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Are you open over Winter?

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JBloggs

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Do you stay open over winter?
Are there seasonal activities near you?
Do you find staying open weekends only works better than say heating the entire house for just one room night?
Your thoughts?
 

wendydk

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We did stay open all winter, but we were very close to numerous winter sport trails, and between the entrances of a big (for Michigan) ski resort. 20 minute or so driving distance from the biggest ski resort in the state too.
Along about this time of year, I would change my page titles and meta tags, gearing them toward the ski resorts and other winter activities, and also unhide my winter activities pages...worked just fine...of course winter is never as busy as the other seasons, but we did just fine.
On the other hand, one of our competitors in town always closed for at least a month in winter, and this year are closed from mid-November to mid-April!! Every Inn in the little town 10 miles up the road is closed in winter...go figure.
 

JBloggs

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Is it worth it to make it a 2 night min in winter?
We hash this around every year and then leave it and wait and see. But as a few said last year, there is a state of mind factor being closed vs just not having business. There is something in the being closed that can boost your spirits and get stuff done. Hard to explain, but when someone said that last year I understood completely what that meant.
 

Alibi Ike

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It is still hard to answer that question. Only leaving weekends open (Th-Sun) would make the mid-week easier for exactly the reasons you mention- getting your spirits up and some projects done. But, we get the random 2-4 nighters mid-week and I'd hate to discourage them. They pay the fuel bill. Which, as we found last year when it was very slow, is pretty much the same no matter how low we turn the thermostat to save money.
I just checked Feb stats from prior years to see if it is worthwhile to close. It looks like the only mid-weekers we were getting were business people. I know they are no longer employed with that company, so will not be returning this year. Food for thought now.
 

gillumhouse

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I am open all year. We are here anyway and I have the advantage of heating with electric baseboard heating in each room - so only the rooms in use upstairs get the heat turned on except when the temp takes a dive. I do leave the heat on low in the bathrooms but unless it is in single digits, usually do not heat the guestrooms.
 

Breakfast Diva

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We're open all year, but I don't reduce rates in the winter. What I do now that I never did in the beginning, was if I really want to do something midweek, I'll block it off. As the years go on, I realize that my spirits and attitude mean more than money. We couldn't block out in the beginning because we were growing the business and needed every room we could get.
 

Red Handed Jill

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We'll stay open. I don't expect a lot of business, but like Kathleen, we don't have to heat those guest rooms unless someone is in them, and the bathrooms stay heated (for plumbing purposes) whether someone is in the room or not.
 

wendydk

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We're open all year, but I don't reduce rates in the winter. What I do now that I never did in the beginning, was if I really want to do something midweek, I'll block it off. As the years go on, I realize that my spirits and attitude mean more than money. We couldn't block out in the beginning because we were growing the business and needed every room we could get..
Breakfast Diva said:
...if I really want to do something midweek, I'll block it off. As the years go on, I realize that my spirits and attitude mean more than money.
Absolutely....I would even block off weekends if something really important family-wise was happening. That stuff is just more important...but it took many many years for me to come to the understanding that I could do that and live to tell about it with no ill effects!
When I give advice to new or aspiring keepers, that's one of the first points I make. I believe that's the reason that we came out of the business still enjoying doing it. I could not imagine being a miserable innkeeper with an inn that is just not selling.
 

muirford

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Our winter last year was pretty bad - the weather was really bad for this area, starting in December, and the local well-known hotel offered $69 room rates during the week. Our business was nowhere; fortunately, the rest of the year caught us up. This year, we have some projects to do, so we are going to take a different approach - close Mon - Thurs, do weekends only, lower the weekend rates to weekday and eliminate the two-night minimum for January and February except for holidays. If we didn't have projects, I would run the 'Do Not Disturb' special that DD is running. We'll hope that will force the business to the weekend (often the weekday travelers are looking for lower rates, anyway).
 

JBloggs

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Our winter last year was pretty bad - the weather was really bad for this area, starting in December, and the local well-known hotel offered $69 room rates during the week. Our business was nowhere; fortunately, the rest of the year caught us up. This year, we have some projects to do, so we are going to take a different approach - close Mon - Thurs, do weekends only, lower the weekend rates to weekday and eliminate the two-night minimum for January and February except for holidays. If we didn't have projects, I would run the 'Do Not Disturb' special that DD is running. We'll hope that will force the business to the weekend (often the weekday travelers are looking for lower rates, anyway)..
muirford said:
Our winter last year was pretty bad - the weather was really bad for this area, starting in December, and the local well-known hotel offered $69 room rates during the week. Our business was nowhere; fortunately, the rest of the year caught us up. This year, we have some projects to do, so we are going to take a different approach - close Mon - Thurs, do weekends only, lower the weekend rates to weekday and eliminate the two-night minimum for January and February except for holidays. If we didn't have projects, I would run the 'Do Not Disturb' special that DD is running. We'll hope that will force the business to the weekend (often the weekday travelers are looking for lower rates, anyway).
a command decision was reached on this issue here today. the whole attitude is everything made the decision, if we can block off rooms midweek and only be open weekends, then we can get so much more accomplished vs jumping from room to room and blocking as we go AND work in the common areas and our quarters some more.
I mentioned to DH and I think it has given him an added incentive and peace about it.
So starting Dec 1 we are open weekends and of course during holiday periods open for that. If we do get a business guest who wants to stay for a week, we will by all means accommodate. We have lowered the weekend rates $25 over this winterizing period as a special.
With our heating, if it is anything like last year, one room does not pay the heating bill, it drives the cost up more than the room, as we have two heat pumps that really are unsatisfactory in the very cold. We add a single heating (oil or hot water coil) unit to a room if need be.
 

Don Draper

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We have traditionally closed weekdays to get maintenance work finished, and been open weekends. Basically if we are open, we will have at least one room booked. It is not worth it to me to have to do the "whole song and dance" for just one room. So this year, as we have no vacations planned and no maintenance to do, we will stay open weekdays and offer the $99 rate without breakfast. We figure we have nothing to lose and everything to gain as we are not normally even open.
I am encouraging friends and family members to book us early if they have plans, that way we can block some time off. I'll report back on how the $99 offer is working out.
 

Alibi Ike

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Our winter last year was pretty bad - the weather was really bad for this area, starting in December, and the local well-known hotel offered $69 room rates during the week. Our business was nowhere; fortunately, the rest of the year caught us up. This year, we have some projects to do, so we are going to take a different approach - close Mon - Thurs, do weekends only, lower the weekend rates to weekday and eliminate the two-night minimum for January and February except for holidays. If we didn't have projects, I would run the 'Do Not Disturb' special that DD is running. We'll hope that will force the business to the weekend (often the weekday travelers are looking for lower rates, anyway)..
muirford said:
If we didn't have projects, I would run the 'Do Not Disturb' special that DD is running.
What's that special? Never mind, just saw it.
 

swirt

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We have one weekend left to go for this season. I'm looking forward to a little bit of down time in winter.
We close about the same time as most of the good restaurants around here. The wineries are open year round, but the good restaurants aren't. If people can't eat, it impacts their ability to have a good time ;)
 
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OPEN ALL YEAR......but I take more 1 days weekend bookings if its thurs. or fri. and I have an opening. Heat= both suites have there own furness, just turn it down low when empty.As i said before mid Shenandoah Valley wont have much SNOW this winter, now that I bought the snow blower !
Mary in Bwater
 

egoodell

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We are usually consistant for weekend bookings and a smattering of weekday over winter as wineries are open. Once I can get my function room open we will be able to do wine dinners too.
RIki
 

Paradise

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We are open year round & only slow down in Sept/Oct. Winter is part of our busiest time as everyone wants to escape to the Caribbean when it gets cold-lol :)
 

white pine

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We have one weekend left to go for this season. I'm looking forward to a little bit of down time in winter.
We close about the same time as most of the good restaurants around here. The wineries are open year round, but the good restaurants aren't. If people can't eat, it impacts their ability to have a good time ;).
What do you do to store linens for the off season? I have mine all washed, and folded; but I plan on re-washing in the spring before I re-do rooms. It would be nice not to have to do this, but is there anyway to store things to keep them fresh? I left mattresses pads to act as dust covers-- will pull those in the spring too. Does this sound about right? Any other suggestions?
 

MTLLodge

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We are open year round & only slow down in Sept/Oct. Winter is part of our busiest time as everyone wants to escape to the Caribbean when it gets cold-lol :).
Paradise said:
We are open year round & only slow down in Sept/Oct. Winter is part of our busiest time as everyone wants to escape to the Caribbean when it gets cold-lol :)
I LOVE the Caribbean!
 

wendydk

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We have one weekend left to go for this season. I'm looking forward to a little bit of down time in winter.
We close about the same time as most of the good restaurants around here. The wineries are open year round, but the good restaurants aren't. If people can't eat, it impacts their ability to have a good time ;).
What do you do to store linens for the off season? I have mine all washed, and folded; but I plan on re-washing in the spring before I re-do rooms. It would be nice not to have to do this, but is there anyway to store things to keep them fresh? I left mattresses pads to act as dust covers-- will pull those in the spring too. Does this sound about right? Any other suggestions?
.
white pine said:
What do you do to store linens for the off season? I have mine all washed, and folded; but I plan on re-washing in the spring before I re-do rooms. It would be nice not to have to do this, but is there anyway to store things to keep them fresh? I left mattresses pads to act as dust covers-- will pull those in the spring too. Does this sound about right? Any other suggestions?
What about Space Bags? I'm sure you would need to make sure that everything is good and try before vac-packing them...maybe stick a dryer sheet in there too? I've never used them, but always thought about it, considering we had such a lack of storage space.
 

swirt

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We have one weekend left to go for this season. I'm looking forward to a little bit of down time in winter.
We close about the same time as most of the good restaurants around here. The wineries are open year round, but the good restaurants aren't. If people can't eat, it impacts their ability to have a good time ;).
What do you do to store linens for the off season? I have mine all washed, and folded; but I plan on re-washing in the spring before I re-do rooms. It would be nice not to have to do this, but is there anyway to store things to keep them fresh? I left mattresses pads to act as dust covers-- will pull those in the spring too. Does this sound about right? Any other suggestions?
.
We wash them, then place them inside a simple plastic garbage bag. Then we just pull them out and they are ready to use. Haven't had a problem with odors. It's only 6 months or less.
 
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