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A different approach to 'filling' up the Inn and more

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Copperhead

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Anyone get the latest iloveinns newsletter? Subject "11 rooms booked in 12 hours" was very catchy and I was quick to open to be informed!
"We just received this great idea! When we (name removed) saw that we were going to have an empty, or very slow weekend, we decided to do a work weekend. We emailed 16 couples that had stayed with us since January 1, 2009 (and that we felt a special connection with), and invited them to come up free of charge (room and board included) in exchange for yard work and painting on Saturday. It was a "first come first served" basis. Guests were encouraged to choose their own room or suite. We booked all 11 rooms in less than 12 hours! We have a total of 23 guests coming on Friday afternoon.( some of the remaining couples asked to be put on a wait list, should we get any cancellations.) What better way to celebrate Earth Day than pitching in together to get the inn ready for another busy summer! Friends are what it's all about....
I've made a "wish list" of chores to be done, painting the gazebo and footbridge, clearing the old stone wall that's overgrown with brush and vines, and putting up a 10 foot fence. The guests have been encouraged to bring work gloves and boots. Meanwhile, I'll be busy in the kitchen planning their breakfast, lunch and dinner menus. We don't plan on having it be all work and no play, though. I'm sure we'll have a great time."
Well while this was NOT at all what I was grasping for....I was looking for REAL reservations for $$$! This too could be a great way to get your projects done, the place in top notch shape at very low expense - other than supplies and overhead. I am sure this is not for all markets and that searching the guest records took time to determine which guests to approach. Not sure I would have enough from my guest list to approach.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I think the 11 rooms booked in 12 hours is INSANITY!

Dear Guest: The honeymoon is over, so come on back and help us clean up this place! We will offer free lodging to barter for your labor, and oh by the way, if you get injured, it is not a problem, we pay big bucks for our liability insurance, we can handle it.
Regards, Innkeeper
PS Tetanus shots are in the dining room along with refreshments upon arrival.

You are trading some yard work and painting for a disaster waiting to happen. Hire license and bonded folks to do work around the B&B, not guests! This is the worst idea I have ever heard. My opinion and I’m stickin’ with it! I will collect my jaw from the floor now.
 

EmptyNest

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I think the 11 rooms booked in 12 hours is INSANITY!

Dear Guest: The honeymoon is over, so come on back and help us clean up this place! We will offer free lodging to barter for your labor, and oh by the way, if you get injured, it is not a problem, we pay big bucks for our liability insurance, we can handle it.
Regards, Innkeeper
PS Tetanus shots are in the dining room along with refreshments upon arrival.

You are trading some yard work and painting for a disaster waiting to happen. Hire license and bonded folks to do work around the B&B, not guests! This is the worst idea I have ever heard. My opinion and I’m stickin’ with it! I will collect my jaw from the floor now..
I have to agree with you. WHat they thought is a good marketing gimmick may bite them in the backside. There is NO WAY I would want any former guests coming to clean, fix etc anything on my property. Wait until someone falls off a ladder. Or has no clue of how to paint properly...they will end up having to redo it all themselves..or pay a professional to redo it. BAD MOVE if you ask me.
 

Morticia

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I've heard of this before but it's not something I would do, even tho guests have offered. For all of the reasons mentioned and then because I don't want to be bossing my guests around. I am one way with the guests and another way when work needs to be done. And what do you do if a guest decides they don't want to work once they arrive?
I agree that anyone 'working' at the inn needs to be insured.
 

Copperhead

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I've heard of this before but it's not something I would do, even tho guests have offered. For all of the reasons mentioned and then because I don't want to be bossing my guests around. I am one way with the guests and another way when work needs to be done. And what do you do if a guest decides they don't want to work once they arrive?
I agree that anyone 'working' at the inn needs to be insured..
Bree said:
... I don't want to be bossing my guests around. I am one way with the guests and another way when work needs to be done. And what do you do if a guest decides they don't want to work once they arrive?
This was on the lines of what instantly came to my mind.... I set my thoughts to pampering my guests not ordering them about. Then too, what will the guest -workers think the next time they book? Or if they call to say 'want to trade work for a room'? Or what if they do not do something 'right' and it is redone, what will they think upon their return and see their handywork changed!
At the time of my post, quickly after reading the article, I had not even thought about the main issue(s) such as liability. That alone is something to highly consider!!!
I remember after Katrina having a guest that kept focusing on a large loose branch securely lodged way up in one of our trees. He was from a Rotary Club on a mission trip to look for areas needing recovery help. We came back one afternoon to see him trying to get the branch out by throwing a very heavy duty rope and other 'stuff' he purchased to work on this. Yikes! My thoughts immediatly went in to motion that this large branch OR these objects will come down and knock this 70+ year old man down. Somehow DH finally convinced him to give up. (BTW - the branch finally rotted enough that it broke fee during the winds of Gustov.)
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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I love it CH!
That is the title of the B&B Special of the month...
"Guest Worker Program"
NOT
 

egoodell

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Liability, yes, but also I'm waaaaay too fussy about my B&B to allow guests to work on it. I'd be hovering over their shoulder the whole time....
RIki
 

happyjacks

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I'm all for bartering for services, as we talked about in another thread, but this is NOT the way to go about it for all the reasons already mentioned.
What I would love along these lines is to have a repeat guest who loves gardening (but, say, lives in a condo where he/she can't garden) to stay here for free on a regular basis and practice his/her hobby on my flower beds.
 

DaisyMae

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I have to say i agree with everyone as well. It could potentially be a problem in the making. Also, i am too much of a control freak. DH is a building contractor, so he would not "allow" someone else to fix,remodel...
An innkeeper that we know in another town she does something like this but slightly different. She offers a guestroom at 1/2 price in exchange for 4 hours of work.
 

Country Girl

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There is no way my husband would ever let a guest paint here. He is a perfectionist and barely lets licensed painters work. Can you imagine spilled paint everywhere?! And all you'd get is "oops". Way too risky IMHO. I would trade room nights for landscaping though. It would have to be by someone whose work I've already seen.
 

cherry64

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Could inn's do a discount or package for contractors or electricians or plumbers and the like? 1/2 off stay in exchange for X hours professional service with proof of license and insurance?
Would that work?? Just a thought I had.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Authorities release name of Bedford County man killed by falling treeBy Amanda Codispoti[/h4]
The Bedford County Sheriff's Office this morning released the name of a man who was killed Tuesday when a tree he was cutting down fell on him.
Harold Kenneth Jones, 62, was pronounced dead when medics arrived at his property in the 9300 block of Moneta Road, about six miles south of Bedford.
A friend of Jones was with him when the tree fell and called for help.


http://www.roanoke.com/news/breaking/wb/202864
 

Tony

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I would NEVER do this. This would lead to an abrupt end to whatever relationship you've had with your guest.
 

gillumhouse

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I know an inn that did this - BUT it was friends who were invited to come to work and party. And she got the idea from reading about another inn that did it. This is not a new idea. I however would be too afraid of being sued to even consider it.
 

Samster

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I think the 11 rooms booked in 12 hours is INSANITY!

Dear Guest: The honeymoon is over, so come on back and help us clean up this place! We will offer free lodging to barter for your labor, and oh by the way, if you get injured, it is not a problem, we pay big bucks for our liability insurance, we can handle it.
Regards, Innkeeper
PS Tetanus shots are in the dining room along with refreshments upon arrival.

You are trading some yard work and painting for a disaster waiting to happen. Hire license and bonded folks to do work around the B&B, not guests! This is the worst idea I have ever heard. My opinion and I’m stickin’ with it! I will collect my jaw from the floor now..
I have to agree with you. WHat they thought is a good marketing gimmick may bite them in the backside. There is NO WAY I would want any former guests coming to clean, fix etc anything on my property. Wait until someone falls off a ladder. Or has no clue of how to paint properly...they will end up having to redo it all themselves..or pay a professional to redo it. BAD MOVE if you ask me.
.
There are reasons that we have areas marked "private"!
We want guests to have the "front of the house" experience, not the backstage one!

 
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