect that's true in any adventure husband and wife begin, know yourselves first. Perhaps it helped us that we began life together as teenagers and began this business in middle age, maybe we've got it together now in old age.

 

__________________

Jim & Maxine

 

ChrisandShelley's picture
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04/13/2014

That's awesome. There is really something to be said for longevity in marriage. I can see the deep sense of oneness when I meet guests who have been married for 40 and 50 years. Very sweet to see, but I can't help but be a little envious.

Shelley and I got married later in life. We were married for 5 years when we bought the BnB and I guess we thought we had the same vision. She wanted a quiet life running a 6 room BnB and I wanted to be super-entrepreneur.

It is coming back together now, but it has been a hard road. It's still touchy, but we see a light at the end of the tunnel.

JimBoone's picture
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ChrisandShelley wrote:

There is really something to be said for longevity in marriage.

Truth is I suppose I count myself blessed that Maxine has kept me around all these years. You don't sound that different from us, I've always got the NEW idea that I'm trying to sell, like marriage in general there is a lot of give and take and hopefully we come to a successful mix.  

 

ChrisandShelley's picture
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HA! That is exactly us. I'm always trying to get something new going and she's happy just maintaining. We're getting to a point where as long as it isn't costly or at least brings in some income, she's ok with it. But I have to have a plan together, which I'm not that good at. Her resistance makes me plan better, like presenting an idea to a committee.

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

Yep, like presenting an idea to a committee, yet in fighting out an idea it is often improved, of course in the last few years our daughter (and husband) have joined to help the old folks, have to sell two girls on ideas now, sometimes it helps and sometimes I get double teamed. I'm at the point of being too old to think of expanding our activities, but over our years have tried to grow from the nicer dump when rooms were in short supply to a top choice in our area, so most of my sales pitches are in areas of raising the quality of what we offer our guests.

ChrisandShelley's picture
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04/13/2014

It's funny that you say that about raising the quality of what you offer, that is exactly where we have ended up. Although I love our expansions (an event center, two cottages, and a small reservation service), we are now looking at how we can increase our experience quality and have more value to offer our guests. Great minds think alike!

JimBoone's picture
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12/18/2014

ChrisandShelley wrote:

Great minds think alike!

For me I don't know if it is a great mind or just resigning myself to the facts of life. We have 8 guest rooms, a few years after we started in the 90's I was often wishing for 16 or 24 rooms, now today (age 76), it's more, oh gee, do we have to clean all these rooms today, can't we leave a few for tomorrow?

Over the years our expansions were a long term rental house next door (eventually became daughter's home) and a commercial property on our other side and then a second commercial property, those give me a little say in the looks of our neighborhood. Still have all those dreams and ideas, but you tend to be concerned with being blessed with the years to carry them to completion.

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

We were in teh year to turn 35 & 30 when we married. Even with al the medical crap, Hinself went through over the years,we were just short of our 42nd anniversary when he punched his ticket.Wesurvived 6 kids and the late wife's family.Trust me - a B & B is a snap compared to THAT family. 

Guests gone to Little League tournament and will be back to pack up and cook off vefore heading home. Have the front door fixed so they can get back in, asked them to turn off hall lights when they leave and pull door shut tight whe they leave. I am about 5 minutes from leaving for a Conference in Cincinnati. back Wednesday.

Innkeep's picture
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06/04/2008

I just got one of those fishy emails asking about six single rooms for 2 weeks, which reminds me that a new innkeeper needs to be aware of all the credit card scams out there. Remember the six Greek priests? Or the packages that arrive a week ahead of the guest and then you’re asked to send them back to the retailer?  I kind of thought all that had gone away, but I guess even the Nigerian princes are still out there. 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Innkeep wrote:

...I guess even the Nigerian princes are still out there. 

Nope, he finally died...

__________________

All saints can do miracles, but few of them can keep hotel. ~ Mark Twain

 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Innkeep wrote:

I kind of thought all that had gone away... 

Like Air, scams are here to stay. I had a package sent to me just a few months ago, to hold until they arrived. Then they had Fedex pick it up the day before they were to arrive. Then they never arrived and, of course, the CC they booked with turned out to be stolen, so the night was lost. I never did figure out what it was all about, but I was dying to know what was in that package!

cloudbedsna's picture
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07/06/2019

Hi, if you're in the Wells area, I can recommend The Beaches. Joe and Claire will take excellent care of you - they're pet and kid friendly, so keep that in mind depending on the experience you're looking for. 

http://beachesofmaine.com/

__________________

Hospitality Consultant
Full Transparency: I work for Cloudbeds. I help hospitality operators drive more reservations, make more money and save hours of time

 

gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

To thine own selves be true. The rest will take care of itself.

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