Hello! Innkeeper 18 years, new here.

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Joined:
07/06/2019

Howdy. For the last few hectic days, I've been reading posts here. My husband and I have laughed and commiserated with all the kindred spirits here, so I decided to join.

This is our 18th season keeping inn in a summer tourist area near a National Park. We have a 3-room b&b, which we run ourselves. Hubby also has a full time job outside the home.

ChrisandShelley's picture
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Joined:
04/13/2014

Hello, and welcome. Shelley and I are starting our 5th year as full time innkeepers here in the Ozark Mountains. Just in our short time, we've had a lot of ups and downs, disasters and miracles.

__________________

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

 

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Joined:
06/24/2008

Welcome Momdog.  

As of July 2 we started year #21.  I can't believe it...some days it feels like yesterday and some days I feel like it has been my whole life! 

The great times and the hard times make innkeeping an interesting life. 

Enjoy the group, and chime in as often as you wish! 

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Joined:
07/06/2019

Thank you!

Innkeep's picture
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Joined:
06/04/2008

Unfortunately I think Air is here to stay and I’m competing against $50 per night places and a soon to be built 200 room hotel half a mile away. So even though I have found myself to be well equipped personality wise to be an innkeeper, I don’t have the personality of a Maytag washing machine repairman. 

I had had to fight with the city and county every step of the way in order to even open this place, resulting in months of delay and tens of thousands of $$ just to be in compliance with all regs. Then 2 years later Air comes along. It did take several years for Air to reach this midwestern non-touristy town, but it’s here now. This year the revenue hasn’t kept up with expenses for the first time, so I’m retiring before I have a chance to burn out. 

Our town never recovered from the Great Recession, so there is much to be done in regards to volunteering. I’m all set to go back to elementary school in the fall, and am looking forward to all the other mischief I can find. 

Arks's picture
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05/22/2010

Innkeep wrote:

I’m all set to go back to elementary school in the fall, and am looking forward to all the other mischief I can find. 

Enjoy yourself and your move on to the next phase!

__________________

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

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Welcome. July 3, I started year #24.

I have been contemplating trying to sell once I get around to making the owner's quarters look like "real people" would live here. I think I have come to the conclusion (very recently actually) that the reason I have not stirred my stumps to do that is because I really do not want to quit. Also, I do not think it would be fair to unload on someone else until the AIR problem (among others crippling our industry) gets resolved. (Also the thought of packing up even just MY stuff to move is daunting and I do not have near as much STUFF as Himself had. Mine will be easier to hit the dumpster with.)

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Joined:
07/06/2019

24 years is like 4 burnouts!

Congrats on making it that long.

I understand completely about the Air problem. Many years ago, they were recruiting hosts where I'm located, and I had never heard of them, so gave it a try for a season. WORST guests ever, cost me a ton of money in damages ppl annoyed because I collected taxes, DUH. The kicker though was a nice couple who stayed with me. Told us how thrilled they were to be hosts themselves because in their area, their property coul not be licensed. I bailed post haste.

Silverspoon's picture
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Joined:
10/16/2011

Welcome, Momdog!  DH and I are in our 30th year of innkeeping, like you in a 2 suite, 1 cottage in a National Park.  So kindred spirits indeed!

We have built our brand and refused the Airbnb craze along with all the OTA's and it has worked just fine for us.  While we are currently winding down to about 30% of our normal workload, we still enjoy our quality guests and the income they provide to us. What part of the country are you located in?  

__________________

Gardens are not made by singing "Oh, how beautiful" and sitting in the shade.
Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

I listed when it first started because someone I trusted said I should. (Today I think she would agree with me.) It did not take me long to come to the conclusion that MY 3% commission was going into a pot of advertising money I could never compete with. I decided I was not going to contribute to the demise of my industry that was being undercut by people who were not following the rules and regs I had to adhere to, Bye-bye AIR with no regrets.

Happy Harpie's picture
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Joined:
01/07/2009

Hello from Canada;

You are much too good and you love being a B&B owner to give it up.  And then what the heck you gonna do with all the tea, coffee and Electric car hook-up.  Stick around, as you are one of the best!

 

__________________

Happy Harpie

 

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

Thanks. I have come to realize I am too lazy to give it up. Sorting through 25 years of paperwork - what to keep, what to shred, what is sentimental that the kids will toss anyway - is more than I have gumprion to deal with. I think I will just let the kids toss it in the dumpster. No one will want the dishes, the silver, etc. Even an auction will leave them with several dumpsters to get rid of.

JimBoone's picture
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Joined:
12/18/2014

Not too many years back we wondered it we should retire, looked at options, problem was nothing that might have fit financially looked as interesting as continuing our present life, nothing beats being happy with your daily life.

__________________

Jim & Maxine

 

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Joined:
07/06/2019

What is the AIR problem?

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Joined:
02/15/2017

So interestingly enough, deep in our air listings descriptions of each of our rooms (trying to steal back as much $$$ as possible) I mention that there is a savings to book directly with us. So far this month 3 of the 5 air bookings we got have googled us and contacted us directly!

The difference of what the guest pays you ask:

  1. Room rate
  2. taxes
  3. air fees 

Book directly and eliminate one of those!

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Joined:
02/15/2017

...and we mostly list on air to compete with other local B&B's/rentals that do.

Still had to correct one "youngster" who asked how long we had been doing our air bnb....Grrrrrrrr!

Plus had deal with others (youngsters and air bnbers) that no-show for breakfast when it is sitting on the table...

But the money still spends the same..

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

I refuse to give them the 3 letters they stole from my industry. Undercutting rates because they are not paying the fees and taxes we are - and I am NOT referring to the sales tax. As a commercial property (once money crosses palms it is commercial), I am charged the highest rate possible on my real estate tax bill. That is far more than I would be paying as a residence. The proliferation of them is also killing our industry as it siphons off guests (revenue) from the REAL B & Bs and creates a perception of us real B & Bs that is incorrect re service and what we are.

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Joined:
07/06/2019

ahh, I see. Thanks so much for the fast reply!

gillumhouse's picture
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Joined:
05/22/2008

You are quite welcome. I try to educate all to the reality of AIR - at least from my perspective. I resent them and the OTAs that come in, do nothing but co-opt marketing so we do not have a chance to get before the public on a search, then charge an exhorbitant fee for them giving us the privilege of providing the service we have always done, but now under THEIR terms and conditions. And the industry  follows like lemmings, not believing that IF we took a stand and did not give them product, they would die on the vine - they have NO ROOMS of their own to provide. They NEED ours.

Lee2014's picture
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Joined:
12/11/2014

   That is what I try to tell innkeepers and hotel personals.  If we take all our rooms off the OTAs, they will be gone this afternoon or tomorrow morning.  No one believes me!  They just continue to grump about OTAs.

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Have a great day!

 

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