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Energy Costs, Setting Rates, and Closing the Inn for Vacation

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Samster

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Something to throw out there for everyone to think about and discuss. Our electric bill in kilowatt hours doubled from the same time last year (it was actually hotter last year) when we were not open, and we were not full every day in July by a long shot. Of couse, this is when it is in the high 90s with the same % humidity for almost the entire month. If we did not have guests, we would not be keeping our house this cool with the A/C running constantly. We were also closed for a week of vacation as it was!
And people might be expecting discounts during Summer travel here, which is actually counter to our costs.
I think that next year we are looking carefully at closing after the 4th of July until the beginning of August. This will be our "off" time along with January. It is not cost efficient with the few number of bookings. Then, we can plan to do projects...when it's hideously hot, or go someplace cooler.
 

Morticia

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We close in January because we like to have some time off and because the occ is VERY low, probably comparable to what you just went thru. Our heating bill does not seem to be any lower, tho. Maybe because we keep the thermostat set to 55 and guests didn't make too much of a difference in that when they were here. Our electric bill is more because we have to run a small heater to keep pipes from freezing.
Some folks close for 3-4 months because it's not worth it to them in the aggro of a couple of busy weekends but no 'downtime' because you always have to be 'on' from around 1 PM on. (So all the projects have to be put away at that time.)
 

EmptyNest

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Sounds like a good plan to me. If the savings can help justify the income you would or wouldn't take in. Are the other inns in town busy??? Maybe some marketing will help pick up some business by then. You may just have to play it by ear and see how it goes. Certainly you could keep the one house closed and just book the main house since you will have the air on for yourselves.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Worse part about the down season is our heating costs are through the roof and guests think they should get some sort of 50% off thing. Like they are doing us a favor! BAH HUMBUG!
 

Copperhead

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Samster, being in the south like you we go through the same thoughts each year. We have found that August is our worst month. We always joked that we could close and take a month long cruise and would not miss a call.
Over the past few years thou things have changed. We have seen a constant rise in our occ # for the month of August. I think yours will increase over time. I agree with catlady about closing off your 2nd house during your slow period. Just remember, if you see your primary filling up, you can always go in and open up the 2nd.
 

Samster

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Samster, being in the south like you we go through the same thoughts each year. We have found that August is our worst month. We always joked that we could close and take a month long cruise and would not miss a call.
Over the past few years thou things have changed. We have seen a constant rise in our occ # for the month of August. I think yours will increase over time. I agree with catlady about closing off your 2nd house during your slow period. Just remember, if you see your primary filling up, you can always go in and open up the 2nd..
From your lips, to God's ears...as they say.
I hope that the occupancy increases with longevity, more marketing efforts, and more recognition! However, I've been closely watching the other B&Bs' occupancy and talking to them as well, and this time of year is historically extremely slow here, so it may not be worth it to stay open for those few guests that will book. And, the rooms in our 2nd house are often the first to book because of the amenities in those suites. Hard to tell.......
 

riverbendnewbie

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills.
 

gillumhouse

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills..
Welcome to the Blorum.
We had a guest from New Brunswick and he sent some winter photos. This is tongue in cheek - are you going to rent snow caves for the winter season?
 

riverbendnewbie

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills..
Welcome to the Blorum.
We had a guest from New Brunswick and he sent some winter photos. This is tongue in cheek - are you going to rent snow caves for the winter season?
.
Last year we had tons of snow so igloos would have been great! But we do have excellent cross country skiing,snow shoeing and plan on ice skating on our pond--lots to do even in winter. If you ever want to visit our neck of the woods give us a call. Actually my favourite season is Fall- the colors are fantastic.
 

Copperhead

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills..
Welcome Riverbend!
 

Morticia

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills..
riverbendnewbie said:
My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills.
Where in NB? That's where my husband's family is from.
 

gillumhouse

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills..
Welcome to the Blorum.
We had a guest from New Brunswick and he sent some winter photos. This is tongue in cheek - are you going to rent snow caves for the winter season?
.
Last year we had tons of snow so igloos would have been great! But we do have excellent cross country skiing,snow shoeing and plan on ice skating on our pond--lots to do even in winter. If you ever want to visit our neck of the woods give us a call. Actually my favourite season is Fall- the colors are fantastic.
.
Fall is usually our best season also. Our hills become a wall of color that is fantastic and when you are riding the ridges and can see 3 and 4 ridges over - WOW! Just a nip in the air so a light sweater makes one comfortable... life is great!
 

Samster

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills..
Welcome! Best of luck!
 

happyjacks

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My husband and I are just getting started and live in New Brunswick Canada so our summer should be busy however we will market hard for all 4 seasons. The fall season is busy for travellers --better weather and great for golfing(we are located right on a golf course). We are trying to go "green" as much as possible so hopefully it will pay off with lower power bills..
Welcome to the Blorum.
We had a guest from New Brunswick and he sent some winter photos. This is tongue in cheek - are you going to rent snow caves for the winter season?
.
Last year we had tons of snow so igloos would have been great! But we do have excellent cross country skiing,snow shoeing and plan on ice skating on our pond--lots to do even in winter. If you ever want to visit our neck of the woods give us a call. Actually my favourite season is Fall- the colors are fantastic.
.
Welcome Riverbend!
I'm located in Ontario in a region that's probably similar to yours with outdoor activities being the big draw. Some of the B&B's and other accommodations in the area have a hard go in the winter, especially the ones in town, but we really promote winter activities and winter is one of our busy seasons (along with summer and fall colours). We have to work harder to get the business in the winter, and then it's mostly weekends with just a smattering of bookings mid-week. Plus our expenses--heat--are waaay higher in the winter.
A lot of places around here have their Low Season rates over the winter, but we use high season rates once there's enough snow to play in. For one thing, our expenses are higher as mentioned; and for another thing, I think having High Season rates lets people know we are a winter destination and not just a place to sleep if they happen to be in the area.
One cheap way to market your winter activities is to tell your summer and fall guests about all there is to do in the snow. Don't hit them over the head with it, of course. We find that MANY summer/fall guests ask us if we're open year-round, which is the perfect time to tell them how popular the area is and why.
Good luck!
 

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