Hello! New Innkeepeers here!

Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum

Help Support Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum:

MoosewoodInn

Active member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
15
Location
St. Ignace, Michigan, United States
How exciting to have a space to go and interact with other B&B hosts and innkeepers!

My husband and I took over a log cabin “motel” in Michigan’s upper peninsula back in January 2021. We opened in March, but half of the building was closed as we made updates and repairs. Over the winter we will be shutting down the front rooms to update those as well. Our little inn has 9 rooms that are heavy on the log cabin aesthetic. We are trying to build an experience, not just provide a room. We are in a very small town. You have to drive over the Mackinac Bridge to get to the upper peninsula, and we are nestled between national forest and Lake Huron. The town is a tourist town and is absolutely booming. We had absolutely no idea what to expect. We are just starting out month two of “busy season”….only three more extremely busy months to go! I need a six month nap. How do you all do it??

I was up late last night waiting for our last check in when I found this forum. There is so much work that goes into running an inn, especially when you only have one or two people. For us, my husband and I do everything. It’s exhausting! So kudos to all of you who are also just starting out and to those of you who have been in it for the long run! You get all of my
 

Attachments

JimBoone

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2014
Messages
1,090
Reaction score
123
@MoosewoodInn Welcome, it is a fun business. We are an 8 room motel in the NC Mountains, Bed, without Breakfast, so a bit different from many on the forum. Yes, at times you feel like the one armed paper hanger, keeps you busy. My wife did most of ours for years while I held an outside job, more recently age began to catch up on us and daughter moved next door to assist the old folks.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,763
Reaction score
414
Welcome. Today is my 25-year anniversary for my start-up. Just said goodbye to some folks from NJ.

I also am in a small city (pop 2300) in West Virginia. It can be exhausting but it is also the hardest job you will ever love. may you get nothing but NICE guests.
 

Jay Curci

Well-known member
Joined
May 5, 2021
Messages
48
Reaction score
17
***you get all of my respect!
Process is important. We run a 13 room Inn (Wife and I ) some help with cleaning when very busy. We simply make lists (religiously). "Put it on the list" it works surprisingly well - Just always - "put it on the list". Call anytime if you would like to speak - Jay - 585-243-5570
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,621
Reaction score
517
Welcome! We just retired after 17 years. Hire help! Having someone else do the cleaning makes your life more pleasant. Send the laundry out if possible. Do you close in the winter, or open all year? If you close then it is possible to barrel through the peak season, but you’ll be tired all the time by October. Take care of yourselves!

There is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration here. Ask all your questions!
 

GoodScout

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 25, 2012
Messages
1,179
Reaction score
356
Welcome! We start our 9th year next week, and despite the occasional frustrations wouldn't trade our lifestyle for anything else.
Guests known as whale-poopers (I call them this because there's nothing lower in the world than whale poop) will try and discourage you, but remember that they're extremely rare, and you only have to put up with them once.
Enjoy your new adventure!
 

MoosewoodInn

Active member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
15
Location
St. Ignace, Michigan, United States
Welcome. Today is my 25-year anniversary for my start-up. Just said goodbye to some folks from NJ.

I also am in a small city (pop 2300) in West Virginia. It can be exhausting but it is also the hardest job you will ever love. may you get nothing but NICE guests.
Thank you so much! We have already had some very um….interesting guests lol. My mom owns an inn right down the road (Bear Cove Inn) and she has not had many of the experiences we’ve already had the…pleasure…(sarcasm) of handling!! Lol….Happy Anniversary to you! I hope it’s your best year yet!
 

MoosewoodInn

Active member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
15
Location
St. Ignace, Michigan, United States
Welcome! We start our 9th year next week, and despite the occasional frustrations wouldn't trade our lifestyle for anything else.
Guests known as whale-poopers (I call them this because there's nothing lower in the world than whale poop) will try and discourage you, but remember that they're extremely rare, and you only have to put up with them once.
Enjoy your new adventure!
Whale-poopers!! Hilarious! Happy early anniversary to you and your business! That’s so exciting!
 

MoosewoodInn

Active member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
15
Location
St. Ignace, Michigan, United States
Welcome! We just retired after 17 years. Hire help! Having someone else do the cleaning makes your life more pleasant. Send the laundry out if possible. Do you close in the winter, or open all year? If you close then it is possible to barrel through the peak season, but you’ll be tired all the time by October. Take care of yourselves!

There is a wealth of knowledge and inspiration here. Ask all your questions!
Thank you so much for the advice. I don’t know if hiring help is much of an option at this point. We are so new, and my parents who do it all on their own would never let us live it down!! Lol Also, because of where we are there are no laundry service companies, that we can find at least. We will be open all year, but the winters up here are pretty dead from what my parents say. They have been doing this for 16 years. They own an inn right down the road. Talked us into it because they love it so much!
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,621
Reaction score
517
@MoosewoodInn if your parents want to kill themselves working all the time, they can. You might want a different life. 😉 AND, you can look at it as supporting the local economy! (We did it all on our own the first year. 7 rooms, open year round.) When I realized during our second summer that I had not set foot outside the building in three months, I realized we needed help. Looking back on that I could not believe I hadn’t walked the dog, hadnt gotten the mail, hadn’t weeded the garden, nothing. We were that busy.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,763
Reaction score
414
Even when I was younger, 3 rooms was all I could handle alone (and then I had Himself to do dishes - oh how I miss my dishwasher!) and do the other things that were important - go to a rifle match with him, be on City Council, attend tourism & rail-trail workshops and conferences all over the State (THAT got me known and was for business as much as anything else). I decided that my city may be small and my B & B was small, but i was running with the big boys - and I did and do. IF I had a larger property, I guarantee you I would have had help. All those things I attended and was involved in (and still am) got my business known in the early days when I did not have a lot of business (but enough) - prior to Internet and Social Media. Congratulate your parents on doing it all themselves, but YOU get help so you have time to promote your B & B and enjoy life. If all you do is cook, clean, laundry, greet guests and say goodbye and after 5 or 6 hours sleep do it all over again, it will not take long to hate it.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,580
Reaction score
93
We are in our 20th or so year... 13 in this location. I used to do everything, except the BIG CLEAN. I hire in the summer for 3 hours a day. But I also learnt to do some things smarter. I don't do check-in anymore at all, it's all automated. Programmed door with code based on phone number, sign on the door. Doorbell cam, so I can make sure they are in. Doors programmed remotely.

Of course, I have 1/3rd of my rooms closed because of COVID. Not as many guests and I'm still doing it... but if it was a normal summer, I'd definitely have my 3 hours of help. And I've had good help and bad help... the bad help, gets replaced. I know exactly what can be done in 3 hours. And the help is paid over $20 an hour
 

MoosewoodInn

Active member
Joined
Jul 2, 2021
Messages
34
Reaction score
15
Location
St. Ignace, Michigan, United States
@MoosewoodInn if your parents want to kill themselves working all the time, they can. You might want a different life. 😉 AND, you can look at it as supporting the local economy! (We did it all on our own the first year. 7 rooms, open year round.) When I realized during our second summer that I had not set foot outside the building in three months, I realized we needed help. Looking back on that I could not believe I hadn’t walked the dog, hadnt gotten the mail, hadn’t weeded the garden, nothing. We were that busy.
That’s where I’m at right now but we only have it like that for five months and then it’s supposedly easy as pie. And
Even when I was younger, 3 rooms was all I could handle alone (and then I had Himself to do dishes - oh how I miss my dishwasher!) and do the other things that were important - go to a rifle match with him, be on City Council, attend tourism & rail-trail workshops and conferences all over the State (THAT got me known and was for business as much as anything else). I decided that my city may be small and my B & B was small, but i was running with the big boys - and I did and do. IF I had a larger property, I guarantee you I would have had help. All those things I attended and was involved in (and still am) got my business known in the early days when I did not have a lot of business (but enough) - prior to Internet and Social Media. Congratulate your parents on doing it all themselves, but YOU get help so you have time to promote your B & B and enjoy life. If all you do is cook, clean, laundry, greet guests and say goodbye and after 5 or 6 hours sleep do it all over again, it will not take long to hate it.
Wow! You do have your hands full! Luckily I am only an inn, so at least I don’t have the stress of cooking! I couldn’t imagine having that thrown in the mix! I applaud the people who do it all!
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,621
Reaction score
517
@MoosewoodInn Ah, you are not serving food. Big difference. Food service and all the prep and cleanup takes about five hours everyday.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,621
Reaction score
517
I get up about an hour early to prep the food. MOH sets the table for me. If it has to be in the oven, it will need 30 minutes to bake, though sometimes more, depending on the size.
Yeah, you know Gomez, everything takes longer for him. It’s an hour just to go to the store everyday. Then an hour to cut up the fruit. An hour and a half to serve. An hour to clean up.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,580
Reaction score
93
Yeah, you know Gomez, everything takes longer for him. It’s an hour just to go to the store everyday. Then an hour to cut up the fruit. An hour and a half to serve. An hour to clean up.
Way to make it an extreme annoyance :)
In the summer, I have to pick up the vegetables (I say veggies, but there are fruits and herbs as well, but no choice... I take what they bring) on Wednesday between 4PM and 6:30PM. I go to the super once a week for fruits and everything else. I rarely need anything last minute, even when we have a full house. We do have 2 fridges and 3 freezers :)
Breakfast is either 8 or 9. And by 10 cleaning takes a max of 30 minutes. Dishwasher does the dishes. When we were busy and before COVID, we set the breakfast table right after. But now, we leave it empty so they can eat take-out, if they want to.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,621
Reaction score
517
@Generic His going to the store everyday was his way to get out of the house. We only had the one fridge/freezer so it kind of had to happen anyway. He still does that. Goes to the store almost everyday for stuff for dinner. It’s easier now as it’s close enough to walk where we’re living.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,763
Reaction score
414
I get up about an hour early to prep the food. MOH sets the table for me. If it has to be in the oven, it will need 30 minutes to bake, though sometimes more, depending on the size.
I set the alarm for 2 hours before so I do not feel rushed. I usually set the table before I go to bed. I never know if they are going to be down early for coffee - a time sucker, but usually the extra time I allowed covers it. I cut the herbs just before mixing up the entrée.
 

Latest posts

Top