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Generations Of Goodwill - INN the news 03.22.09

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JunieBJones (JBJ)

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[FONT= 'Times New Roman']Generations Of Goodwill[/FONT]
Hartford Courant - United States
Selling an inn or bed and breakfast can be difficult in almost any market, simply because the pool of available buyers is small. But the tightened credit ...
 

GeorgiaGirl

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I know how you guys feel about Trip Advisor, but after reading the article I wanted to see more so I found their website. They don't have but 1 picture (that I could find) of their rooms so I went to trip advisor to see if there were any guest pictures.....this Inn has received many bad reviews.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Some of us like TA. Not everyone is anti-TA. "Better the devil you know"
But sometimes we are sensitive about little comments on there - like guests commenting that the check out was too early - altho the review was all good - and they left here after 1230 and check out was 11am and they weren't charged extra or anything, then comment negatively. It is not a big deal overall but we are sensitive to those comments.
 

Morticia

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Some of us like TA. Not everyone is anti-TA. "Better the devil you know"
But sometimes we are sensitive about little comments on there - like guests commenting that the check out was too early - altho the review was all good - and they left here after 1230 and check out was 11am and they weren't charged extra or anything, then comment negatively. It is not a big deal overall but we are sensitive to those comments.
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I'd bet those reviews have something to do with why they are not selling. You'd have to do a massive turn around on that right away. I know I found the TA reviews very helpful when we were looking for a place to buy. The guests highlighted a lot of things we might have overlooked had we not read about them.
 

Morticia

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And why do they still have V-Day packages on the home page???
 

seashanty

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And why do they still have V-Day packages on the home page???.
bree - because whoever owns/runs the place has no control over the website? because they are 'burnt out' with innkeeping? because they are not paying attention? because something happened and whoever is running the place is overwhelmed? and that is why the place is for sale?
i often wonder that myself when i see it. in early january i was looking for a good travel package for family for the end of the month and thought i'd found one. i saw a special valid from mid january to mid february. i emailed and got no answer (not a good sign), then i called and got a recording but no call back ... warning! took a closer look and noticed that the site had not been updated since january 2008. anyway, i moved on. made arrangements elsewhere. family went on their trip and returned.
a few days ago i noticed the place is for sale.
 

Morticia

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And why do they still have V-Day packages on the home page???.
bree - because whoever owns/runs the place has no control over the website? because they are 'burnt out' with innkeeping? because they are not paying attention? because something happened and whoever is running the place is overwhelmed? and that is why the place is for sale?
i often wonder that myself when i see it. in early january i was looking for a good travel package for family for the end of the month and thought i'd found one. i saw a special valid from mid january to mid february. i emailed and got no answer (not a good sign), then i called and got a recording but no call back ... warning! took a closer look and noticed that the site had not been updated since january 2008. anyway, i moved on. made arrangements elsewhere. family went on their trip and returned.
a few days ago i noticed the place is for sale.
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seashanty said:
bree - because whoever owns/runs the place has no control over the website? because they are 'burnt out' with innkeeping? because they are not paying attention? because something happened and whoever is running the place is overwhelmed? and that is why the place is for sale?
I guess it didn't seem like that in the article. They were surprised it didn't sell, but not a lot more about what's going on. Obviously, if they are having a fire sale they don't want to come out and say, 'We are SO done with this.' So they say they want to travel more. Hey people, you don't want to say, 'We want to take a 10 day vacation but you can't do that when you run an inn!' (Altho it seems like they are 'absent' anyway.
The way I read it, they stopped taking care of the place at least 2 years ago. So, they were 'done' being innkeepers 3 years ago. And now it is going to take someone a few hundred thousand to bring the place back up to its former glory. THAT'S a tough sell.
And speaking of getting a loan right now...ouch. No bank wants to write a 5 year loan at the rates they have today. They're all running scared that next year will see inflationary rates around 10% or more and they've written loans at 5%. So, they've got all the money but they're not letting it go at these low rates.
 

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Unfortunantlely we went the route of launching a B & B that was run down for 4 years...not a good thing although it had a good reputation about 9 years prior its been a tough road to tread. They had an ugly relationship with this small town, and less than 200 people in one town is very very SMALL so the town was not liking them and whenever a guest was driving down the road they told them that they did not want to stay there at all. It was not a running B & B when we bought it and it hadn't been for quite some time so trying to gain a reputation of the past has been hard. They guys that ran it to the ground had broken up and one could not do it alone, he decided to sell it. Their heart was not in it anyway we found mattrasses that belonged in the early 50's...that goes to show you.
If we had it to do all over again, we would have thought better of it. But here we are and we are determined to make it shine once more. They are more than likely done and if they have neglected the place it would take someone to instanlty fall in love with it to buy it. We did fall in love with this place, its absolutely beautiful although its alot of work outside and inside...more outside though.
 

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I'm so glad to see this topic! I'm running into a similar situation with several properties I'm interested in. One has had a tremendous drop in revenue over the past 2 years, probably because they have a conference/retreat/wedding center that they're not booking...another is showing a steady increase in sales BUT is beginning to get bad reviews on TA, which I attribute to innkeeper burnout. The bad reviews are equal to the amount of time the inn has been on the market.
Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
It makes it hard to know what to do!
The good news about the last one is that it hasn't been worked enough to generate ANY TA reviews so at least I wouldn't have to overcome bad publicity, just no publicity!
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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SL Wrote: another is showing a steady increase in sales BUT is beginning to get bad reviews on TA, which I attribute to innkeeper burnout. The bad reviews are equal to the amount of time the inn has been on the market.
Do the bad reviews reflect innkeeper attitude?
How do you all deal with that? When a BAD reviews reflects innkeeper attittude vs amenities? Is that a BIGGER red flag (as a guest) to say one that says the mattress was too soft?
As we know there are difficult people in this world, every innkeeper can make a list of complete butt-head guests. Out of 100% guests 98% are super and the 2% are terrible and write a review.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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SL Wrote: Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
Is this so they can sell it and not pay the tax on it as a business? There is always a reason for what they do.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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SL Wrote: The good news about the last one is that it hasn't been worked enough to generate ANY TA reviews so at least I wouldn't have to overcome bad publicity, just no publicity!
There is always "change the name of the business" so you get a fresh start on TA and every place else! It is not always detrimental to change the name when there is a history of a place online and reputation you want to freshen up.
Trust me when I say sometimes the baggage of a prev owner can bug you each and every day you run YOUR business. TURN-KEY is not always what it is crackedf up to be. Many so-called turn-key have to start from scratch in ALL aspects down to website design.
Like a house being bought by a new person and always being referred to as Dr Jones' house. No it is MY HOUSE NOW, sorry it will always be Dr Jones' house.
 

Morticia

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I'm so glad to see this topic! I'm running into a similar situation with several properties I'm interested in. One has had a tremendous drop in revenue over the past 2 years, probably because they have a conference/retreat/wedding center that they're not booking...another is showing a steady increase in sales BUT is beginning to get bad reviews on TA, which I attribute to innkeeper burnout. The bad reviews are equal to the amount of time the inn has been on the market.
Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
It makes it hard to know what to do!
The good news about the last one is that it hasn't been worked enough to generate ANY TA reviews so at least I wouldn't have to overcome bad publicity, just no publicity!.
You could always change the name of the place that has the bad rep. Or go all out with 'Under new ownership!' campaigns.
 

Morticia

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SL Wrote: another is showing a steady increase in sales BUT is beginning to get bad reviews on TA, which I attribute to innkeeper burnout. The bad reviews are equal to the amount of time the inn has been on the market.
Do the bad reviews reflect innkeeper attitude?
How do you all deal with that? When a BAD reviews reflects innkeeper attittude vs amenities? Is that a BIGGER red flag (as a guest) to say one that says the mattress was too soft?
As we know there are difficult people in this world, every innkeeper can make a list of complete butt-head guests. Out of 100% guests 98% are super and the 2% are terrible and write a review..
I would say that the bad innkeeper attitude ones, if many, are the ones that would keep me from going. You know the old 'princess and the pea' people who are not happy unless it is their OWN bed, so I'd pay less attention to mattress issues. I'd pay attention to 'road noise' reviews, tho, because that would keep me awake. And mold in the bathroom. Or obvious stains. All of that means someone doesn't care enough to do it right or follow up on the people who are working for them.
 

Morticia

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SL Wrote: Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
Is this so they can sell it and not pay the tax on it as a business? There is always a reason for what they do..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
SL Wrote: Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
Is this so they can sell it and not pay the tax on it as a business? There is always a reason for what they do.
Do you have to go 2 years without running it as a biz to do that? I can't remember.
 

springlady

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SL Wrote: The good news about the last one is that it hasn't been worked enough to generate ANY TA reviews so at least I wouldn't have to overcome bad publicity, just no publicity!
There is always "change the name of the business" so you get a fresh start on TA and every place else! It is not always detrimental to change the name when there is a history of a place online and reputation you want to freshen up.
Trust me when I say sometimes the baggage of a prev owner can bug you each and every day you run YOUR business. TURN-KEY is not always what it is crackedf up to be. Many so-called turn-key have to start from scratch in ALL aspects down to website design.
Like a house being bought by a new person and always being referred to as Dr Jones' house. No it is MY HOUSE NOW, sorry it will always be Dr Jones' house..
The one with good sales and bad TA has a dumb name that says nothing about the area or property so I'd change it in a heartbeat! Change the horrific decor and start fresh. It seems to have great "bones". Has a big stand alone building with a kitchen, and 3 suites. All 3 suites have their own sitting room. Has two cabins with kitchenettes, another with just a frig and coffeemaker, a cute fully stocked 2 bedroom Victorian house that rents for $350. a night, a separate innkeeper's home with office, a new pool with spa. All rooms have satellite TV and WiFi. Current setup is a hot buffet breakfast on weekends, continental during the week. All on about 3 acres, priced less than 1M with all furnishings and supplies.
Issues in reviews are innkeeper attitude and stupid reviewers, as in reviewers complaining about clearly stated refund policies, nothing to do except sit by the pool (what did they expect????), the usual food complaints, no daily maid service when it's stated that there won't be any daily maid service, and so on. I feel that these are issues that would not even be addressed if the innkeeper attitude wasn't so bad judging by other reviews. They are seemingly overprotective owners warning about towel placement on outside railings and minor trash, an inaccessible innkeeper when there are problems (she has a full time job but they don't know that, she recently lost her husband but they don't know that...and I know from experience how hard it is to run the Mom and Pop business now that Pop is gone). She's ready to move on and I know how that feels - you just don't want to be there anymore. The accommodations themselves get good reviews.
The other property with no 3rd and 4th qtr. sales is being marketed as a business so I don't think there was any thought of dodging taxes by being closed. I've heard that the owners have a teenage daughter who is active in school activities and they live elsewhere and are not interested in working the property anymore.
This is still my first choice property and when the time comes I'll make a low offer based strictly on property value and if they don't take it I'll walk away. There's so much on the market right now that getting emotionally involved in one property is a mistake.
I'm going to look at 3 on Wednesday, maybe 4. I'm working with a realtor who specializes in hospitality properties and WHAT a difference that makes!!!
 

muirford

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SL Wrote: Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
Is this so they can sell it and not pay the tax on it as a business? There is always a reason for what they do..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
SL Wrote: Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
Is this so they can sell it and not pay the tax on it as a business? There is always a reason for what they do.
Do you have to go 2 years without running it as a biz to do that? I can't remember.
.
If I remember correctly, the last time I heard an accountant speak that rule had gone by the wayside. More recently, the two year rule on rental properties has gone away. In both cases, though, you have to recapture depreciation allowances. Don't ask me how - I don't know, yet, and figure I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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The other property with no 3rd and 4th qtr. sales is being marketed as a business so I don't think there was any thought of dodging taxes by being closed.
I don't think closing to sell as a home is dodging taxes. Just fyi. There are B&B's that are not big money makers and after a stint as a B&B the owners will sell it as a private home. In fact hm, not sure what the percentage would be of those selling as private homes, but I am sure many of the 2 or 3 room low occupancy B&B's would be inclined to do so.
 

springlady

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SL Wrote: Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
Is this so they can sell it and not pay the tax on it as a business? There is always a reason for what they do..
JunieBJones (JBJ) said:
SL Wrote: Another is not being worked and shows no income for the last two quarters of 2008 when it was supposedly "closed for remodeling". I'm sorry...no one in their right mind would close for remodeling during the third quarter in this area, when it's make or break time. Something was up with that...I've seen the before and after pictures and remodeling was basically a paint job to the cabins and work on the innkeeper's quarters.
Is this so they can sell it and not pay the tax on it as a business? There is always a reason for what they do.
Do you have to go 2 years without running it as a biz to do that? I can't remember.
.
If I remember correctly, the last time I heard an accountant speak that rule had gone by the wayside. More recently, the two year rule on rental properties has gone away. In both cases, though, you have to recapture depreciation allowances. Don't ask me how - I don't know, yet, and figure I will cross that bridge when I get to it.
.
The two year rule still applies to 1031 asset transfers, which means you can defer capital gains on a business property by purchasing another business property. The two year rule in this case states that you must have used the property as a business for at least two years prior to selling it, and you must keep the new property for two years after purchasing it in order to keep the deferment.
 
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