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chateauLowe

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Hello, I found this forum while looking for potential Inn Owners and it appears to be the best. Thank you for taking the time to read this. My wife and I are in our mid and late 20's and may be expanding our family in the next 5 years. We currently have a 1500 sq. ft. 3 bedroom log home and are considering purchasing a 4,000+ sq. ft. 8 bed 6.5 bath home. The home has an indoor swimming pool, 6 of the bedrooms have there own bathroom, also a great floor plan I believe, for a bed and breakfast. I guess my question is A.) does this setup sound like it has potential, and B.) What does it take to start an Inn from scratch. I live in Northern Lower Peninsula Michigan and any info would be great. Thanks again for reading.
Dan
 

Pollyanna

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I would be worried about the pool and small children. And as far as getting all the info you need, the best way is to just keep combing through the old posts. You'll find many items of interest that you never thought to ask about. With your youthful energy, you should do well. Just take time to read and learn while you have time, because once you open, there won't be much time to read. Have fun dreaming and planning!
 

agoodman

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and insurance rates - commercial, esp with that pool!!
 

gillumhouse

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Before you spend 1 penny, check ZONING, taxes, building codes, fire codes...... And GET IT IN WRITING!! Good luck. Door County?
Edited to add: Also check how much it will cost to maintain that pool. I hear the chemicals required are hell on the structure.
 

chateauLowe

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Yeah, the pool is cement, not a normal liner, and it can be sealed off by way of locked doors if need be due to children. I will check on insurance and zoning ordinances. it is in Manistee County.
 

agoodman

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it's not only the fencing off its proving the chemical balance is ok etc BUT you can actually have it "not for guest use" then it is not an issue but for some it is an added bonus IF you can afford the insurance rates!!
 

gillumhouse

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Yeah, the pool is cement, not a normal liner, and it can be sealed off by way of locked doors if need be due to children. I will check on insurance and zoning ordinances. it is in Manistee County..
We used to have a friend in Door County at Ellison Bay. Used to as in our late friend.
 

bbinnsitters

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Yeah, the pool is cement, not a normal liner, and it can be sealed off by way of locked doors if need be due to children. I will check on insurance and zoning ordinances. it is in Manistee County..
We used to have a friend in Door County at Ellison Bay. Used to as in our late friend.
.
If I am not mistaken Door County is in WI - this is MI he is talking about.
 

gillumhouse

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Yeah, the pool is cement, not a normal liner, and it can be sealed off by way of locked doors if need be due to children. I will check on insurance and zoning ordinances. it is in Manistee County..
We used to have a friend in Door County at Ellison Bay. Used to as in our late friend.
.
If I am not mistaken Door County is in WI - this is MI he is talking about.
.
DOINK!!! It is indeed WI. My brain is numb - I actually made an appointment with the dreaded ironong board tonight! If that does not show how much I need help nothing will!
 

Joey Camb

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six bathrooms to 8 bedrooms is great (is this including your own space?) is there potential to make the others ensuite? as it really is required.
Also not to be a poop but is it somewhere where there is enough trade to support you? ie you can have an amazing place but if no one needs to go there you will be on your own.
From what you have said it would look to have potential do you live near it? and does it have any land etc with it for future expansion?
And finally to start from scratch I would say a lot of luck LOL!
 

EmptyNest

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Everyone seems to be concerned about the pool..when there are so many other things you need to consider FIRST. The pool can always be adapted.
So...even though I sound like negative Nellie....I am being realisitic here. Yes you can do it...but can you????
You need to check with local zoning FIRST before you even consider the purchase. Can you even run a B & B there? What will draw people to stay with you? Will you have someone working outside the home who will have health coverage? DO you have money? No bank is going to loan you money on an unproven business start up unless you have a sizeable down payment.
Does the house have separate quarters for innkeepers and children..so important!!!! And how will you manage with infants in the mix? Can you afford to hire help.
Have you stayed in B & B before? Have you read any books? Taken an aspiring innkeeper workshop? Do all of these BEFORE you get started, then plan plan plan. Read through these threads we have given aspirings lots of info over the years it is all here..at least I think it still is:)
Twenties are a great time of life...but be prepared and really know what you are getting in for. I started my dream of running a B & B in my late 20's...didn't happen until I was 50!! But during that time, I planned as much as I could and SAVED a boat load of cash so when the time came, we were prepared.
 

JBloggs

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B.) What does it take to start an Inn from scratch.
Their are dozens+ of books devoted to this question with hundreds of pages of information.
 

birdwatcher

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Sepetate living quarters is really important, also mid twenties is young not to say you can't but just make sure that you know that its a lifestyle and putting in infants, children and so on you not only take on the early breakfasts and the late arrivals this truly means that each of you have to be able to do EVERYTHING that pertains to the B & B-from cleaning toilets to ironing to cooking breakfast, cleaning up and making sure that the room that wil be arriving that moring is ready...plus if you have kids giving them what they need.
IMO-we had two teenagers and we had two homes one that we rented most rooms to and one in the main house. Its a challenge in itself just running a start-up Bed and Breakfast.
And as everyone said-do your homework cause running or working at a bed and breakfast is not for ninnies-be prepared for the good, the bad and the most fun part THE UGLY part of that job. Its a 24/7 job not a 9-5 and if you plan to have a family ad another 10 hours to that-you can't can you? If you can can you tell me how, cause I can use some extra hours in the day.
Good luck, I would take as many weekend seminars or even take some vacation time and volunteer at a running Bed and Breakfast to make sure that you know what you are getting into.
 

muirford

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If I can recommend a book - Running a Bed and Breakfast for Dummies. It's written by an industry person with lots of input and editting from innkeepers, and one of the more recently published books that includes more up-to-date information about websites and internat marketing.
 

bbinnsitters

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Dan, to answer your questions: A) Yes, it sounds as if it has potential but how close is your log home to the one you want to turn into a B&B? And would you keep the log home or sell it if/when you buy the potential B&B? In other words, are you planning on living at the log home and running the B&B or are you giving up the log home in order to run the B&B? B) It takes a LOT to turn a home into a B&B - it can be done with a lot of blood sweat and tears. There are a bunch of B&B's out there for sale that would be turnkey - a much simpler process I believe. But anything can be done if you believe and you have the passion. And follow all the above advice!
 

white pine

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If I can recommend a book - Running a Bed and Breakfast for Dummies. It's written by an industry person with lots of input and editting from innkeepers, and one of the more recently published books that includes more up-to-date information about websites and internat marketing..
This frequently appears as an ad on the sidebar here. If it is purchased through the forum ad., I believe Swirt gets some $. which in turns supports the forum.

 

Copperhead

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Many have posted the first things to do before buying... zoning, permiting, insurance and they are dead on. Many people have purchased properties only to find out that they are not able to do what they wish to do.
Another question is How much income will I need to make this work? Most innkeeper couples of b&b's this size have one of the 2 with a full time job, or they are retired with retirement income to keep in the black - at least until the busness is established. A new B&B takes a couple or more years (in general) to become known, and quite a bit of marketing.
I also recommend reading the book mentioned and maybe others as well as seminars.
 

Copperhead

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it's not only the fencing off its proving the chemical balance is ok etc BUT you can actually have it "not for guest use" then it is not an issue but for some it is an added bonus IF you can afford the insurance rates!!.
agoodman said:
it's not only the fencing off its proving the chemical balance is ok etc BUT you can actually have it "not for guest use" then it is not an issue but for some it is an added bonus IF you can afford the insurance rates!!
Our ins did not increase when we added the pool, it was just added. We did however have certain restrictions such as no slide or diving board, and required to keep certain signs and safety equip as well as a log for chemical checks. Keeping up the pool is time consuming, but it is a customer draw!
 

gillumhouse

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it's not only the fencing off its proving the chemical balance is ok etc BUT you can actually have it "not for guest use" then it is not an issue but for some it is an added bonus IF you can afford the insurance rates!!.
agoodman said:
it's not only the fencing off its proving the chemical balance is ok etc BUT you can actually have it "not for guest use" then it is not an issue but for some it is an added bonus IF you can afford the insurance rates!!
Our ins did not increase when we added the pool, it was just added. We did however have certain restrictions such as no slide or diving board, and required to keep certain signs and safety equip as well as a log for chemical checks. Keeping up the pool is time consuming, but it is a customer draw!
.
My question regarding the pool was due to it being indoor. I know what problems we have at our water treatment plant due to the chemicals with the filter pools (the fumes eat heaters) and have heard about problems with ventilation of indoor pools - also there are requirrements regarding the filtration pumps (people getting sucked at the filter (or wherever the suck action is) and drowning because they could not get loose). A draw, I am certain. Just suggesting to be aware of the costs.
Our City had to have someone certified in pool management (chemicals, etc - not the finances).
 

cherry64

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Greetings from GR!
I'm a late 20's aspiring too.
Ludington offers a great aspiring weekend for people that want to be innkeepers. I suggest you give it a try. All the owners are really helpful.
I think the main thing you will need to remember is that there is a reason there are a limited amount of B&B's "Up North". You need something to draw people to your inn for all 4 seasons or make enough money April through November to close or practically close for the rest of the time. I personally love the area and visit Traverse City area all the time, (and wine country, lol)
Good Luck!!
 
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