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Morticia

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Am I the only innkeeper who is tired of receiving non-stop marketing materials to attend innkeeping conventions? I hate to say it, but guess what promoters, SOME of us really and truly cannot afford this. We cannot afford the plane fare, the hotel, the price of admission, the loss of revenue or the cost of an innsitter.
Don't think we don't know what we're missing out on. 'You can't afford to miss out on this info,' is another reminder of how much further we will slip behind in the innkeeping arms race for the shrinking tourist dollars.
I guess I take it too personally. It's like being slapped in the head everytime I open my email. And now I'm all stressed out again.
 

egoodell

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And not to mention but a lot of the conventions have the same speakers. Yes, I resent them telling me I "can't afford to miss" something. Give me free attendance and I'll think about it. I find it insulting especially in this economy.
I need my extra days off to run wine tours from my day job Mon-Fri anyway.
Riki
 

EmptyNest

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They are trying to promote plain and simple. They too need people to attend to make it worth their while. And, yes many of the same speakers and same topics. It is good for those who can afford it and those who are getting started need this kind of education as well. Good for networking and newbies get a chance to see who is who in the industry.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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You think they bug you a lot, you should see how much they call us innsitters. And I mean call and call and call no matter how many times you've said, no, I'm not going to be able to attend.
We innsitters are among the vendors they're hoping to get bigger bucks from and rent a booth as well. They never give up trying to get that last dollar out of us.
 

Morticia

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You think they bug you a lot, you should see how much they call us innsitters. And I mean call and call and call no matter how many times you've said, no, I'm not going to be able to attend.
We innsitters are among the vendors they're hoping to get bigger bucks from and rent a booth as well. They never give up trying to get that last dollar out of us..
Well, I guess I don't feel so bad now. At least no one is calling.
 

gillumhouse

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Yes, today I got a personal letter. I delete all of them. No, I cannot afford to go to a big-time conference, if I were going to go, I would have already signed up! I am just hanging in by the bloody fingernails.
Perhaps it is time to rethink the Conference idea - rather than a huge national (extremely expensive for most innkeepers), go smaller regionals. This was before Jay's time, but my assoc. put forth the idea with the prev PAII admin for them to do the "nuts & bolts" for a multi-state conference for a fee of course with the associations gettng a cut of the profits. It turned into a PAII Conference that would have cut my assoc out altogether so we backed out. A conference must be profitable or Mid-Atlantic would not have had its 3rd one this month.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Morticia, consider yourself lucky. They call.
Calling on the listed number as well as the cell phone. How they got my cell number, I don't know. But they call and they just don't give up. Just because I was pretty adamant last month that I wasn't going to attend doesn't seem to mean much to them this month. They just start all over again.
You know, like an innsitter just can't possibly give up the chance to meet so many innkeepers. Which is, of course, always a treat but not necessarily a marketing ploy I need to use.
I tell them to think of me as a 1-room B&B. Just don't really need a big influx of folks calling me. There is only 1 of me after all.
I tell them I'm booked so an inn owner can attend that conference. Still doesn't work.
Hate to block calls from associations and organizations I otherwise support. But the calls are a royal PITA, especially when I'm on the road.
 

JBloggs

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I just went through and cleared my caller id log. I had this: prvt phone # - then 866, pvrt ph# one 866, and on and on and on it goes for 50 calls. I get so many blasted marketing calls I am dizzy from them. I am getting B&B emails from those I have not had for years as well as those I have had weekly.
Funniest call was last night from the west, he is going to book a room but there was something NOT on my website. Traffic in a major city - FOUR HOURS FROM HERE. Hm, is that something I am supposed to have on there? There are a few major cities four hours from us and come to think of it, yes they do all have traffic, being major cities and all. LOL
 

Morticia

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I just went through and cleared my caller id log. I had this: prvt phone # - then 866, pvrt ph# one 866, and on and on and on it goes for 50 calls. I get so many blasted marketing calls I am dizzy from them. I am getting B&B emails from those I have not had for years as well as those I have had weekly.
Funniest call was last night from the west, he is going to book a room but there was something NOT on my website. Traffic in a major city - FOUR HOURS FROM HERE. Hm, is that something I am supposed to have on there? There are a few major cities four hours from us and come to think of it, yes they do all have traffic, being major cities and all. LOL.
He wanted to know what the traffic was like 4 hours away? Airport traffic maybe? Or just not being able to figure out exactly where he's going?
I don't have exact directions on my website to the big city airports and that's something I get asked quite a bit. NOT going to add it because I don't keep track of construction, street changes, tunnel closings, etc that happen in those big cities.
 

YellowSocks

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Yes, I got the same personal letter today and hit the delete button... I'm just happy if we can make it to June, and then through next winter. There are no trips to anywhere in my immediate future.
But really, the ones from my state organization (well, one of them) were just as bad... I had registered for a conference in November so I could hear Jay speak (and he was worth it!) but I kept getting ads for it. I kept opening them, because I thought they were info I needed, but they were just more sales pitches.
Same deal, oh well... I don't resent them for trying to get people to attend. In fact, I wish I could go.
=)
Kk.
 

JBloggs

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I just went through and cleared my caller id log. I had this: prvt phone # - then 866, pvrt ph# one 866, and on and on and on it goes for 50 calls. I get so many blasted marketing calls I am dizzy from them. I am getting B&B emails from those I have not had for years as well as those I have had weekly.
Funniest call was last night from the west, he is going to book a room but there was something NOT on my website. Traffic in a major city - FOUR HOURS FROM HERE. Hm, is that something I am supposed to have on there? There are a few major cities four hours from us and come to think of it, yes they do all have traffic, being major cities and all. LOL.
He wanted to know what the traffic was like 4 hours away? Airport traffic maybe? Or just not being able to figure out exactly where he's going?
I don't have exact directions on my website to the big city airports and that's something I get asked quite a bit. NOT going to add it because I don't keep track of construction, street changes, tunnel closings, etc that happen in those big cities.
.
Morticia said:
He wanted to know what the traffic was like 4 hours away? Airport traffic maybe? Or just not being able to figure out exactly where he's going?
I don't have exact directions on my website to the big city airports and that's something I get asked quite a bit. NOT going to add it because I don't keep track of construction, street changes, tunnel closings, etc that happen in those big cities.
And then there is this...I have never even been to that city! Really, never in my life. If they are flying out there are plenty of other airports I would recommend. :) "oh crystal ball...tell me the traffic in this city of 1.5-2 million people... in ...JUNE!!"
 
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I am tiny 2 cottage B&B suites so the Mid Atlantic Con. was just my speed. The webervations problem is cleared up ( mentioned before). Yes we all get those e-mails but I guess my answering service get the calls. Maybe I'll send them the bill for over calls...ha..ha.....Mary in Bridgewater..OH! went to the soc.sec.office today might start that now that I am 66...
 

Morticia

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I just went through and cleared my caller id log. I had this: prvt phone # - then 866, pvrt ph# one 866, and on and on and on it goes for 50 calls. I get so many blasted marketing calls I am dizzy from them. I am getting B&B emails from those I have not had for years as well as those I have had weekly.
Funniest call was last night from the west, he is going to book a room but there was something NOT on my website. Traffic in a major city - FOUR HOURS FROM HERE. Hm, is that something I am supposed to have on there? There are a few major cities four hours from us and come to think of it, yes they do all have traffic, being major cities and all. LOL.
He wanted to know what the traffic was like 4 hours away? Airport traffic maybe? Or just not being able to figure out exactly where he's going?
I don't have exact directions on my website to the big city airports and that's something I get asked quite a bit. NOT going to add it because I don't keep track of construction, street changes, tunnel closings, etc that happen in those big cities.
.
Morticia said:
He wanted to know what the traffic was like 4 hours away? Airport traffic maybe? Or just not being able to figure out exactly where he's going?
I don't have exact directions on my website to the big city airports and that's something I get asked quite a bit. NOT going to add it because I don't keep track of construction, street changes, tunnel closings, etc that happen in those big cities.
And then there is this...I have never even been to that city! Really, never in my life. If they are flying out there are plenty of other airports I would recommend. :) "oh crystal ball...tell me the traffic in this city of 1.5-2 million people... in ...JUNE!!"
.
So, are we being snarky if we ask, 'How would I know?' Or, perhaps suggesting they call the Chamber in that city to ask that question? Or, better still (if you're really good at geography), 'Where do you live? Ah, so what's the traffic like in (pick a city 4 hours away, in a different state if you can manage that!) during June?'
Of course no PERSON is supposed to know that info, but we're all-knowing innkeepers.
Oh wait! Say, 'Hold on while I ask Kreskin.'
I've been asked to pick a route the guest should take in the snow. 'Which one is better?' How the heck would I know? I don't live in the other state they're driving from, nor have I driven from there to here ON BOTH ROUTES, IN THE SNOW.
We used to have an international guest who ALWAYS gave me grief about the route she took to get here. She wanted me to look on the DOT website and tell her which routes were under construction. Honey, YOU know which routes you're taking, might take, could take from where you live, I don't! (This guest would call on the 800# at least 5 times before she arrived. Each time it was 10-15 minutes, international.)
 

InnCaring

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Morticia, consider yourself lucky. They call.
Calling on the listed number as well as the cell phone. How they got my cell number, I don't know. But they call and they just don't give up. Just because I was pretty adamant last month that I wasn't going to attend doesn't seem to mean much to them this month. They just start all over again.
You know, like an innsitter just can't possibly give up the chance to meet so many innkeepers. Which is, of course, always a treat but not necessarily a marketing ploy I need to use.
I tell them to think of me as a 1-room B&B. Just don't really need a big influx of folks calling me. There is only 1 of me after all.
I tell them I'm booked so an inn owner can attend that conference. Still doesn't work.
Hate to block calls from associations and organizations I otherwise support. But the calls are a royal PITA, especially when I'm on the road..
At least we are not getting snail mail - trees are being saved. It is easy to hit the delete button even though it may be annoying.
As a suggestion to those of you who can not attend, maybe you can work with someone in your area who is going. I know when we owned our own B&B and went to the PAII conference, I brought back ideas that would help all of those other B&B's who were in my local area. We had a local marketing group and it worked really well. We were able to use some of those ideas in marketing our inns together. It cost us all less per inn but we did mannage to get our name out there. Also, there were many time saving hints that really could help everyone and didn't cost a dime.
I know that this year has been hard for everyone. I spoke with an innkeeper in our town yesterday. She said that she has had one guest this whole month and that was on a gift certificate. She is trying to hang on until our season starts in May.
It has been just as hard for interim innkeepers (innsitters). B&B owners are not going away due to less income coming in to their inns. This in turn affects those of us who would have been taking care of those inns while the owners were gone. It is a cycle that is difficult for all.
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.

For any of you who are going to PAII, please stop by the Interim Innkeepers Network Vendor Booth and say hi to me. It will be nice to put a face to those of you who are on the forum.
Lynda
I
 

gillumhouse

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Morticia, consider yourself lucky. They call.
Calling on the listed number as well as the cell phone. How they got my cell number, I don't know. But they call and they just don't give up. Just because I was pretty adamant last month that I wasn't going to attend doesn't seem to mean much to them this month. They just start all over again.
You know, like an innsitter just can't possibly give up the chance to meet so many innkeepers. Which is, of course, always a treat but not necessarily a marketing ploy I need to use.
I tell them to think of me as a 1-room B&B. Just don't really need a big influx of folks calling me. There is only 1 of me after all.
I tell them I'm booked so an inn owner can attend that conference. Still doesn't work.
Hate to block calls from associations and organizations I otherwise support. But the calls are a royal PITA, especially when I'm on the road..
At least we are not getting snail mail - trees are being saved. It is easy to hit the delete button even though it may be annoying.
As a suggestion to those of you who can not attend, maybe you can work with someone in your area who is going. I know when we owned our own B&B and went to the PAII conference, I brought back ideas that would help all of those other B&B's who were in my local area. We had a local marketing group and it worked really well. We were able to use some of those ideas in marketing our inns together. It cost us all less per inn but we did mannage to get our name out there. Also, there were many time saving hints that really could help everyone and didn't cost a dime.
I know that this year has been hard for everyone. I spoke with an innkeeper in our town yesterday. She said that she has had one guest this whole month and that was on a gift certificate. She is trying to hang on until our season starts in May.
It has been just as hard for interim innkeepers (innsitters). B&B owners are not going away due to less income coming in to their inns. This in turn affects those of us who would have been taking care of those inns while the owners were gone. It is a cycle that is difficult for all.
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.

For any of you who are going to PAII, please stop by the Interim Innkeepers Network Vendor Booth and say hi to me. It will be nice to put a face to those of you who are on the forum.
Lynda
I
.
At least we are not getting snail mail - trees are being saved.
Trees are a renewable resource that has an employee system of its own. My husband was in the printing industry and he looks at the advertising in our mailbox as keeping the printers working.
Each thing is another thread of the fabric of our economy. We need those printers, lumberjacks, paper makers, postal employees working so they will come stay with us.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Morticia, consider yourself lucky. They call.
Calling on the listed number as well as the cell phone. How they got my cell number, I don't know. But they call and they just don't give up. Just because I was pretty adamant last month that I wasn't going to attend doesn't seem to mean much to them this month. They just start all over again.
You know, like an innsitter just can't possibly give up the chance to meet so many innkeepers. Which is, of course, always a treat but not necessarily a marketing ploy I need to use.
I tell them to think of me as a 1-room B&B. Just don't really need a big influx of folks calling me. There is only 1 of me after all.
I tell them I'm booked so an inn owner can attend that conference. Still doesn't work.
Hate to block calls from associations and organizations I otherwise support. But the calls are a royal PITA, especially when I'm on the road..
At least we are not getting snail mail - trees are being saved. It is easy to hit the delete button even though it may be annoying.
As a suggestion to those of you who can not attend, maybe you can work with someone in your area who is going. I know when we owned our own B&B and went to the PAII conference, I brought back ideas that would help all of those other B&B's who were in my local area. We had a local marketing group and it worked really well. We were able to use some of those ideas in marketing our inns together. It cost us all less per inn but we did mannage to get our name out there. Also, there were many time saving hints that really could help everyone and didn't cost a dime.
I know that this year has been hard for everyone. I spoke with an innkeeper in our town yesterday. She said that she has had one guest this whole month and that was on a gift certificate. She is trying to hang on until our season starts in May.
It has been just as hard for interim innkeepers (innsitters). B&B owners are not going away due to less income coming in to their inns. This in turn affects those of us who would have been taking care of those inns while the owners were gone. It is a cycle that is difficult for all.
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.

For any of you who are going to PAII, please stop by the Interim Innkeepers Network Vendor Booth and say hi to me. It will be nice to put a face to those of you who are on the forum.
Lynda
I
.
InnCaring said:
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.
I think one of the things that all of us innkeepers do well is put on a positive face for guests. It's part of the job.
I have issues, though, with many folks in the industry who are Pollyannaish about the situation out there. I'm talking about both associations who put rosy figures on the front page of their website that have nothing to do with reality as well as organizations who are not addressing the issues before them.
There are folks out there who are teetering on the edge of collapse. They're scared. They need to be able to turn to other innkeepers for support about that - and many of them come here.
IMHO, it does no one any good to downplay the serious problems that are out there. In fact, it can have the tendency to make already isolated innkeepers feel more so. That's the opposite effect a forum of any kind should have.
So, yes, keep that positive attitude with guests. It's imperative.
But that only makes the need for innkeepers to have a place to go for a reality check only that much more important.
Because when this cycle ends, there will be fewer B&Bs left. Those who survive are those who are sharing survival skill tips with each other now and putting those tips in place as quickly they can.
 

Samster

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Morticia, consider yourself lucky. They call.
Calling on the listed number as well as the cell phone. How they got my cell number, I don't know. But they call and they just don't give up. Just because I was pretty adamant last month that I wasn't going to attend doesn't seem to mean much to them this month. They just start all over again.
You know, like an innsitter just can't possibly give up the chance to meet so many innkeepers. Which is, of course, always a treat but not necessarily a marketing ploy I need to use.
I tell them to think of me as a 1-room B&B. Just don't really need a big influx of folks calling me. There is only 1 of me after all.
I tell them I'm booked so an inn owner can attend that conference. Still doesn't work.
Hate to block calls from associations and organizations I otherwise support. But the calls are a royal PITA, especially when I'm on the road..
At least we are not getting snail mail - trees are being saved. It is easy to hit the delete button even though it may be annoying.
As a suggestion to those of you who can not attend, maybe you can work with someone in your area who is going. I know when we owned our own B&B and went to the PAII conference, I brought back ideas that would help all of those other B&B's who were in my local area. We had a local marketing group and it worked really well. We were able to use some of those ideas in marketing our inns together. It cost us all less per inn but we did mannage to get our name out there. Also, there were many time saving hints that really could help everyone and didn't cost a dime.
I know that this year has been hard for everyone. I spoke with an innkeeper in our town yesterday. She said that she has had one guest this whole month and that was on a gift certificate. She is trying to hang on until our season starts in May.
It has been just as hard for interim innkeepers (innsitters). B&B owners are not going away due to less income coming in to their inns. This in turn affects those of us who would have been taking care of those inns while the owners were gone. It is a cycle that is difficult for all.
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.

For any of you who are going to PAII, please stop by the Interim Innkeepers Network Vendor Booth and say hi to me. It will be nice to put a face to those of you who are on the forum.
Lynda
I
.
InnCaring said:
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.
I think one of the things that all of us innkeepers do well is put on a positive face for guests. It's part of the job.
I have issues, though, with many folks in the industry who are Pollyannaish about the situation out there. I'm talking about both associations who put rosy figures on the front page of their website that have nothing to do with reality as well as organizations who are not addressing the issues before them.
There are folks out there who are teetering on the edge of collapse. They're scared. They need to be able to turn to other innkeepers for support about that - and many of them come here.
IMHO, it does no one any good to downplay the serious problems that are out there. In fact, it can have the tendency to make already isolated innkeepers feel more so. That's the opposite effect a forum of any kind should have.
So, yes, keep that positive attitude with guests. It's imperative.
But that only makes the need for innkeepers to have a place to go for a reality check only that much more important.
Because when this cycle ends, there will be fewer B&Bs left. Those who survive are those who are sharing survival skill tips with each other now and putting those tips in place as quickly they can.
.
Support for other innkeepers.....this is a great point. I'm tired of the too rosy picture myself.
I guess this is as good a place as any to let folks know that we will be one of the B&Bs that are closing soon after 2 years in the biz. Although last year was much better than the year before, when I look at the realistic dollars and cents it's time to cut our losses. We have 2 really slow periods each year here and paying the expenses during those times is prohibitive. After 2 years, we've done nothing but continue to sink money into the business. I physically can't do it until we "might" turn a small profit. The other B&Bs here are really struggling with one barely surviving by doing long-term rentals. Meanwhile, there are new suite "hotels" going up that we just can't compete with on price point. Everytime I see the ad on TV for one of the 3rd party booking sites for cheap 4-star hotel rooms, I shudder.
Have had a couple of recent events in our personal life that make us think that life is too short to be living like this. Not looking for sympathy here...just letting the cat out of the bag about our plans.
 

Innkeeper To Go

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Morticia, consider yourself lucky. They call.
Calling on the listed number as well as the cell phone. How they got my cell number, I don't know. But they call and they just don't give up. Just because I was pretty adamant last month that I wasn't going to attend doesn't seem to mean much to them this month. They just start all over again.
You know, like an innsitter just can't possibly give up the chance to meet so many innkeepers. Which is, of course, always a treat but not necessarily a marketing ploy I need to use.
I tell them to think of me as a 1-room B&B. Just don't really need a big influx of folks calling me. There is only 1 of me after all.
I tell them I'm booked so an inn owner can attend that conference. Still doesn't work.
Hate to block calls from associations and organizations I otherwise support. But the calls are a royal PITA, especially when I'm on the road..
At least we are not getting snail mail - trees are being saved. It is easy to hit the delete button even though it may be annoying.
As a suggestion to those of you who can not attend, maybe you can work with someone in your area who is going. I know when we owned our own B&B and went to the PAII conference, I brought back ideas that would help all of those other B&B's who were in my local area. We had a local marketing group and it worked really well. We were able to use some of those ideas in marketing our inns together. It cost us all less per inn but we did mannage to get our name out there. Also, there were many time saving hints that really could help everyone and didn't cost a dime.
I know that this year has been hard for everyone. I spoke with an innkeeper in our town yesterday. She said that she has had one guest this whole month and that was on a gift certificate. She is trying to hang on until our season starts in May.
It has been just as hard for interim innkeepers (innsitters). B&B owners are not going away due to less income coming in to their inns. This in turn affects those of us who would have been taking care of those inns while the owners were gone. It is a cycle that is difficult for all.
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.

For any of you who are going to PAII, please stop by the Interim Innkeepers Network Vendor Booth and say hi to me. It will be nice to put a face to those of you who are on the forum.
Lynda
I
.
InnCaring said:
It is up to each one of us - owners and innsitters - to keep a positive attitute and know that this cycle will eventually end.
I think one of the things that all of us innkeepers do well is put on a positive face for guests. It's part of the job.
I have issues, though, with many folks in the industry who are Pollyannaish about the situation out there. I'm talking about both associations who put rosy figures on the front page of their website that have nothing to do with reality as well as organizations who are not addressing the issues before them.
There are folks out there who are teetering on the edge of collapse. They're scared. They need to be able to turn to other innkeepers for support about that - and many of them come here.
IMHO, it does no one any good to downplay the serious problems that are out there. In fact, it can have the tendency to make already isolated innkeepers feel more so. That's the opposite effect a forum of any kind should have.
So, yes, keep that positive attitude with guests. It's imperative.
But that only makes the need for innkeepers to have a place to go for a reality check only that much more important.
Because when this cycle ends, there will be fewer B&Bs left. Those who survive are those who are sharing survival skill tips with each other now and putting those tips in place as quickly they can.
.
Support for other innkeepers.....this is a great point. I'm tired of the too rosy picture myself.
I guess this is as good a place as any to let folks know that we will be one of the B&Bs that are closing soon after 2 years in the biz. Although last year was much better than the year before, when I look at the realistic dollars and cents it's time to cut our losses. We have 2 really slow periods each year here and paying the expenses during those times is prohibitive. After 2 years, we've done nothing but continue to sink money into the business. I physically can't do it until we "might" turn a small profit. The other B&Bs here are really struggling with one barely surviving by doing long-term rentals. Meanwhile, there are new suite "hotels" going up that we just can't compete with on price point. Everytime I see the ad on TV for one of the 3rd party booking sites for cheap 4-star hotel rooms, I shudder.
Have had a couple of recent events in our personal life that make us think that life is too short to be living like this. Not looking for sympathy here...just letting the cat out of the bag about our plans.
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So sorry to hear that Samster. I know this is not something you've done without thinking long and hard about it, though.
The cheap hotel rooms will only get cheaper this year, I'm afraid. 717 new hotels opening, some in markets that are already saturated and suffered the worst drops in ADR, RevPAR, and occupancy last year.
And no matter how much anyone preaches about holding onto ADR (and I can count myself among those preachers), the fact is that the substantially lowered rates significantly impact everyone, no matter where they're located. It's a big problem and ADR will continue to slide in 2010, no matter what the Pollyannas say.
What I'd like to see instead from the Pollyannas is a reality check and some serious talking about how as an industry we're going to get out of this situation. Pretending everything's coming up roses won't cut it.
And, as long as I'm on a soapbox here, I'd like to see some lobbying to get some funding specifically for small lodging properties on the market, either through SBA or some other program to get funding out there. I know some really well-priced properties out there who can't sell simply because no one is lending. This will end in catastrophe for a lot of innkeepers and it's something we all have reason to want to see changed.
Samster, what will you do when you close?
 

JBloggs

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Samster God Bless you in whatever you choose to do next. You are a very thoughtful person, so I know this has been well sorted. You deserve the best.
 
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