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Penelope

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I didn't want to do this as a poll. However, I would like to know how any of you handle Thanksgiving.
if you offer a Thanksgiving package with maybe traditional dinner and overnight or are you closed for Thanksgiving? What do you do?
I understand that this question is more directed to the American innkeepers, but I'd like to understand more about Canadian innkeeping as well
 

Morticia

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We don't offer a package, but we're open. Mostly because of the shopping on Friday. This year I would have preferred not to have any reservations, but we had one, lone booking from LAST T-Day.
From what we've seen here, Canadians don't do the big family dinner on their T-Day (Columbus Day), but they have time off so they travel.
 

Don Draper

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We stayed open our first year for Thanksgiving and as there were several area restaurants having dinner we offered a package to the restaurant of their choice. We had only ONE room, and really missed getting to spend the day with our family. If you can get your family to come to you this might work out (this is what our previous owners would do), but our family is too large so we couldn't do that. Maybe it would have been worth it for a full house, but not for one or even just a few rooms, for us.
This year we are closed the entire week of Thanksgiving...time to rest and get ready to decorate for Christmas!
 

Penelope

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We don't offer a package, but we're open. Mostly because of the shopping on Friday. This year I would have preferred not to have any reservations, but we had one, lone booking from LAST T-Day.
From what we've seen here, Canadians don't do the big family dinner on their T-Day (Columbus Day), but they have time off so they travel..
Your town must be NUTS the day after Thanksgiving. I can't imagine it
 

Morticia

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We don't offer a package, but we're open. Mostly because of the shopping on Friday. This year I would have preferred not to have any reservations, but we had one, lone booking from LAST T-Day.
From what we've seen here, Canadians don't do the big family dinner on their T-Day (Columbus Day), but they have time off so they travel..
Your town must be NUTS the day after Thanksgiving. I can't imagine it
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penelope said:
Your town must be NUTS the day after Thanksgiving. I can't imagine it
Amazingly, I have a lot of rooms open. This has not been a good year. The unfortunate part is that even when we've been full this month, guests have come back and said, 'It's dead in town. Where is everyone?' That is not good.
 

Penelope

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We don't offer a package, but we're open. Mostly because of the shopping on Friday. This year I would have preferred not to have any reservations, but we had one, lone booking from LAST T-Day.
From what we've seen here, Canadians don't do the big family dinner on their T-Day (Columbus Day), but they have time off so they travel..
Your town must be NUTS the day after Thanksgiving. I can't imagine it
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penelope said:
Your town must be NUTS the day after Thanksgiving. I can't imagine it
Amazingly, I have a lot of rooms open. This has not been a good year. The unfortunate part is that even when we've been full this month, guests have come back and said, 'It's dead in town. Where is everyone?' That is not good.
.
No kidding. That is scary.
 

greyswan

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we are booked every Thanksgiving - there are several family reunions in the area. I'd like to have an innsitter next year, so I can travel to see my family at Thanksgiving.
 

egoodell

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We are booked 50% for after Thanksgiving.
If I get a reservation for the holiday I can only do one of two things as I am not allowed to cook dinner.
Offer to make reservations at one of the luxury hotels just minutes from us or
Offer to pick up a dinner if they want to dine in casually.
We do have a microwave in the tasting room off the dining room
Riki
 

muirford

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We are 50% full for Thanksgiving and 100% full for the weekend after - there are several activities in town for Christmas. We will just go for a meal to my dad's - two hours each way - on Thanksgiving Day since we will have to do breakfast and fluff the rooms ourselves. We tell guests to make reservations when they book with us at the hotel restaurants - they are the only ones open on Thanksgiving Day. Some are coming to visit family so it's not a problem.
 

swirt

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We're closed for the season by then. We usually close by the weekend just before Thanksgiving as we find most people don't seem to be looking for a getaway when they will be off with family the next weekend.
 

gillumhouse

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We offer an 18th Century Thanksgiving Package. This year I had not had any calls about it so I took a 2-night reservation for 2 rooms. THEN I got a call for a reservation for the package for 2 rooms - Great! except I only have 3 rooms. So I pulled the package for this year. My ladies who have booked for Friday/Sat might possibly come in on Thursday. I told them if they do, they are welcome to join us for dinner with our friends (kids are in Illinois & Iowa and it is too chancy to be driving in Nov or Dec).
I usually offer an 18th century Frontier Dinner (turkey, venison roast, squash, etc) and we serve it wearing 18th Century period clothing. We also usually off it for Christmas and New Year's Eve.
 

EmptyNest

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(
 

gillumhouse

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(.
In WV, 6 rooms or less does not need a commercial kitchen. I can do dinners for registered guests.
 

hawley

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Last year I didn't have anyone at thanksgiving. This year I have a city native who is coming back for family time and no room at their parents, so are staying 5 days with me. Would like to rent other 2 rooms then too but not yet.
We are having a family dinner at 1pm. Guests are checking in about 6:30pm. So things will be calm by then. Will be decorating while they are here, but they will probably be gone most of the time visiting family.
 

EmptyNest

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(.
In WV, 6 rooms or less does not need a commercial kitchen. I can do dinners for registered guests.
.
You are lucky you can do it. I see no reason why VA can't do the same...you cook just as much for breakfast as you do for dinner in the same kitchen!!!
Some counties just "look the other way" if B &B's do dinners. But it is a state rule.

We also just got hit with an increase in the license fee. $100 a year..up from $40!!! And of course no one knew it was changing...and the GOV will not roll it back either because we are in such a sad economic state here in VA.
Plus is you are on a well, you must have it inspected annually. Our county made one B & B do a well inspection quarterly. I told them to complain loudly because that is requirement for restaurants..not B & B's...so they said ok..only 1 now.
 

gillumhouse

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(.
In WV, 6 rooms or less does not need a commercial kitchen. I can do dinners for registered guests.
.
You are lucky you can do it. I see no reason why VA can't do the same...you cook just as much for breakfast as you do for dinner in the same kitchen!!!
Some counties just "look the other way" if B &B's do dinners. But it is a state rule.

We also just got hit with an increase in the license fee. $100 a year..up from $40!!! And of course no one knew it was changing...and the GOV will not roll it back either because we are in such a sad economic state here in VA.
Plus is you are on a well, you must have it inspected annually. Our county made one B & B do a well inspection quarterly. I told them to complain loudly because that is requirement for restaurants..not B & B's...so they said ok..only 1 now.
.
Not meaning this is a critical way - but THAT is where BBAV should be raising cain.
We had a problem with our inns being legal because of the way the Fire Codes were written. It cost MABB over $3000, but we did succeed up to a point. MABB Board does not want to ge back for our 4 to 6 rooms but we at least got them exempt from the fire doors and enclosed staircases and an OR situation. 3 rooms or less that are owner or innkeeper occupied are now considered just a residence. Prior to our intervention, we were all subject ot the same requirements of a large hotel.
MABB was formed in the first place because of the health codes and that is why we have the 6 rooms or less no commercial kitchen rule. To me, marketing and legislative issues are the core reason to have an association.
I believe (OK, hope) that legislators cannot be bought, but your MUST BUY legislation. (Explanation - unless you PAY a lobbyist, your legislation is not going to go anywhere.)
 

EmptyNest

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(.
In WV, 6 rooms or less does not need a commercial kitchen. I can do dinners for registered guests.
.
You are lucky you can do it. I see no reason why VA can't do the same...you cook just as much for breakfast as you do for dinner in the same kitchen!!!
Some counties just "look the other way" if B &B's do dinners. But it is a state rule.

We also just got hit with an increase in the license fee. $100 a year..up from $40!!! And of course no one knew it was changing...and the GOV will not roll it back either because we are in such a sad economic state here in VA.
Plus is you are on a well, you must have it inspected annually. Our county made one B & B do a well inspection quarterly. I told them to complain loudly because that is requirement for restaurants..not B & B's...so they said ok..only 1 now.
.
Not meaning this is a critical way - but THAT is where BBAV should be raising cain.
We had a problem with our inns being legal because of the way the Fire Codes were written. It cost MABB over $3000, but we did succeed up to a point. MABB Board does not want to ge back for our 4 to 6 rooms but we at least got them exempt from the fire doors and enclosed staircases and an OR situation. 3 rooms or less that are owner or innkeeper occupied are now considered just a residence. Prior to our intervention, we were all subject ot the same requirements of a large hotel.
MABB was formed in the first place because of the health codes and that is why we have the 6 rooms or less no commercial kitchen rule. To me, marketing and legislative issues are the core reason to have an association.
I believe (OK, hope) that legislators cannot be bought, but your MUST BUY legislation. (Explanation - unless you PAY a lobbyist, your legislation is not going to go anywhere.)
.
I do know what has been done in WV and that is great..unfortuntately I think it would take more than $3000 to get a lobbyist to fight for us:-(
ANd I understand what you are saying.....and BBAV is planning to protest this and has written letter..but the fact is...our Governor will not rescind any new fees because of the terrible budget deficit right now. So now is not a great time to get on this..but I know they are going to make an attempt.
 

egoodell

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(.
In WV, 6 rooms or less does not need a commercial kitchen. I can do dinners for registered guests.
.
You are lucky you can do it. I see no reason why VA can't do the same...you cook just as much for breakfast as you do for dinner in the same kitchen!!!
Some counties just "look the other way" if B &B's do dinners. But it is a state rule.

We also just got hit with an increase in the license fee. $100 a year..up from $40!!! And of course no one knew it was changing...and the GOV will not roll it back either because we are in such a sad economic state here in VA.
Plus is you are on a well, you must have it inspected annually. Our county made one B & B do a well inspection quarterly. I told them to complain loudly because that is requirement for restaurants..not B & B's...so they said ok..only 1 now.
.
Wow I thought it was just a County rule. There are B&B's here in Virginia that have restaurants! How did they do it - I guess they are inns, not B&Bs?
RIki
 

gillumhouse

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(.
In WV, 6 rooms or less does not need a commercial kitchen. I can do dinners for registered guests.
.
You are lucky you can do it. I see no reason why VA can't do the same...you cook just as much for breakfast as you do for dinner in the same kitchen!!!
Some counties just "look the other way" if B &B's do dinners. But it is a state rule.

We also just got hit with an increase in the license fee. $100 a year..up from $40!!! And of course no one knew it was changing...and the GOV will not roll it back either because we are in such a sad economic state here in VA.
Plus is you are on a well, you must have it inspected annually. Our county made one B & B do a well inspection quarterly. I told them to complain loudly because that is requirement for restaurants..not B & B's...so they said ok..only 1 now.
.
Wow I thought it was just a County rule. There are B&B's here in Virginia that have restaurants! How did they do it - I guess they are inns, not B&Bs?
RIki
.
Not being familiar with VA rules, I would guess that the difference is whether they have a commercial kitchen.
I could serve non-guests if I had a commercial kitchen - I would have a restaurant. I do not want to work that hard.
 

muirford

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We closed by Thanksgiving. Most of our local B & B's sent folks to our local restaurants for dinner as we by law are required to have a commercial kitchen to do meals other than breakfast..so no one here does dinners.
To me..it would be a hassle. Now, if you are doing dinner for yourselves, and your health dept allows it....and want to just include your guests.. I say go for it. Me personally..no way:-(.
In WV, 6 rooms or less does not need a commercial kitchen. I can do dinners for registered guests.
.
You are lucky you can do it. I see no reason why VA can't do the same...you cook just as much for breakfast as you do for dinner in the same kitchen!!!
Some counties just "look the other way" if B &B's do dinners. But it is a state rule.

We also just got hit with an increase in the license fee. $100 a year..up from $40!!! And of course no one knew it was changing...and the GOV will not roll it back either because we are in such a sad economic state here in VA.
Plus is you are on a well, you must have it inspected annually. Our county made one B & B do a well inspection quarterly. I told them to complain loudly because that is requirement for restaurants..not B & B's...so they said ok..only 1 now.
.
Wow I thought it was just a County rule. There are B&B's here in Virginia that have restaurants! How did they do it - I guess they are inns, not B&Bs?
RIki
.
Not being familiar with VA rules, I would guess that the difference is whether they have a commercial kitchen.
I could serve non-guests if I had a commercial kitchen - I would have a restaurant. I do not want to work that hard.
.
The difference is likely more than just the existence of a commercial kitchen. Some of those rules are still very dependent on your own zoning and ordinances. Even if I had a commercial kitchen, I could not serve meals to the public. We are in a residential zoning area and have a special use exemption for this property to be used as a B&B. Any other commercial application for the property would have to be approved thorugh the planning commission, historic landmarks commission and the board of zoning appeals (special uses are automatically sent to the zoning appeals board).
 
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