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mdubin

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In most US jurisdictions, 5 rooms or fewer is "residential B&B" and 6 and above is typically "commercial". Federal ADA law, Uniform Building Code apply to 6 and above.
We're 5 for that reason. Operates like a 2 in the slow season, a 5 in the high season. Make it's style match your own, don't make it fancier than you can sustain over the long haul..
Thanks Tom...that was very very helpful information! By chance, do you know what site(s) I should look at to help me understand the Federal regulations for 6+ rooms...as well as state/county sites?
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Dreaming 4 a Darling Inn said:
By chance, do you know what site(s) I should look at to help me understand the Federal regulations for 6+ rooms...as well as state/county sites?
You might start with ADA.gov, yet to me the hitch is the comment "help me understand", as laws always seem to be written for large corporations with legal departments rather than mom & pop. I also think you're in good company right on this forum, at least to get a "heads up" about things we need to consider.
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Please feel free to call me. I’d be glad to answer your questions.305-896-3000
 

Tom

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I would say 5 rooms, as have I. In the US, 5 rooms is a general upper limit for a residential use with B&B; more that is commercial use. That cut off is reflected in the Uniform Building Code (egress), the ADA guidelines (not required to allow service animals), by most local zoning (use permit not required), and in my great state of Oregon, B&B with 5 or fewer can serve beer and wine without a license. The 5 rooms gives me a real income boost when there is high local demand, and in slow times, i'm effectively running a 2 room, and my labor is correspondingly reduced.
 

swirt

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In most US jurisdictions, 5 rooms or fewer is "residential B&B" and 6 and above is typically "commercial". Federal ADA law, Uniform Building Code apply to 6 and above.
We're 5 for that reason. Operates like a 2 in the slow season, a 5 in the high season. Make it's style match your own, don't make it fancier than you can sustain over the long haul..
Thanks Tom...that was very very helpful information! By chance, do you know what site(s) I should look at to help me understand the Federal regulations for 6+ rooms...as well as state/county sites?
.
Dreaming 4 a Darling Inn said:
By chance, do you know what site(s) I should look at to help me understand the Federal regulations for 6+ rooms...as well as state/county sites?
You might start with ADA.gov, yet to me the hitch is the comment "help me understand", as laws always seem to be written for large corporations with legal departments rather than mom & pop. I also think you're in good company right on this forum, at least to get a "heads up" about things we need to consider.
.
Please feel free to call me. I’d be glad to answer your questions.305-896-3000
.
mdubin,
You are walking a fine line here.
Dropping helpful information is good.
Dropping an occasional self-promotional link along with a helpful link is fair.
Openly directing people to call you is kind of pushing it.
Please see the section here under webspam and self-promotion https://www.innspiring.com/legal
 

InnDeep

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I run 5 or 6 rooms and all year round I have a person who comes in to do a weekly deep clean and in the high season, I have someone who comes in for 3 to 4 hours a day. We even limit our hours and do self check-in. But at 7 days a week for months on end, with no help... I'd be burnt. Even this way, we find it tough around 3/4 of the season through. And we take LONG vacations.
When I was younger, I did all the rooms,and had no high season help... but I can't do it all anymore. Even with the help, I make breakfast each day, I do the accounting, answer calls, do all the laundry, buy supplies, etc. But I ALWAYS had that person who comes in once a week who does the deep clean. And on the day the deep clean person comes in, I still make breakfast, do the beds and do all the laundry, including all their rags. They are here 7 or 8 hours making sure that everything is tip top... no dust on the artwork, no dust bunnies under the beds, mopping floors, etc. So even with help, there is plenty to do. And you don't want to be "worn out" when you answer the door for guests.
But we warn guests we only do check-in from 3PM to 5:59PM, before that, you pay, after that you check-in yourself. Best foot forward at arrival time... and those who arrive early... learn quickly, there is a price for showing up at 2:30PM and thinking it will be okay....
It sounds like this will be similar to our situation. I know this is an old thread, but my husband and I (we are 57 & 53, I retired early from the govt) take ownership of Miss Molly’s Inn on Chincoteague tomorrow and we are trying to decide if we will annex the 2 BR & shared bath & den on the top floor of the Inn as Owners Quarters, or try to renovate a small cottage in the back of the Inn as our living space.

My husband will continue his FT job for the govt (currently telecommuting). We will have one FT housekeeper staying on. Otherwise, I’ll be doing the cooking, accounting, marketing, shopping, and guest relations/check ins. My husband will help where he can before & after work.

One of the reasons we are considering annexing the rooms is that I’m not sure after reading all of your posts here that I will be able to manage 7 rooms myself, although implementing a check in window like you have (3-6) may help. the previous owners also closed between December 4-March 4, which we may also do. I’m both excited and terrified today. Please wish me luck as DH and I join your ranks tomorrow. Thanks to everyone here for sharing your experiences on so many topics. It’s been so helpful!

For the moment we’ll be bouncing from guest room to guest room, until we get the air conditioning fixed in the cottage or I can block off the 2BR I mentioned for us. It’s going to be interesting 😊😳😊
 

Riverparkinn

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In most US jurisdictions, 5 rooms or fewer is "residential B&B" and 6 and above is typically "commercial". Federal ADA law, Uniform Building Code apply to 6 and above.
We're 5 for that reason. Operates like a 2 in the slow season, a 5 in the high season. Make it's style match your own, don't make it fancier than you can sustain over the long haul.
I am glad to hear someone mention that an inn with MORE than 5 guest rooms is a "public accommodation" for the purpose of ADA. With only 5 guest rooms and living on site, we are exempt from service animals, handicap ramps etc. Stress is much lower without the risks associated with animals and people with handicaps. (please don't criticize our choice)
 

gillumhouse

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It sounds like this will be similar to our situation. I know this is an old thread, but my husband and I (we are 57 & 53, I retired early from the govt) take ownership of Miss Molly’s Inn on Chincoteague tomorrow and we are trying to decide if we will annex the 2 BR & shared bath & den on the top floor of the Inn as Owners Quarters, or try to renovate a small cottage in the back of the Inn as our living space.

My husband will continue his FT job for the govt (currently telecommuting). We will have one FT housekeeper staying on. Otherwise, I’ll be doing the cooking, accounting, marketing, shopping, and guest relations/check ins. My husband will help where he can before & after work.

One of the reasons we are considering annexing the rooms is that I’m not sure after reading all of your posts here that I will be able to manage 7 rooms myself, although implementing a check in window like you have (3-6) may help. the previous owners also closed between December 4-March 4, which we may also do. I’m both excited and terrified today. Please wish me luck as DH and I join your ranks tomorrow. Thanks to everyone here for sharing your experiences on so many topics. It’s been so helpful!

For the moment we’ll be bouncing from guest room to guest room, until we get the air conditioning fixed in the cottage or I can block off the 2BR I mentioned for us. It’s going to be interesting 😊😳😊
Check with your insurance carrier. My previous REQUIRED innkeeper (or employee) onsite if guests were in-house - overnight) I have no idea about what the current requires because I live here. I know about the previous because I was asking about fire codes statements made by an official (he was full of crap - said sprinklers would reduce our insurance rates and insurance told me, we will say thank you.)
 

Morticia

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It sounds like this will be similar to our situation. I know this is an old thread, but my husband and I (we are 57 & 53, I retired early from the govt) take ownership of Miss Molly’s Inn on Chincoteague tomorrow and we are trying to decide if we will annex the 2 BR & shared bath & den on the top floor of the Inn as Owners Quarters, or try to renovate a small cottage in the back of the Inn as our living space.

My husband will continue his FT job for the govt (currently telecommuting). We will have one FT housekeeper staying on. Otherwise, I’ll be doing the cooking, accounting, marketing, shopping, and guest relations/check ins. My husband will help where he can before & after work.

One of the reasons we are considering annexing the rooms is that I’m not sure after reading all of your posts here that I will be able to manage 7 rooms myself, although implementing a check in window like you have (3-6) may help. the previous owners also closed between December 4-March 4, which we may also do. I’m both excited and terrified today. Please wish me luck as DH and I join your ranks tomorrow. Thanks to everyone here for sharing your experiences on so many topics. It’s been so helpful!

For the moment we’ll be bouncing from guest room to guest room, until we get the air conditioning fixed in the cottage or I can block off the 2BR I mentioned for us. It’s going to be interesting 😊😳😊
What I would do in your shoes — use the rest of this season to see what it’s like living in the same building with the guests. We have a separate apartment in the building but we do share a floor/ceiling with a guest room. I hate when that room is occupied. I have to tip toe around, if I find myself sneezing or coughing I have to leave my own bedroom and sleep on the couch so I don’t disturb the guests, etc.

I’d seriously look at being in a separate building! Especially if that gives you room to breathe. Will you have your own kitchen?

Does your helper also do breakfast, or just rooms? It’s damn near impossible to cook and serve and clear tables for seven rooms by yourself. Spring chicken tho you are. 😉
 

TheBeachHouse

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Wherever you end up, have a private kitchen. If it’s the two room suite, at least have your own kitchen sink, fridge and microwave. You need private access to coffee, wine, popcorn and lunches. Best if you have a true private apartment, but if not, at least you can sip wine without traipsing through the inn.
 

Roxanne Trees

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I can only share from my own 20 years of experience but I am glad to do so if it helps. I want to put as much profit in my own pocket, expending less energy (especially as I get older) while providing the highest quality experience for my guests. 🙌 I am not in the business to provide jobs for others with little extra profit to me. I love meeting new people but I have to make a profit at it or it is a no go.

I have a three room B&B, each suite has its own bathroom and two have private sitting rooms. I used to have four but since I do all my own cooking and cleaning, I found that I was a bit grouchy when all four were rented continuously, especially in October. 😫 That room is now my gym. ;) Also, I live in the house but am able to close off my private quarters (including the kitchen) that runs the length of the back of the house. Nobody gets to come into my kitchen! It is important to have somewhere private to relax especially in the evenings other than your bedroom. We finished the walkout basement and made an "inn-keeper cave" for us and our private entertaining.
Separate laundry facilities are also a must no matter how small your establishment. I put a stackable W/D in my master closet.

Some things that boost your profits:
* Do as much as you can in-house instead of hiring outside help. For example: I went to culinary school and had experience owning a restaurant. I also previously worked in interior design and was a flight attendant (people skills). My husband has an accounting degree and is licensed in HVAC/Heating, plumbing and propane. If something breaks, I have instant repair at minimal cost. Even if you haven't been in the business, being somewhat handy helps a lot when you consider what it costs to have a plumber come out on a holiday weekend. We do have to hire for any carpentry jobs (carpentry is not our gift). Everyone has skills that can boost the profit line. You can also acquire some know-how on youtube.
* Minimal fixed costs. For example, no mortgage (or low mortgage), cash for house upgrades instead of loans, few or no employees. If you live in the country maybe a well or a spring for water eliminating a water bill.
* If you can manage it, get commercial equipment anytime you can. Commercial refrigerator (more reliable, keeps food longer, more space, and long lasting. I have had mine 21 years!), under-counter commercial dishwasher (3 minute cycle!), commercial style range. Many restaurants have closed their doors recently. You may get some lightly used equipment on craigslist. That is where I got my commercial dishwasher and it is the best money I ever spent.
* Write off everything you legally can.
* Some B&B's offer additional meals. If I had a large inn with hired help, I might consider it as I love cooking the most. Even though I do well in the kitchen, I would never have a minute off duty if I did breakfast, clean-up, freshen or turn rooms, laundry, prep for the next morning breakfast and then did dinner too. You have to decide how much you are willing to carry or if hiring help for that brings in enough profit. I found that I cannot charge enough for the dinner to warrant sacrificing my evenings (and my sanity!).

Anytime I consider offering a new amenity I think hard about the cost to my wallet, my time and my sanity. For 17 years I stayed open in the winter because there is a small ski facility inside the resort gate here. I found the clientele to be different in the winter. Folks wanted to stuff 20 skiers in a room, bring little kids (not fair to couples on a getaway) and often they would try to come up here without four-wheel drive (then my husband would have to pull them out and then shuttle them to their car for the rest of the stay.) Too little profit for the amount of aggravation. I now close after leaf season and do any upgrades or repairs over the winter. When I open again in spring I am refreshed and eager to jump into it again.

Of course all situations are different. I just shared what works for me after much trial and error. I hope this helps you in some way or at least gives you something to think about as you jump into the business. Best wishes to you.
 

JimBoone

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It sounds like this will be similar to our situation. I know this is an old thread, but my husband and I (we are 57 & 53, I retired early from the govt) take ownership of Miss Molly’s Inn on Chincoteague tomorrow and we are trying to decide if we will annex the 2 BR & shared bath & den on the top floor of the Inn as Owners Quarters, or try to renovate a small cottage in the back of the Inn as our living space.

My husband will continue his FT job for the govt (currently telecommuting). We will have one FT housekeeper staying on. Otherwise, I’ll be doing the cooking, accounting, marketing, shopping, and guest relations/check ins. My husband will help where he can before & after work.

One of the reasons we are considering annexing the rooms is that I’m not sure after reading all of your posts here that I will be able to manage 7 rooms myself, although implementing a check in window like you have (3-6) may help. the previous owners also closed between December 4-March 4, which we may also do. I’m both excited and terrified today. Please wish me luck as DH and I join your ranks tomorrow. Thanks to everyone here for sharing your experiences on so many topics. It’s been so helpful!

For the moment we’ll be bouncing from guest room to guest room, until we get the air conditioning fixed in the cottage or I can block off the 2BR I mentioned for us. It’s going to be interesting 😊😳😊
Old guy's comments: (We're an 8 room motel, but other than not having to cook for guests, we are about the same, probably more one night guests in our side of the business). Y'all young folks, daughter that helps us is about your age, we're 77 & 76. Until about 4 years ago, I worked an outside job and was the evening and weekend helper, wife ran our 8 rooms and large garden, age began to catch up around that time.

Morticia's comments: I tend to take the opposite view on living in the building, I can be home and still solve a guest problem, it seems someone always needs another pillow, towel, or a quick lesson on using the TV remote, just after I thought it was safe to put on my PJ's and relax for the night, it would drive me nuts if I had to go across the yard to solve those issues.

Roxanne's comments: I agree, do everything possible yourselves. I figure I probably need to gross 400/500 to pay someone 100 and they may not do things the way you wanted anyway. Remember, it's how much you keep, not what you gross. I also tend to agree that guests change with the seasons. Winter/ski, tend to be younger, more late arrivals, Spring more likely to include active folks hiking, bike riding, fishing or crews doing work on properties in the area, Summer more likely to be families and kids, Fall usually brings more older folks to see the leaves in our area, nice folks in all the groups, you really just have to cultivate "your" crowd of folks and that takes time.
 
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