I'm considering a B&B.....

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Nebraskabound

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Ok....I'm new to the site...new to the industry...just new. I'm going to think out loud here and I don't want to offend anyone. Please, please, please any advice or information is greatly appreciated!
Let me give you a bit of information about me.
First, we already own our own business...a hunting ranch in Texas. We understand the hours and the frustrations that go along with owning your own business in a service driven industry. With that said, we also understand the greatness of being blessed with your own business....making friends all over the world. Certainly, it has it's pro's and con's.
We have recently bought a ranch to expand our hunting in the panhandle of Nebraska...mountainous, pine trees...just beautiful...within 1.5 (I believe) hours of Deadwood and other historical sites. You can see the Black Hills from our place...it's near Chadron. We still want to do hunts but also would like to tame that down some and possibly offer a "retreat" type place...birdwatching, animal watching, a place to enjoy the outdoors. Initially, we were thinking about a spiritual retreat but I'm not certain of the "guidelines" to do something like that. I'm thinking that's not in the cards. The property itself is literally in the middle of nowhere and offer solitude and peace. It's just the perfect setting, at least to me, to offer a lodgey type B&B.
Now questions....are we close enough to advertise to those travelers going to the historical sites? Do people really stay at these types of places? Where do I even begin...what are some good resources (besides this site) to see where to begin and what people look for? Again, I'm in the investigation stage...we will already have a lodge for the seasonal hunters...I just hate to waste it the other half of the year. Am I missing anything here? Anything else to consider?
LOL...thanks for all your help in advance!
Lori
 

gillumhouse

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I think you will definitely be within market range for the visitors ot historic places 1.5 hours away. You could be the "place on the way" to or from OR it could be one of the places for your guests ro visit while they stay with you. Check into it to see if the historical museum (I want to say Adams County but not sure) is still operating - it was one of the best we have visited of that size. There was also a lead mine near there. All things that could be bundled into a tour. I do know that Deadwood has changed a LOT since we were there - last I heard it has casinos. You should also market it as a destination and be aware you will probably not get the random traveler. Good luck. BTW - there are site devoted to bird watching, wildlife watching, etc. advertise thre and in publications/newsletters specif to those activities.
 

Nebraskabound

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Oh thanks...great information and I certainly appreciate it. I've been cruising around the site and have learned a lot. It's sad that I don't know a lot about the area yet...still living in Texas for another month or so while the lodge is being built in NE. I know it's big Crazy Horse history area with old Indian camps around and supposedly Crazy Horse is buried somewhere on our place or close by...the Beaver Wall area. I really do realize that a B&B is hard work...so is a hunting ranch. Truly not much difference besides the obvious.
I'm so looking forward to what people say to my posting. I learned a long time ago to LISTEN!
Thanks!!!!!
 

Nebraskabound

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I think you will definitely be within market range for the visitors ot historic places 1.5 hours away. You could be the "place on the way" to or from OR it could be one of the places for your guests ro visit while they stay with you. Check into it to see if the historical museum (I want to say Adams County but not sure) is still operating - it was one of the best we have visited of that size. There was also a lead mine near there. All things that could be bundled into a tour. I do know that Deadwood has changed a LOT since we were there - last I heard it has casinos. You should also market it as a destination and be aware you will probably not get the random traveler. Good luck. BTW - there are site devoted to bird watching, wildlife watching, etc. advertise thre and in publications/newsletters specif to those activities..
Any info on the sites for birdwatching and wildlife watching? Just google it?
 

Susan

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We are currently buying our first B&B and have spent 5 years researching. I suggest your read the books -
Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies by Mary White
So~ You Want To Be An Innkeeper by Brown, Hardy, Bell, & Davies
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Running a Bed and Breakfast by Park Davis and Susannah Craig
Notes From An Innkeeper's Journal by Dick Matthews
And anything else you find.
About.com has an aspiring innkeepers weekly that was interesting but basic.
And join the PAII - Professional Association of Innkeepers International (innkeeping.org) and read all the forums on their site as well. Maybe, if you can spend the $$ and spare the time, go to the Innkeepers trade show (innkeepingshow.com) in January that is sponsored by PAII.
Visit every B&B you can afford to in your travels and go to websites and troll B&B webpages - not just the ones that are like what you want but also unlike it. bedandbreakfast.com is a great one, bbonline is also good, but there are many (too many).
You have the right attitude - listen and learn. It's the listening part that is tough for me some times.
 

gillumhouse

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I think you will definitely be within market range for the visitors ot historic places 1.5 hours away. You could be the "place on the way" to or from OR it could be one of the places for your guests ro visit while they stay with you. Check into it to see if the historical museum (I want to say Adams County but not sure) is still operating - it was one of the best we have visited of that size. There was also a lead mine near there. All things that could be bundled into a tour. I do know that Deadwood has changed a LOT since we were there - last I heard it has casinos. You should also market it as a destination and be aware you will probably not get the random traveler. Good luck. BTW - there are site devoted to bird watching, wildlife watching, etc. advertise thre and in publications/newsletters specif to those activities..
Any info on the sites for birdwatching and wildlife watching? Just google it?
.
http://www.birding.com/northamlodges.asp
Goo gle birdwatching is best
 

Penelope

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Go to the Nebraska B&B Association website. Someone mentioned PAII- go for it. If you are serious about it (which it sounds like you are)- go for it!
Make YOU the destination. They can be attracted to the historical sites in the area, but make YOU the reason why they stay with you.
It's possible.
 

Arks

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Nebraskabound said:
Ok....I'm new to the site...new to the industry...just new. I'm going to think out loud here and I don't want to offend anyone.
Believe me, if you offend anyone unintentionally, you'll hear about it pronto. I still have newbie scars from a year ago (and will certainly get more in the months ahead)!
Agritourism like you're planning is really growing in America. I'd think you'd want to advertise in the nearest large cities, inviting the city folk to experience the peace and quiet of nature. Bird watchers are known to be among the highest spenders of any travelers. Right up there with hunters! So you're definitely on the right track.
Do your homework, spend lots of time studying the archives here and following the daily posts, take an aspiring innkeepers class at a real B&B, stay at some B&B's, try not to get cross-ways with Joey Bloggs (just kidding JB) and you'll do very well!
 

Joey Camb

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what's really big in the UK (I am sure it is in the USA to) is letting people get their hands dirty. A lot of people come from flats with no gardens - make it part of the package - get your boots dirty, gardening, working on the farm etc people are loony for it (obviously in a safe non frightening your livestock sort of way) I would get on the phone (once you are in) to all the attractions get all their info link it all up on the web site, get your web site built. Also the family get together market is huge something to think about (ie get away from it all and have a multi level family gathering)
 

Nebraskabound

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Yay!! This is wonderful! Thanks so much for the info...everyone! I do think this is a route we will travel. I've so enjoyed reading all the posts on the various topics...just great!
Now.....to investigate.....learn......DO!
 

Nebraskabound

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Nebraskabound said:
Ok....I'm new to the site...new to the industry...just new. I'm going to think out loud here and I don't want to offend anyone.
Believe me, if you offend anyone unintentionally, you'll hear about it pronto. I still have newbie scars from a year ago (and will certainly get more in the months ahead)!
Agritourism like you're planning is really growing in America. I'd think you'd want to advertise in the nearest large cities, inviting the city folk to experience the peace and quiet of nature. Bird watchers are known to be among the highest spenders of any travelers. Right up there with hunters! So you're definitely on the right track.
Do your homework, spend lots of time studying the archives here and following the daily posts, take an aspiring innkeepers class at a real B&B, stay at some B&B's, try not to get cross-ways with Joey Bloggs (just kidding JB) and you'll do very well!.
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
 

gillumhouse

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Nebraskabound said:
Ok....I'm new to the site...new to the industry...just new. I'm going to think out loud here and I don't want to offend anyone.
Believe me, if you offend anyone unintentionally, you'll hear about it pronto. I still have newbie scars from a year ago (and will certainly get more in the months ahead)!
Agritourism like you're planning is really growing in America. I'd think you'd want to advertise in the nearest large cities, inviting the city folk to experience the peace and quiet of nature. Bird watchers are known to be among the highest spenders of any travelers. Right up there with hunters! So you're definitely on the right track.
Do your homework, spend lots of time studying the archives here and following the daily posts, take an aspiring innkeepers class at a real B&B, stay at some B&B's, try not to get cross-ways with Joey Bloggs (just kidding JB) and you'll do very well!.
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
.
Nebraskabound said:
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
In West Virginia, only when you fail to wear blaze orange...... (or white in turkey season)
 

Copperhead

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I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
Should help limit your guests with dietary issues

BTW -
 

Nebraskabound

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Nebraskabound said:
Ok....I'm new to the site...new to the industry...just new. I'm going to think out loud here and I don't want to offend anyone.
Believe me, if you offend anyone unintentionally, you'll hear about it pronto. I still have newbie scars from a year ago (and will certainly get more in the months ahead)!
Agritourism like you're planning is really growing in America. I'd think you'd want to advertise in the nearest large cities, inviting the city folk to experience the peace and quiet of nature. Bird watchers are known to be among the highest spenders of any travelers. Right up there with hunters! So you're definitely on the right track.
Do your homework, spend lots of time studying the archives here and following the daily posts, take an aspiring innkeepers class at a real B&B, stay at some B&B's, try not to get cross-ways with Joey Bloggs (just kidding JB) and you'll do very well!.
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
.
Nebraskabound said:
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
In West Virginia, only when you fail to wear blaze orange...... (or white in turkey season)
.
What a small, small world! I grew up in WVA...Parkersburg...in the Washington Bottom and Lubbeck area....
Cool!
 

gillumhouse

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Nebraskabound said:
Ok....I'm new to the site...new to the industry...just new. I'm going to think out loud here and I don't want to offend anyone.
Believe me, if you offend anyone unintentionally, you'll hear about it pronto. I still have newbie scars from a year ago (and will certainly get more in the months ahead)!
Agritourism like you're planning is really growing in America. I'd think you'd want to advertise in the nearest large cities, inviting the city folk to experience the peace and quiet of nature. Bird watchers are known to be among the highest spenders of any travelers. Right up there with hunters! So you're definitely on the right track.
Do your homework, spend lots of time studying the archives here and following the daily posts, take an aspiring innkeepers class at a real B&B, stay at some B&B's, try not to get cross-ways with Joey Bloggs (just kidding JB) and you'll do very well!.
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
.
Nebraskabound said:
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
In West Virginia, only when you fail to wear blaze orange...... (or white in turkey season)
.
What a small, small world! I grew up in WVA...Parkersburg...in the Washington Bottom and Lubbeck area....
Cool!
.
To orient you, Shinnston is halfway between Fairmont & Clarksburg on US Rte 19. 19 is our main drag. We go over to P'bug every so often. Have friends in Ritchie County. The Trans-Allegheny Book Store that was in the old Library has closed. We LOVED that book store!
 

birdwatcher

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I think you will definitely be within market range for the visitors ot historic places 1.5 hours away. You could be the "place on the way" to or from OR it could be one of the places for your guests ro visit while they stay with you. Check into it to see if the historical museum (I want to say Adams County but not sure) is still operating - it was one of the best we have visited of that size. There was also a lead mine near there. All things that could be bundled into a tour. I do know that Deadwood has changed a LOT since we were there - last I heard it has casinos. You should also market it as a destination and be aware you will probably not get the random traveler. Good luck. BTW - there are site devoted to bird watching, wildlife watching, etc. advertise thre and in publications/newsletters specif to those activities..
Any info on the sites for birdwatching and wildlife watching? Just google it?
.
Just a little note-we just went to a hummingbird migration festival in MS-let me tell you-birdwatching and nature IS IN! All the babyboomers are retiring and they have $$ and they want to get into all the nature stuff. Yes, birdwatching is a great destination thing and Nebraska is probably a fly-by state. I am an avid birdwatcher and when we had our B & B in WV I made it a point to put feeders all over the property (WV is a fly-by state too) I was in the New River Gorge area-now we are in Arkansas-the hummingbirds are migrating and they stop here in the delta and MS to fatten up for their annual migration to Mexico and we have at least 25-50 or more hummers right here at the gardens at the B & B and we are in the city. You can google it and many have listings were you may be able to put your property on sometimes for very little.
Go for it Nebraskabound you can get nature lovers and also if you have a lodge and are open to accepting kids its even better. Being parents of more the 2 children and taking them on an outing its hard to find logdging that is affordable and if you have this in mind, kids love nature.
Good luck and do all your homework and make sure you have a nest egg-meaning dont put all your eggs in one basket-put \$$ away for an emergency you never know what the economy is going to do. and
Welcome to the best forum around for innkeepers, aspiring and more.
 

birdwatcher

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You can also get in contact with your park service-they have alot of information about what you want. Now hunting and birding thats kind of a whole different ball of stuff...just sayin :)
 

Nebraskabound

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Nebraskabound said:
Ok....I'm new to the site...new to the industry...just new. I'm going to think out loud here and I don't want to offend anyone.
Believe me, if you offend anyone unintentionally, you'll hear about it pronto. I still have newbie scars from a year ago (and will certainly get more in the months ahead)!
Agritourism like you're planning is really growing in America. I'd think you'd want to advertise in the nearest large cities, inviting the city folk to experience the peace and quiet of nature. Bird watchers are known to be among the highest spenders of any travelers. Right up there with hunters! So you're definitely on the right track.
Do your homework, spend lots of time studying the archives here and following the daily posts, take an aspiring innkeepers class at a real B&B, stay at some B&B's, try not to get cross-ways with Joey Bloggs (just kidding JB) and you'll do very well!.
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
.
Nebraskabound said:
I have learned the hard way that people are sometimes easily offended...especially when you mention hunting.....I try to tread lightly!
In West Virginia, only when you fail to wear blaze orange...... (or white in turkey season)
.
What a small, small world! I grew up in WVA...Parkersburg...in the Washington Bottom and Lubbeck area....
Cool!
.
To orient you, Shinnston is halfway between Fairmont & Clarksburg on US Rte 19. 19 is our main drag. We go over to P'bug every so often. Have friends in Ritchie County. The Trans-Allegheny Book Store that was in the old Library has closed. We LOVED that book store!
.
Yes...I spent alot of time in Fairmont as a kid...beautiful area where you're at....
 
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