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Ice

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First of all I am not new here, (just got a new name) to protect the inocent! When you first started your B&B did you contact other B&Bs in the area? Is this a smart move?
 

wendydk

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I think it is a smart move to at least try. We did, and got zero response...since then, we have all become very close and even started our own regional group...I say go for it!
 

Morticia

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This is not only a smart move it may be life-saving. We were 'lucky' in that the folks we bought from intrduced us to one set of innkeepers and others came by on their own to welcome us (with gifts no less!)
You probably know something about the competition from their websites. No matter what you think about them from there, you may be completely wrong so definitely stop by and introduce yourself.
You may want to have in mind what you'd like to get and give at that meeting. I know some innkeepers rebuff overtures if they have an attitude of superiority about their place or the reverse is true as well. Tread lightly, but make it known you're here to stay.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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This is not only a smart move it may be life-saving. We were 'lucky' in that the folks we bought from intrduced us to one set of innkeepers and others came by on their own to welcome us (with gifts no less!)
You probably know something about the competition from their websites. No matter what you think about them from there, you may be completely wrong so definitely stop by and introduce yourself.
You may want to have in mind what you'd like to get and give at that meeting. I know some innkeepers rebuff overtures if they have an attitude of superiority about their place or the reverse is true as well. Tread lightly, but make it known you're here to stay..
Morticia said:
This is not only a smart move it may be life-saving.
Ditto.
 

seashanty

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Well then, welcome to 'Ice'
Yes, yes and yes. It's a wonderful idea. An innkeeper's life can be busy, chaotic and stress-filled ... so I'm not a fan of the drop-in approach and it's hard to know when the right time is to make a phone call. But I would definitely introduce myself.
What I did was I sent notes by snail mail to the local places, very brief, telling them who I was and that I'd love to meet or just talk. Welcomed them to come to me or I would go there. A few I met, some I never did ... they were too busy or not available when I was ... and a few ignored me. (sigh) My approach was that each of our places was unique ... for example, I could gush about the really elegant place with the jacuzzi tubs that i LOVE but that was never going to be my place. And I could recommend the three room/two bath year rounder with very low rates and a simple, continental breakfast. A clean, safe place and comfortable bed ... but no extras.
I introduced myself to the owner of the little hotel right across the road from me before the property was purchased. I wanted to be sure he was good with my being there. We hit it off and he gave me lots of advice, then turned around and started imitating me. haha.
Best possible scenario is when like-minded b&b's refer to one another. There were four places I knew I could refer to when I was full or I couldn't satisfy the guest's needs ... two returned the favor a lot, the other two - not so much.
Good luck!
 

egoodell

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I think it is a smart move to at least try. We did, and got zero response...since then, we have all become very close and even started our own regional group...I say go for it!.
I agree too. You'll find some will become friends and be great sounding boards. And it is nice to have someone to get together with and have a bottle of wine and chat with who understand you - and you understand them when they get that last minute booking calling them standing on their doorstep causing them to have to bolt back home!
Riki
 

Country Girl

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Well then, welcome to 'Ice'
Yes, yes and yes. It's a wonderful idea. An innkeeper's life can be busy, chaotic and stress-filled ... so I'm not a fan of the drop-in approach and it's hard to know when the right time is to make a phone call. But I would definitely introduce myself.
What I did was I sent notes by snail mail to the local places, very brief, telling them who I was and that I'd love to meet or just talk. Welcomed them to come to me or I would go there. A few I met, some I never did ... they were too busy or not available when I was ... and a few ignored me. (sigh) My approach was that each of our places was unique ... for example, I could gush about the really elegant place with the jacuzzi tubs that i LOVE but that was never going to be my place. And I could recommend the three room/two bath year rounder with very low rates and a simple, continental breakfast. A clean, safe place and comfortable bed ... but no extras.
I introduced myself to the owner of the little hotel right across the road from me before the property was purchased. I wanted to be sure he was good with my being there. We hit it off and he gave me lots of advice, then turned around and started imitating me. haha.
Best possible scenario is when like-minded b&b's refer to one another. There were four places I knew I could refer to when I was full or I couldn't satisfy the guest's needs ... two returned the favor a lot, the other two - not so much.
Good luck!.
When I first opened I met a wonderful woman who started a B&B several towns away at about the same time. We became very good friends and we helped each other a lot over the next several years. She even formed an informal "association" for all the B&B's in our county. But after a few years every one of them sold and moved on, including my friend. Only a few remained B&B's but most of the others were converted to single family homes or other businesses. I really miss those connections. B&B's that have opened since view me as their competition and are reluctant to share ideas. Little do they know, as much as I love my B&B and work really hard to make it successful, I am the least competitive person in the world. That's why I love this forum so much. I feel connected here.

 

Copperhead

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I do agree that this is an important step in our industry, which is much different than if you were opening a gift shop or tea room. If you are lucky, they will welcome you with open arms, plenty of good advise, and will become some of your best friends. There is another side to this story though, one of not so happy vibes. Some may see you opening your doors as the enemy moving in to their territory.
Interesting to note that I had one of each. One Innkeeper came over with so many things to help me get started with marketing, bookkeeping, reservation keeping...you name it she had it and was there to lend me a hand. My first guests were some of her regulars that she was unable to accommodate. She soon closed her doors and sent personal letters to all her guests informing them of her closing and offering them my information with a wonderful recommondation for their future travels.
The other inkeeper near me was quite the opposite and she sat on the tourism board at that time. She avoided me like the plague and told lies about my place (she never stepped foot in) to other board members. I woundered what I had done to tick her off since I had never met her before. As time passed and other board members got to know me and visited my B&B things came out to make me understand that it was really nothing personal, I had just moved in on what she felt was her territory. PERIOD.
For those who are reading this who are aspiring, I am stating this so you know that while most innkeepers are the most friendly people on earth, there are others that are not. Do not let them bother you, just follow your gut and take the high road.
 

EmptyNest

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Of course. Better to be friends with them and get acquainted. I have always felt innkeepers should work together. Just give them a call to introduce yourself and see where it goes. Don't be pushy or ask too many questions of them at first. Get to know them. Good things can happen.
 

Samster

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Existing B&Bs here didn't do anything to help me out when we opened. Apparently, we are not all in it together...we are all competitors in their minds even though we all offer different experiences. Sad but true...
However, I do have a good relationship with one with cross referrals. The other one will send guests to hotels. Again, sad but true....
 

gillumhouse

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Yes, it is a smart move to get to know the other B & Bs - if possible. There was a B & B in the town north of us when we opened and they were friendly - because we were ot in their town. I do not think it would have been the same if we had been. We were in different counties but only 10 miles apart. We remained on mostly friendly terms until they retired as innkeepers but we are still on friendly terms with them.
I would LOVE to have another B & B open in my town and have wanted that to happen just about ever since I opened. My reasoning is this: you can have one B & B anywhere, but if there are 2 or more, there must be something there....... And I have lots going on here.
 

birdwatcher

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We tried desperately to become friends with B &B's in our area. We even stayed in one when we came and looked at ours, they where very nice even helpful but when we had to make a second trip and I called them eventhough they where in their first year and we could only stay one night told us that it was a 2 night minimum...and that they where not making an exception, I understand this, but you did the first time what changed in a month? That right there made us upset. We stayed at another B & B in the area that accepted the one night (it was not at a busy time of year).
When we eventually bought the Inn we tried to go become friends with them but eventhough the second innkeepers where nice..they really did not seem interested and lets not go where the first calimed that we copywrited their website and put it on our brochures, maybe we did but it was all tourism stuff.
I wish that we could have had a closer relationship with the Inns in the immediate area, but alas it did not happen, don't know why perhaps because we werent from here. Although I do have to say that the area B & B association was wonderful and the Innkeepers in them where very helpful in many areas in the begining and still are.
Good luck, but its better to extend a hand for a handshake than not extend one and need it later.
 

Innkeep

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I have to laugh. The other B&B in town opened about the same time that I did. I have had it on my list of things to do to meet the innkeepers there and this thread reminded me that there is no good reason that I haven't called, except for inertia on my part. So my resolution was to call this morning until I opened the paper this am. The other innkeeper had a letter to the editor (the first time she's written, to my knowledge) that espoused a political view 180 degrees away from what I believe. So, I decided that I'd wait just a little bit longer before I call!
 

Morticia

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I have to laugh. The other B&B in town opened about the same time that I did. I have had it on my list of things to do to meet the innkeepers there and this thread reminded me that there is no good reason that I haven't called, except for inertia on my part. So my resolution was to call this morning until I opened the paper this am. The other innkeeper had a letter to the editor (the first time she's written, to my knowledge) that espoused a political view 180 degrees away from what I believe. So, I decided that I'd wait just a little bit longer before I call!
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Call anyway. Just don't talk politics. Talk innkeeping, the area, etc.
 

JBloggs

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Yes, it is a smart move to get to know the other B & Bs - if possible. There was a B & B in the town north of us when we opened and they were friendly - because we were ot in their town. I do not think it would have been the same if we had been. We were in different counties but only 10 miles apart. We remained on mostly friendly terms until they retired as innkeepers but we are still on friendly terms with them.
I would LOVE to have another B & B open in my town and have wanted that to happen just about ever since I opened. My reasoning is this: you can have one B & B anywhere, but if there are 2 or more, there must be something there....... And I have lots going on here..
gillumhouse said:
Yes, it is a smart move to get to know the other B & Bs - if possible. There was a B & B in the town north of us when we opened and they were friendly - because we were ot in their town. I do not think it would have been the same if we had been. We were in different counties but only 10 miles apart. We remained on mostly friendly terms until they retired as innkeepers but we are still on friendly terms with them.
I would LOVE to have another B & B open in my town and have wanted that to happen just about ever since I opened. My reasoning is this: you can have one B & B anywhere, but if there are 2 or more, there must be something there....... And I have lots going on here.
Is there occupancy to support another B&B? I know there is not here in this town, there are B&B's popping up in our mountains all the time and closing down within a year or so.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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I have to laugh. The other B&B in town opened about the same time that I did. I have had it on my list of things to do to meet the innkeepers there and this thread reminded me that there is no good reason that I haven't called, except for inertia on my part. So my resolution was to call this morning until I opened the paper this am. The other innkeeper had a letter to the editor (the first time she's written, to my knowledge) that espoused a political view 180 degrees away from what I believe. So, I decided that I'd wait just a little bit longer before I call!
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Call anyway. Just don't talk politics. Talk innkeeping, the area, etc.
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Ditto. I know some perfectly lovely innkeepers that I absolutely enjoying spending time with. But on politics, well, we don't go there.
 

gillumhouse

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Yes, it is a smart move to get to know the other B & Bs - if possible. There was a B & B in the town north of us when we opened and they were friendly - because we were ot in their town. I do not think it would have been the same if we had been. We were in different counties but only 10 miles apart. We remained on mostly friendly terms until they retired as innkeepers but we are still on friendly terms with them.
I would LOVE to have another B & B open in my town and have wanted that to happen just about ever since I opened. My reasoning is this: you can have one B & B anywhere, but if there are 2 or more, there must be something there....... And I have lots going on here..
gillumhouse said:
Yes, it is a smart move to get to know the other B & Bs - if possible. There was a B & B in the town north of us when we opened and they were friendly - because we were ot in their town. I do not think it would have been the same if we had been. We were in different counties but only 10 miles apart. We remained on mostly friendly terms until they retired as innkeepers but we are still on friendly terms with them.
I would LOVE to have another B & B open in my town and have wanted that to happen just about ever since I opened. My reasoning is this: you can have one B & B anywhere, but if there are 2 or more, there must be something there....... And I have lots going on here.
Is there occupancy to support another B&B? I know there is not here in this town, there are B&B's popping up in our mountains all the time and closing down within a year or so.
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Is there occupancy to support another B&B?
I truly think there would be if it was another small one 3-4 rooms. I do not think there is a house in town that would be able to have more rooms other than the Abbruzino Mansion and the current owner talked about doing just that - 14 years ago but never happened. She cannot decide where she wants to live for one thing.
Anyway I think so for several reasons: 2 or more there must be something there, we could combine forces in advertising and marketing, and there have been more than a few times I had to send overflow elsewhere. Another thing is that the other B & B would probably be in the good graces of the local funeral homes and get that business. I did not kiss ANY part of the owner across the street when we first came here so they never tell anyone we are here. Yess the glut of hotel rooms is an issue but the people looking for B & B will find us. I just had a couple from Pittsburgh who came in for a funeral in the CITY 10 miles north of me who asked if my bereavement rate was available if it was a funeral home other than in my City. They chose to come here and drive the 13 miles (to the funeral home) each way to & from for the wake and the funeral the next day.
 

Ice

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I'll give them a call. As of right now I would never recomend them from the way their pictures look on thier website.
 

JBloggs

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I'll give them a call. As of right now I would never recomend them from the way their pictures look on thier website..
Ice said:
I'll give them a call. As of right now I would never recomend them from the way their pictures look on thier website.
If we go from website photos I would not recommend plenty of them that I do. But knowing the innkeeper is terrific helps.
 
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