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OnTheShore

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Well, looks like it's been just over a year since my last posting here at Innspiring... I guess I just got caught up in other things, mainly related to my day job. An e-mail from the Admin about the new software prompted me to come back and take a look. Glad to read again so many familiar voices.

This certainly has been a crazy year, but we've been rolling with the punches and have been quite busy since June 26 when our state opened up to visitors (willing to certify compliance with requirements) from beyond northern New England. Some of our long-term returning guests took advantage of our offer to simply postpone their stay to next year rather than cancel, allowing us to keep their downpayment and allowing them to keep "their spot." The resulting vacancies have all been filled with new guests (a lot finding us via Air...), many of whom would like to come back next year but won't have the same "dibs" we traditionally have given to the current year's guests for the next year... I guess one of our advantages is the independent, self-contained nature of the "housekeeping" cottages we offer, where our guests can isolate and quarantine themselves as much as they wish. No one comes in our house, we conduct all our business outside on the porch, and there is plenty of room for guest groups to keep distance from other groups.

So it looks like our season will not be the complete bust that I was worried about as a possibility back in March and April. We had a gaggle of college seniors (including our son) staying with us this spring after they got kicked off their campus, going to remote learning due to the virus -- their experience, along with those of other such groups around the country, was written up in the Hechinger Report (also published in the Washington Post). The college I teach at did the same, so I was able to be here all spring too, teaching my classes remotely as well. We took in a homeless person into one of our cottages in mid-May, for 6 weeks, for not much money, but at that time something seemed better than nothing. There was SO much uncertainty as we waited for our state government to come out with their re-opening plans..... We delayed "opening" of our cottages until we knew we would have guests to fill them to avoid the expense of opening them up from their winter slumber only to have to close them down again if nobody could come. I put in for PPP loans for our two businesses back in April, and am now waiting for the powers-that-be to finally figure out what they are going to do about forgiveness, so I can get on with that part of the program... (more uncertainty -- argh!)

I am sure some of you all are probably really struggling out there, and the situation in some of your locales may be much more dire than it is here, now. I really feel for you, and hope you all are able to survive. We are very fortunate. We have not experienced any angry push-back from our guests or prospective guests about the requirements the state has for them (some frustration and disappointment, sure, but no anger directed at us). Nor have we experienced any push-back from the locals in town here, as everyone else is also in the same boat (dependent on tourists).

OK, enough rambling. Hopefully I won't be gone from here for so long again, but who knows. I'm not really looking forward to the return of students to my college campus for the fall semester -- all the plans seem to me to be a house of cards....
 

TarahDunlop

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Good Morning Everyone! I just discovered this group and am excited to find other Innkeepers to converse with. My husband and I own Elizabeth Pointe Lodge on Amelia Island, Florida. It is nice to read stories from other Innkeepers during this time to find out how everyone is adjusting to the covid situation. I look forward to getting to know you all! -Tarah
 

Morticia

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Well, looks like it's been just over a year since my last posting here at Innspiring... I guess I just got caught up in other things, mainly related to my day job. An e-mail from the Admin about the new software prompted me to come back and take a look. Glad to read again so many familiar voices.

This certainly has been a crazy year, but we've been rolling with the punches and have been quite busy since June 26 when our state opened up to visitors (willing to certify compliance with requirements) from beyond northern New England. Some of our long-term returning guests took advantage of our offer to simply postpone their stay to next year rather than cancel, allowing us to keep their downpayment and allowing them to keep "their spot." The resulting vacancies have all been filled with new guests (a lot finding us via Air...), many of whom would like to come back next year but won't have the same "dibs" we traditionally have given to the current year's guests for the next year... I guess one of our advantages is the independent, self-contained nature of the "housekeeping" cottages we offer, where our guests can isolate and quarantine themselves as much as they wish. No one comes in our house, we conduct all our business outside on the porch, and there is plenty of room for guest groups to keep distance from other groups.

So it looks like our season will not be the complete bust that I was worried about as a possibility back in March and April. We had a gaggle of college seniors (including our son) staying with us this spring after they got kicked off their campus, going to remote learning due to the virus -- their experience, along with those of other such groups around the country, was written up in the Hechinger Report (also published in the Washington Post). The college I teach at did the same, so I was able to be here all spring too, teaching my classes remotely as well. We took in a homeless person into one of our cottages in mid-May, for 6 weeks, for not much money, but at that time something seemed better than nothing. There was SO much uncertainty as we waited for our state government to come out with their re-opening plans..... We delayed "opening" of our cottages until we knew we would have guests to fill them to avoid the expense of opening them up from their winter slumber only to have to close them down again if nobody could come. I put in for PPP loans for our two businesses back in April, and am now waiting for the powers-that-be to finally figure out what they are going to do about forgiveness, so I can get on with that part of the program... (more uncertainty -- argh!)

I am sure some of you all are probably really struggling out there, and the situation in some of your locales may be much more dire than it is here, now. I really feel for you, and hope you all are able to survive. We are very fortunate. We have not experienced any angry push-back from our guests or prospective guests about the requirements the state has for them (some frustration and disappointment, sure, but no anger directed at us). Nor have we experienced any push-back from the locals in town here, as everyone else is also in the same boat (dependent on tourists).

OK, enough rambling. Hopefully I won't be gone from here for so long again, but who knows. I'm not really looking forward to the return of students to my college campus for the fall semester -- all the plans seem to me to be a house of cards....
I’m happy to hear things are going well. It’s still dead here.
 

Iris

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Same here. We are, and have been, so busy that I gave no thought to anything beside our guests and keeping everyone safe. Although it has been longer than a year for me to snoop around in here. People were so eager to get out of their home by mid June - it was an onslaught of people in northern Mich as soon as the governor lifted the stay at home order.
we still have had less than 20 cases in the county, and everyone has weathered it fine.
i am sorry to read that some of you lovely lot are “dead”. Here’s to getting over this misery sooner rather than later.
sending air-hugs
 

OnTheShore

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Thing is Morticia is in the same state about 20 miles from me (as the crow flys, longer by road), operating under the same rules, but different towns and different offerings...
 

gillumhouse

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I have been getting enough to pay the bills. I have never been a "tourist mecca" but have had more 3-night stays than usual. Just said goodbye yesterday to a 5-night @bereavement rate - my house has flowers in almost every room!! Last year was a "suck year" and as of mow I am at slightly more than 50% of what I was last year at this time. Gives hope to at least equal last year. (Tips have been been better than EVER!)
 

Samster

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Good Morning Everyone! I just discovered this group and am excited to find other Innkeepers to converse with. My husband and I own Elizabeth Pointe Lodge on Amelia Island, Florida. It is nice to read stories from other Innkeepers during this time to find out how everyone is adjusting to the covid situation. I look forward to getting to know you all! -Tarah
Welcome, Tarah! I met the original owner of your beautiful inn probably 100 years ago (haha!) when an aspiring innkeeper. This is a great bunch here!
 
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Samster

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I’m happy to hear things are going well. It’s still dead here.
Morticia, sorry to hear biz is not going well. Think of you often! Glad for this opportunity to re-connect. You can message me. We're retired and in South Carolina now.
 

Morticia

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Sorry to hear that, I can only speculate on what the differences might be.
I think it’s what we each have on offer — you’ve got the lovely cabins on the water and I’m in a town that’s mostly only sort of open. It’s ok, because having people in my house right now is not a priority. I’m sort of enjoying this and it’ll be a rude awakening when things go back to being busy!
 

royden

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Like others I was reminded of Innspiring by a recent email. It's interesting, from here in the U.K., to read of your different experiences and compare them with people over here from our BedPosts.org.uk forum.
I wonder - apart from everything else going on right now, how much are you affected by the growth in hotel chains and particularly budget ones? I'm in York, England, a tourist city if every there was one plus a growing university city. For the last few years there has been a growth in hotels building and opening, no sign of that slowing even now, plus there are more unlicensed Airbnbs than ever. As a result the number of 'traditional' B&Bs is falling, actually plummeting. What future is there?
Apologies if this query duplicates postings on other topics ...........
 

Morticia

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@royden We’ve seen a surge in hotels and Airbnb most definitely. Since I’ve been in my town (15 years) about ten other b&b’s have closed. The few that remain are having a tough go this year.
It’s usually busy enough that there are enough guests to go around, but when the mid range hotels are charging low end prices times are tough.
 
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