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A Vet Day report

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EmptyNest

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Just had to share what a friend of mine reported to the VA Association
UP DATE ON VETERAN'S DAY From A Past BBAV President
I just wanted to update those of you who were interested in the bnbsforvets program. Some have indicated so-so participation, but others had great results....please read the comments from Jack North B&B owner in Orange....

First, the free publicity was fantastic. When the "Free Rooms for Vets" hit the web sites, news media, travel blogs and facebook it went viral. Even got my brother to mention it on one of his radio shows and on Fox. Every B&B around here was booked in 24 hours - but we all were still getting calls all the way up to the 10th - many of whom made paying reservations for the future when we couldn't accommodate them on the 10th.

We had a house full of vets - as did all of our local B&Bs. 5 of our eight were active duty (2 Marines, 1 Army, 1 Navy, 1 Air Force) and 3 retired. Only one of the eight couples had ever been to a B&B.
All our guests had a great time, loved the B&B experience and 3 Couples have already booked return visits (paying this time).

Our Group (The Inns at Montpelier) had also arranged with a local restaurant, that wasn't normally open on a Wednesday, to open and have a special discounted menu for the vets (collectively we filled the restaurant for 2 sittings). We also convinced the local coffee shop do 1/2 price for vets and of course Montpelier was free for vets on the 11th. The local paper also gave us a great write up and we got a lot of positive comments from folks in the community for doing this.

We looked at it this way:
It's a worthy cause - our vets have earned it - and we wanted to say thanks. I think this is especially true of the Vietnam era vets - many of whom are now B&B owners. We know what it was like to not get any thanks - or worse. A lot of owners that came from that era have said this, and they own a lot of the 898 B&Bs that participated.
We were going to get some free publicity/marketing, which never hurts (and we got much more than we expected).
Weekdays in the second week of November aren't exactly big paying guest days anyway and we still have to heat the place.
We assumed (correctly) that most of the vets who took advantage of this likely had never been to a B&B and if we could "introduce" them to the experience some would come back.
 

Emily Spiers

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I am so happy to read this. It seemed as if those who had a poor or disappointing experience overshadowed the ones who had a good experience (as usual). It's wonderful to see the good stories and hear about the positives. Thanks!
 

gillumhouse

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That is wonderful. I am so grateful to him for writing.; It was worth all the agro and long short nights keeping up with the e-mails and the seemingly never-ending phone calls from both sides. And most of the innkeepers I heard from - before I got the new computer and lost all e-mails - said they will participate next year.
 
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