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Anyone NOT live in their B&B?

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Gingerbread Latte

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With the timing of the negotiations and hopefully, the acceptance of my offer, I won't be living in the B&B right away. I only live about 10 minutes away, but hadn't planned to spend the night there on a regular basis. I know I'll be waiting on arrivals or supervising late night weddings, etc But what are your thoughts on me not being there every night?
I've been reading the threads on crying babies and loud guests & realize I might not be there to handle problems and don't want it to get to the point where other guests have to call me. If I can book all the rooms I certainly want to, instead of keeping one for myself.
Is this a disaster waiting to happen? What are some of the potential things I need to be aware of?
 

birdwatcher

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Personally not living at the B & B is loaded with problems unless its right next door-IMHO I would want to stay at the B & B if I had guests because that is what a B & B is all about.
 

gillumhouse

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Some insurance policies require someone in-house when guests are present. That was my understanding when I was insured with James Wolf. As with everything else - it is what works for YOU. We live on-site. The advantage is that since I have to live somewhere, I am not supporting 2 buildings with utilities/taxes/etc. I have my house listed as 2/3 commercial and 1/3 residence. That means that although I pay the highest tax rate possible on 2/3, I also get to claim 2/3 of the utilities, etc as tax deductions.
 

Alibi Ike

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First you need to know if that is even legal where you are setting up. Some places require on-site overnight mgmt. After that, the insurance companies look askance at untended properties so you may have trouble finding coverage.
I'm not happy when I stay places where there is no on-site mgmt at night. I've never had an issue, but in the back of my mind is who's watching the store?
Anything can be done. You can drive over early to get the breakfast going. You can stay late enough that most guests are settled in and they mostly won't need anything.
Guests, in my experience, but not in a lot of cases, do not want to disturb the innkeeper for less than a catastrophe if they know the innkeeper will be put out. More than likely they will make do but it will bother them that they felt they had to make do.
 

agoodman

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Many of my guests have mentioned that they do not like staying at an Inn if the Innkeeper does not live on premises ... different if its a cottage type situation tho but not in a "regular" house environment ... and personally every night I have been away on the FEW occassions where I have left REGULAR guests I personally did not feel comfortable - not with them being there but in case something went wrong and I was not ... 10 mins is a long way in an emergency ...
 

Samster

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For some reason, it changes how a place feels for me when the innkeepers are not on the property. That doesn't mean that they have to be in the same building though. I can't explain it but it does.
We had 2 adjacent homes with our B&B and there was often a different "connection" with the folks who were staying in our house next door. Of course, this worked to be an advantage for booking rooms sometimes because some guests thought they had more privacy by staying in a different building.
Our commercial insurance required us to live on-site. Also, our City licensing requires that you live in the neighborhood, but not on the property. Another B&B has absent owners and have received unfavorable reviews for not having someone on-site 24/7.
I would double-check with both insurance and licensing to make sure that you don't have to be on-site.
 

Gingerbread Latte

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Thanks, I'm meeting with an ins rep tomorrow, so I'll find out the details. The more I thought about it, the more I hated to take up a perfectly rentable room, when I have a house so close, but that's the cost of business.
Thanks for the insight.
 

Joey Camb

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If you do decide to live off sight I would have some way that lets you know if say the fire alarm goes off or an idiot proof way for people to contact you.
 

EmptyNest

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Sorry- in my mind being an innkeeper and running a B & B is all about the innkeeper being there to provide help and assistance when needed. I have never been comfortable staying in a place with no one on site. In many states this is illegal..you have to live on site. If you can't cope with these kinds of problems, you may need to re think your wanting to be an innkeeper. Even if this was a large inn, someone should be on site. This is what a true B & B experience is all about.
DOes this place not have private owners quarters? That is one critical thing we looked for when purchasing ours many years ago and today if I were doing it all over it would be the absolutely most important thing.
 

Joey Camb

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I know some people who do it or move out depending on demand for rooms but I am not a fan as people panic so easily. We had a power cut which was at 10pm at night so I didn't want to go round telling people it was a power cut in case I was waking people up to tell them. However quite a few were milling about in the corridor in the PJ's (we have emergency battery powered lighting) they were confused as to why the lights were out in the room and not in the hallway. Mind you it was quite a handy test of the emergency lighting!
 

egoodell

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WE have a Relais Chateau Inn here in Charlottesville that did not used to have anyone on site evenings after a certain hour. Even when we had a power outage all the workers left that night. THere were candles burning since there were no lights. Result was a fire and two guests died. Not to want to be a fear-monger, but I woud be afraid to leave my inn with guests in it for the evening...
RIki
 

agoodman

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Wow I am surprised because Relais et Chateaux used to be VERY strict about someone on site 24/7!!! But yes, there's the lesson there.
 

egoodell

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Wow I am surprised because Relais et Chateaux used to be VERY strict about someone on site 24/7!!! But yes, there's the lesson there..
agoodman said:
Wow I am surprised because Relais et Chateaux used to be VERY strict about someone on site 24/7!!! But yes, there's the lesson there.
..and our County here requires that a B&B is has an owner or manager living on-site. But this place was Grandfathered in or something since they didn't have anyone there.
RIki
 

Tom

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For us, in a strictly residential zone, a B&B is a use by right - no permit required for use - as long as 5 rented rooms or less, no one longer than 28 days, breakfast served, and, owner lives in same structure as guest rooms. So we have to, and we like it. I can be lounging in my office, or snoozing on the couch, and be there for check-ins (our last guest: half-past midnight, thank you winter storms and airlines).
Frankly, I think it is unwise to leave guests with no one to look after them in event of problems. 10 minutes away by car ... I would be very nervous about that. I know innkeepers who do, though. I suggest you start planning to live-in and see how it goes after a busy season. Whenyou are not busy, you can go home.
 

gillumhouse

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We had a member of our association who lived across the street from her inn. Then she moved out-of-state due to job transfer and had various locals as innkeepers. Her phone line was tied to a panel that if the fire alarm went off would call the current innkeeper AND notify the Fire Dept. It also notified if there was a problem with the furnace. Cannot remember what all it controlled, but it was REQUIRED because they were no on-site.
 

Gingerbread Latte

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Thanks for the thoughts. It's really all in the timing. The guest house out back needs work before we move in, but we'll just have to deal with the remodel while we're there. I figured the start up would be so much work, that I'd be there round the clock anyway.
 

Samster

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Sorry- in my mind being an innkeeper and running a B & B is all about the innkeeper being there to provide help and assistance when needed. I have never been comfortable staying in a place with no one on site. In many states this is illegal..you have to live on site. If you can't cope with these kinds of problems, you may need to re think your wanting to be an innkeeper. Even if this was a large inn, someone should be on site. This is what a true B & B experience is all about.
DOes this place not have private owners quarters? That is one critical thing we looked for when purchasing ours many years ago and today if I were doing it all over it would be the absolutely most important thing..
Our larger B&Bs here did not have someone on-site 24/7 but within just a few minutes (in the neighborhood). They seemed to think that it worked well. I inherited a few disgruntled guests who were not happy with it. A lot of their guests thought of those B&Bs as more like hotels. They had staff and paid contractors to do most of the work. I was the only idiot person who worked over 12 hours a day here.....
 
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