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JBloggs

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[FONT= 'Times New Roman']The abcs of b&bs[/FONT]
The News Journal
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from. ...

HALLLELUJAH!!!!
Please read this article...this is what the negative naysayers on this forum are trying to relate to aspiring innkeepers...it ain't easy, it ain't cheap. The same advice in this article can go to those who are struggling but refuse to update their website, get online reservations, get proactive!
 

JBloggs

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I don't want the link to expire so I am posting the article here as well:
The ABCs of B&Bs[/h1]Starting a bed and breakfast can be a daunting endeavor[/h2]BY ERIC RUTH • THE NEWS JOURNAL • OCTOBER 12, 2009
It sounds like the perfect dream -- buy a pretty old house, primp it up with some pretty touches, and throw the doors open for the hordes of paying guests.
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from.
Just ask Don and Amy Eschenbrenner. It's been over a year since the couple took the leap toward their long-held aspirations, buying a centuries-old home on the outskirts of Newark and embarking on the fix-up project of a lifetime, even as they continued to work full time.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
The "Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast" grand opening has been scheduled and rescheduled. Their lives have become a whirl of planning dilemmas, permitting hurdles and Hamburger Helper dinners.
Then, Wednesday morning, the better part of a 100-foot tree fell on their fence.
"We wanted something with history and charm," Amy said, not quite anticipating creaky 300-year-old trees.
She and Don are like a lot of hard-working couples in this time of vanishing careers and uncertain futures. Dreams of becoming stay-at-home innkeepers fuel many fantasies, and also prove to be far more elusive than even die-hard realists imagine, experts say.
Even with eyes wide open and 401(k)s tapped, the Eschenbrenners are a bit dizzy over the ever evolving challenges. For the past year and a half, they have inched through the slow process of burnishing the grand old brick home, which sits on an regally wooded two-acre lot just east of the Maryland line on Nottingham Road.
For months, they carried two mortgages until they could sell their last house. Then, Amy was laid off. Then she found work. Then, Don's hours were cut back. Then he got a new job.
In recent weeks, momentum seems regained. A near fatal ruling from the Fire Marshal's Office on a $50,000 sprinkler system has been overturned, the perfect drapes have been found for the colonial-style living room, an extra parking space has been added, and the new puppy's leaping-on-strangers antics have been partly tamed.
But then, there's still that tree, wind-strewn across the yard.
""We have a ways to go," Amy said, but the journey has been buoyed by supportive family and the couple's sense of adventure.
The biggest challenges are yet to come, bed-and-breakfast pros say. "What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Successful innkeepers heed some important tips, she said. "Innkeepingschools" offered by consultants are a big help. So is spending a day with an experienced innkeeper, and making sure the "breakfast" is just as good as the bed. "Since breakfast is 50 percent of the name ... you can't diminish the importance of great food," she said.
Savvy marketing is often the make-or-break element of successful home-style inns, she said. "I tell innkeepers the most important thing you must have in your marketing toolbox is good photography," she said. "You can build it, but they will not come if you do not have decent photographs."
Then, there's also the "small stuff" to learn. Credit-card processing. Telephone etiquette. E-mail etiquette. These days, even "eco-hospitality" is a concern.
The Eschenbrenners already have some built-in advantages, B&B consultants said. The original section of the house was built in 1692, the remainder in 1840, giving it the kind of quaint and rustic aspect that gets travelers drooling, experts say. The home's proximity to the University of Delaware also brings the potential of a ready-made clientele -- visiting professors, relatives in town for graduation, fretful parents popping in for a quick check.
And luckily, the previous owner kept the old beauty updated and well-maintained.
"We were so excited to see this house, but we were so scared it was going to be bad," Amy said. "But it wasn't."
At the same time, it's clear that consumers have cut back on travel amid the recession. Hotel revenue per room fell 18.7 percent in the first half of the year from the year-earlier period, according to Smith Travel Research. Average U.S. daily hotel rates fell 8.7 percent to $98.66 in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while occupancy tumbled 11 percent to 54.6 percent, the company said.
The Eschenbrenners have hedged against expenses by tapping friends and co-workers for help with projects, but the bills keep coming. About $3,500 a year for insurance. A whopping $1,500 for a parking space. Anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 for a smoke alarm system. They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
"Just decorating alone is a huge expense," Don said.
As the project gets closer to becoming reality, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon. The bellwether of the lodging industry -- the U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator -- went up in August for the fourth straight month, meaning the industry expects to see significant improvement in the next four to five months.
For the Eschenbrenners, good news like that is something they never have enough of these days.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091012/BUSINESS/910120308
 

wendydk

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While I don't consider running a B&B to be all that "hard" in terms of work, this statement from the article says it all (at least for me).
"What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Even coming with an 18-year hospitality background, and a full knowledge of all that would be required, this is the part that is the hardest for me....you own a B&B, the B&B becomes your life...unless you went into it with the hobby mentality.
 

Samster

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I would have to say one thing: It is the realists that are perceived as negative naysayers that tell people the way that it is to actually own and operate a thriving B&B. :)
I'll be interested to read this. Thanks!!
 

EmptyNest

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While I don't consider running a B&B to be all that "hard" in terms of work, this statement from the article says it all (at least for me).
"What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Even coming with an 18-year hospitality background, and a full knowledge of all that would be required, this is the part that is the hardest for me....you own a B&B, the B&B becomes your life...unless you went into it with the hobby mentality..
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work???? Hard work cleaning, doing laundry, doing yardwork, doing maintenance, cleaning windows, scrubbing toilets. ad infinitum....it is all consuming...I consider that hard work.
 

Penelope

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While I don't consider running a B&B to be all that "hard" in terms of work, this statement from the article says it all (at least for me).
"What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Even coming with an 18-year hospitality background, and a full knowledge of all that would be required, this is the part that is the hardest for me....you own a B&B, the B&B becomes your life...unless you went into it with the hobby mentality..
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work???? Hard work cleaning, doing laundry, doing yardwork, doing maintenance, cleaning windows, scrubbing toilets. ad infinitum....it is all consuming...I consider that hard work.
.
catlady said:
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work????
I definately think that this is a case of the words being relative. LB's view of "hard work" and yours differ. To her, it isn't HARD.
 

EmptyNest

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While I don't consider running a B&B to be all that "hard" in terms of work, this statement from the article says it all (at least for me).
"What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Even coming with an 18-year hospitality background, and a full knowledge of all that would be required, this is the part that is the hardest for me....you own a B&B, the B&B becomes your life...unless you went into it with the hobby mentality..
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work???? Hard work cleaning, doing laundry, doing yardwork, doing maintenance, cleaning windows, scrubbing toilets. ad infinitum....it is all consuming...I consider that hard work.
.
catlady said:
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work????
I definately think that this is a case of the words being relative. LB's view of "hard work" and yours differ. To her, it isn't HARD.
.
Yep..guess it's all relative.
 

wendydk

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While I don't consider running a B&B to be all that "hard" in terms of work, this statement from the article says it all (at least for me).
"What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Even coming with an 18-year hospitality background, and a full knowledge of all that would be required, this is the part that is the hardest for me....you own a B&B, the B&B becomes your life...unless you went into it with the hobby mentality..
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work???? Hard work cleaning, doing laundry, doing yardwork, doing maintenance, cleaning windows, scrubbing toilets. ad infinitum....it is all consuming...I consider that hard work.
.
catlady said:
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work????
I definately think that this is a case of the words being relative. LB's view of "hard work" and yours differ. To her, it isn't HARD.
.
Yep..guess it's all relative.
.
Yup, for me....it doesn't seem so much like work...it's just restrictive.
 

Don Draper

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I agree...I tell people it's not that anything we do is that difficult, it's just that we do 1,000 easy things EVERY DAY.
 

Samster

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While I don't consider running a B&B to be all that "hard" in terms of work, this statement from the article says it all (at least for me).
"What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Even coming with an 18-year hospitality background, and a full knowledge of all that would be required, this is the part that is the hardest for me....you own a B&B, the B&B becomes your life...unless you went into it with the hobby mentality..
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work???? Hard work cleaning, doing laundry, doing yardwork, doing maintenance, cleaning windows, scrubbing toilets. ad infinitum....it is all consuming...I consider that hard work.
.
catlady said:
What do you mean NOT HARD in terms of work????
I definately think that this is a case of the words being relative. LB's view of "hard work" and yours differ. To her, it isn't HARD.
.
Yep..guess it's all relative.
.
Well, I have to agree with you Catlady that a lot of the physical work is HARD work! When I worked at a 12 room inn (about 10 years ago on a sabbatical from my real profession to see if I really wanted to do this), we would lose 20 somethings all the time because of the physical work involved in cleaning rooms and taking care of the inn! They had no idea how demanding the work could or would be.
If you hire out the big jobs to other people, then it might not seem so bad either. But last Tuesday morning when I had a cannister of bleach solution and the hose and was cleaning my front porch in 90 something percent humidity and climbing up and down on a step ladder, I was thinking that was hard work indeed. First opportunity to get it done between big rain storms and it had to be done and I had to be showered & changed and in a different "mode" before the guests checked in.
I think that if folks aren't used to doing that kind of work, it really might seem difficult and somewhat physically demanding.
 

seashanty

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i find running an eight room b&b HARD work .... very hard ... physically exhausting with the cooking, cleaning, washing up, shopping, constant ..... flipping the switch from physical to social, catering to guests, being welcoming, and then you've got to do the brainwork (marketing, accounting, planning, taking reservations). maybe it depends on how many rooms you have to flip and then the common areas. yikers.
i find running a b&b much harder work than running an office. probably because of three things.
lots of brain work and social interaction at the office, but little physical other than running around a vacume and dusting, making coffee.
i could go home at night and on weekends ... closed.
i made 4x the money for ME.
not that running a b&b is not satisfying and rewarding. it can be. but still hard.
 

JBloggs

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If it's not hard work how come my back is screaming out in pain!
Wait, you don't have stairs right?
Hauling linens up the stairs and lifting mattresses scrubbing showers amongst the rest of the labor of love here... DH is a pile on the sofa right now after pushing an aerator around the lawn all day and he works out daily and is exhausted from the labor. He labors here regularly. nothing but. Between the two of us we are plum tuckered...
I wish it were only taking bookings and making breakfast.

Wait, no I don't. I like the variety.
 

gillumhouse

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I think there is a disconnect here regarding hard. There is "hard" as in difficult and there is HARD as in HARD Labor. The work of an innkeeper definitely IS Hard Labor but other than fitting in the cooking, cleaning, laundry it is not difficult. The HARD (difficult) part is when you come to the marketing, keeping the books, taking reservations, and being Miss Hospitality after putting in a day of Hard Labor. JMNVHO
Edited to add, if you notice the "hard" was in quotes.
 

tedwin

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I don't want the link to expire so I am posting the article here as well:
The ABCs of B&Bs[/h1]Starting a bed and breakfast can be a daunting endeavor[/h2]BY ERIC RUTH • THE NEWS JOURNAL • OCTOBER 12, 2009
It sounds like the perfect dream -- buy a pretty old house, primp it up with some pretty touches, and throw the doors open for the hordes of paying guests.
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from.
Just ask Don and Amy Eschenbrenner. It's been over a year since the couple took the leap toward their long-held aspirations, buying a centuries-old home on the outskirts of Newark and embarking on the fix-up project of a lifetime, even as they continued to work full time.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
The "Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast" grand opening has been scheduled and rescheduled. Their lives have become a whirl of planning dilemmas, permitting hurdles and Hamburger Helper dinners.
Then, Wednesday morning, the better part of a 100-foot tree fell on their fence.
"We wanted something with history and charm," Amy said, not quite anticipating creaky 300-year-old trees.
She and Don are like a lot of hard-working couples in this time of vanishing careers and uncertain futures. Dreams of becoming stay-at-home innkeepers fuel many fantasies, and also prove to be far more elusive than even die-hard realists imagine, experts say.
Even with eyes wide open and 401(k)s tapped, the Eschenbrenners are a bit dizzy over the ever evolving challenges. For the past year and a half, they have inched through the slow process of burnishing the grand old brick home, which sits on an regally wooded two-acre lot just east of the Maryland line on Nottingham Road.
For months, they carried two mortgages until they could sell their last house. Then, Amy was laid off. Then she found work. Then, Don's hours were cut back. Then he got a new job.
In recent weeks, momentum seems regained. A near fatal ruling from the Fire Marshal's Office on a $50,000 sprinkler system has been overturned, the perfect drapes have been found for the colonial-style living room, an extra parking space has been added, and the new puppy's leaping-on-strangers antics have been partly tamed.
But then, there's still that tree, wind-strewn across the yard.
""We have a ways to go," Amy said, but the journey has been buoyed by supportive family and the couple's sense of adventure.
The biggest challenges are yet to come, bed-and-breakfast pros say. "What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Successful innkeepers heed some important tips, she said. "Innkeepingschools" offered by consultants are a big help. So is spending a day with an experienced innkeeper, and making sure the "breakfast" is just as good as the bed. "Since breakfast is 50 percent of the name ... you can't diminish the importance of great food," she said.
Savvy marketing is often the make-or-break element of successful home-style inns, she said. "I tell innkeepers the most important thing you must have in your marketing toolbox is good photography," she said. "You can build it, but they will not come if you do not have decent photographs."
Then, there's also the "small stuff" to learn. Credit-card processing. Telephone etiquette. E-mail etiquette. These days, even "eco-hospitality" is a concern.
The Eschenbrenners already have some built-in advantages, B&B consultants said. The original section of the house was built in 1692, the remainder in 1840, giving it the kind of quaint and rustic aspect that gets travelers drooling, experts say. The home's proximity to the University of Delaware also brings the potential of a ready-made clientele -- visiting professors, relatives in town for graduation, fretful parents popping in for a quick check.
And luckily, the previous owner kept the old beauty updated and well-maintained.
"We were so excited to see this house, but we were so scared it was going to be bad," Amy said. "But it wasn't."
At the same time, it's clear that consumers have cut back on travel amid the recession. Hotel revenue per room fell 18.7 percent in the first half of the year from the year-earlier period, according to Smith Travel Research. Average U.S. daily hotel rates fell 8.7 percent to $98.66 in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while occupancy tumbled 11 percent to 54.6 percent, the company said.
The Eschenbrenners have hedged against expenses by tapping friends and co-workers for help with projects, but the bills keep coming. About $3,500 a year for insurance. A whopping $1,500 for a parking space. Anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 for a smoke alarm system. They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
"Just decorating alone is a huge expense," Don said.
As the project gets closer to becoming reality, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon. The bellwether of the lodging industry -- the U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator -- went up in August for the fourth straight month, meaning the industry expects to see significant improvement in the next four to five months.
For the Eschenbrenners, good news like that is something they never have enough of these days.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091012/BUSINESS/910120308.
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
 

gillumhouse

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I don't want the link to expire so I am posting the article here as well:
The ABCs of B&Bs[/h1]Starting a bed and breakfast can be a daunting endeavor[/h2]BY ERIC RUTH • THE NEWS JOURNAL • OCTOBER 12, 2009
It sounds like the perfect dream -- buy a pretty old house, primp it up with some pretty touches, and throw the doors open for the hordes of paying guests.
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from.
Just ask Don and Amy Eschenbrenner. It's been over a year since the couple took the leap toward their long-held aspirations, buying a centuries-old home on the outskirts of Newark and embarking on the fix-up project of a lifetime, even as they continued to work full time.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
The "Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast" grand opening has been scheduled and rescheduled. Their lives have become a whirl of planning dilemmas, permitting hurdles and Hamburger Helper dinners.
Then, Wednesday morning, the better part of a 100-foot tree fell on their fence.
"We wanted something with history and charm," Amy said, not quite anticipating creaky 300-year-old trees.
She and Don are like a lot of hard-working couples in this time of vanishing careers and uncertain futures. Dreams of becoming stay-at-home innkeepers fuel many fantasies, and also prove to be far more elusive than even die-hard realists imagine, experts say.
Even with eyes wide open and 401(k)s tapped, the Eschenbrenners are a bit dizzy over the ever evolving challenges. For the past year and a half, they have inched through the slow process of burnishing the grand old brick home, which sits on an regally wooded two-acre lot just east of the Maryland line on Nottingham Road.
For months, they carried two mortgages until they could sell their last house. Then, Amy was laid off. Then she found work. Then, Don's hours were cut back. Then he got a new job.
In recent weeks, momentum seems regained. A near fatal ruling from the Fire Marshal's Office on a $50,000 sprinkler system has been overturned, the perfect drapes have been found for the colonial-style living room, an extra parking space has been added, and the new puppy's leaping-on-strangers antics have been partly tamed.
But then, there's still that tree, wind-strewn across the yard.
""We have a ways to go," Amy said, but the journey has been buoyed by supportive family and the couple's sense of adventure.
The biggest challenges are yet to come, bed-and-breakfast pros say. "What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Successful innkeepers heed some important tips, she said. "Innkeepingschools" offered by consultants are a big help. So is spending a day with an experienced innkeeper, and making sure the "breakfast" is just as good as the bed. "Since breakfast is 50 percent of the name ... you can't diminish the importance of great food," she said.
Savvy marketing is often the make-or-break element of successful home-style inns, she said. "I tell innkeepers the most important thing you must have in your marketing toolbox is good photography," she said. "You can build it, but they will not come if you do not have decent photographs."
Then, there's also the "small stuff" to learn. Credit-card processing. Telephone etiquette. E-mail etiquette. These days, even "eco-hospitality" is a concern.
The Eschenbrenners already have some built-in advantages, B&B consultants said. The original section of the house was built in 1692, the remainder in 1840, giving it the kind of quaint and rustic aspect that gets travelers drooling, experts say. The home's proximity to the University of Delaware also brings the potential of a ready-made clientele -- visiting professors, relatives in town for graduation, fretful parents popping in for a quick check.
And luckily, the previous owner kept the old beauty updated and well-maintained.
"We were so excited to see this house, but we were so scared it was going to be bad," Amy said. "But it wasn't."
At the same time, it's clear that consumers have cut back on travel amid the recession. Hotel revenue per room fell 18.7 percent in the first half of the year from the year-earlier period, according to Smith Travel Research. Average U.S. daily hotel rates fell 8.7 percent to $98.66 in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while occupancy tumbled 11 percent to 54.6 percent, the company said.
The Eschenbrenners have hedged against expenses by tapping friends and co-workers for help with projects, but the bills keep coming. About $3,500 a year for insurance. A whopping $1,500 for a parking space. Anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 for a smoke alarm system. They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
"Just decorating alone is a huge expense," Don said.
As the project gets closer to becoming reality, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon. The bellwether of the lodging industry -- the U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator -- went up in August for the fourth straight month, meaning the industry expects to see significant improvement in the next four to five months.
For the Eschenbrenners, good news like that is something they never have enough of these days.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091012/BUSINESS/910120308.
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
.
For me to break even on just B & B expenses, I need 15 room nights per month in my premier room.
 

JeannineIrish

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I don't want the link to expire so I am posting the article here as well:
The ABCs of B&Bs[/h1]Starting a bed and breakfast can be a daunting endeavor[/h2]BY ERIC RUTH • THE NEWS JOURNAL • OCTOBER 12, 2009
It sounds like the perfect dream -- buy a pretty old house, primp it up with some pretty touches, and throw the doors open for the hordes of paying guests.
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from.
Just ask Don and Amy Eschenbrenner. It's been over a year since the couple took the leap toward their long-held aspirations, buying a centuries-old home on the outskirts of Newark and embarking on the fix-up project of a lifetime, even as they continued to work full time.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
The "Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast" grand opening has been scheduled and rescheduled. Their lives have become a whirl of planning dilemmas, permitting hurdles and Hamburger Helper dinners.
Then, Wednesday morning, the better part of a 100-foot tree fell on their fence.
"We wanted something with history and charm," Amy said, not quite anticipating creaky 300-year-old trees.
She and Don are like a lot of hard-working couples in this time of vanishing careers and uncertain futures. Dreams of becoming stay-at-home innkeepers fuel many fantasies, and also prove to be far more elusive than even die-hard realists imagine, experts say.
Even with eyes wide open and 401(k)s tapped, the Eschenbrenners are a bit dizzy over the ever evolving challenges. For the past year and a half, they have inched through the slow process of burnishing the grand old brick home, which sits on an regally wooded two-acre lot just east of the Maryland line on Nottingham Road.
For months, they carried two mortgages until they could sell their last house. Then, Amy was laid off. Then she found work. Then, Don's hours were cut back. Then he got a new job.
In recent weeks, momentum seems regained. A near fatal ruling from the Fire Marshal's Office on a $50,000 sprinkler system has been overturned, the perfect drapes have been found for the colonial-style living room, an extra parking space has been added, and the new puppy's leaping-on-strangers antics have been partly tamed.
But then, there's still that tree, wind-strewn across the yard.
""We have a ways to go," Amy said, but the journey has been buoyed by supportive family and the couple's sense of adventure.
The biggest challenges are yet to come, bed-and-breakfast pros say. "What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Successful innkeepers heed some important tips, she said. "Innkeepingschools" offered by consultants are a big help. So is spending a day with an experienced innkeeper, and making sure the "breakfast" is just as good as the bed. "Since breakfast is 50 percent of the name ... you can't diminish the importance of great food," she said.
Savvy marketing is often the make-or-break element of successful home-style inns, she said. "I tell innkeepers the most important thing you must have in your marketing toolbox is good photography," she said. "You can build it, but they will not come if you do not have decent photographs."
Then, there's also the "small stuff" to learn. Credit-card processing. Telephone etiquette. E-mail etiquette. These days, even "eco-hospitality" is a concern.
The Eschenbrenners already have some built-in advantages, B&B consultants said. The original section of the house was built in 1692, the remainder in 1840, giving it the kind of quaint and rustic aspect that gets travelers drooling, experts say. The home's proximity to the University of Delaware also brings the potential of a ready-made clientele -- visiting professors, relatives in town for graduation, fretful parents popping in for a quick check.
And luckily, the previous owner kept the old beauty updated and well-maintained.
"We were so excited to see this house, but we were so scared it was going to be bad," Amy said. "But it wasn't."
At the same time, it's clear that consumers have cut back on travel amid the recession. Hotel revenue per room fell 18.7 percent in the first half of the year from the year-earlier period, according to Smith Travel Research. Average U.S. daily hotel rates fell 8.7 percent to $98.66 in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while occupancy tumbled 11 percent to 54.6 percent, the company said.
The Eschenbrenners have hedged against expenses by tapping friends and co-workers for help with projects, but the bills keep coming. About $3,500 a year for insurance. A whopping $1,500 for a parking space. Anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 for a smoke alarm system. They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
"Just decorating alone is a huge expense," Don said.
As the project gets closer to becoming reality, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon. The bellwether of the lodging industry -- the U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator -- went up in August for the fourth straight month, meaning the industry expects to see significant improvement in the next four to five months.
For the Eschenbrenners, good news like that is something they never have enough of these days.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091012/BUSINESS/910120308.
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
.
tedwin said:
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
I wonder how much they are charging per room and how they are calculating their expenses. We have to average about 35 room nights a month in order to pay our bills (mortgage, taxes, insurance, food, supplies, utilities).
 

wendydk

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I don't want the link to expire so I am posting the article here as well:
The ABCs of B&Bs[/h1]Starting a bed and breakfast can be a daunting endeavor[/h2]BY ERIC RUTH • THE NEWS JOURNAL • OCTOBER 12, 2009
It sounds like the perfect dream -- buy a pretty old house, primp it up with some pretty touches, and throw the doors open for the hordes of paying guests.
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from.
Just ask Don and Amy Eschenbrenner. It's been over a year since the couple took the leap toward their long-held aspirations, buying a centuries-old home on the outskirts of Newark and embarking on the fix-up project of a lifetime, even as they continued to work full time.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
The "Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast" grand opening has been scheduled and rescheduled. Their lives have become a whirl of planning dilemmas, permitting hurdles and Hamburger Helper dinners.
Then, Wednesday morning, the better part of a 100-foot tree fell on their fence.
"We wanted something with history and charm," Amy said, not quite anticipating creaky 300-year-old trees.
She and Don are like a lot of hard-working couples in this time of vanishing careers and uncertain futures. Dreams of becoming stay-at-home innkeepers fuel many fantasies, and also prove to be far more elusive than even die-hard realists imagine, experts say.
Even with eyes wide open and 401(k)s tapped, the Eschenbrenners are a bit dizzy over the ever evolving challenges. For the past year and a half, they have inched through the slow process of burnishing the grand old brick home, which sits on an regally wooded two-acre lot just east of the Maryland line on Nottingham Road.
For months, they carried two mortgages until they could sell their last house. Then, Amy was laid off. Then she found work. Then, Don's hours were cut back. Then he got a new job.
In recent weeks, momentum seems regained. A near fatal ruling from the Fire Marshal's Office on a $50,000 sprinkler system has been overturned, the perfect drapes have been found for the colonial-style living room, an extra parking space has been added, and the new puppy's leaping-on-strangers antics have been partly tamed.
But then, there's still that tree, wind-strewn across the yard.
""We have a ways to go," Amy said, but the journey has been buoyed by supportive family and the couple's sense of adventure.
The biggest challenges are yet to come, bed-and-breakfast pros say. "What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Successful innkeepers heed some important tips, she said. "Innkeepingschools" offered by consultants are a big help. So is spending a day with an experienced innkeeper, and making sure the "breakfast" is just as good as the bed. "Since breakfast is 50 percent of the name ... you can't diminish the importance of great food," she said.
Savvy marketing is often the make-or-break element of successful home-style inns, she said. "I tell innkeepers the most important thing you must have in your marketing toolbox is good photography," she said. "You can build it, but they will not come if you do not have decent photographs."
Then, there's also the "small stuff" to learn. Credit-card processing. Telephone etiquette. E-mail etiquette. These days, even "eco-hospitality" is a concern.
The Eschenbrenners already have some built-in advantages, B&B consultants said. The original section of the house was built in 1692, the remainder in 1840, giving it the kind of quaint and rustic aspect that gets travelers drooling, experts say. The home's proximity to the University of Delaware also brings the potential of a ready-made clientele -- visiting professors, relatives in town for graduation, fretful parents popping in for a quick check.
And luckily, the previous owner kept the old beauty updated and well-maintained.
"We were so excited to see this house, but we were so scared it was going to be bad," Amy said. "But it wasn't."
At the same time, it's clear that consumers have cut back on travel amid the recession. Hotel revenue per room fell 18.7 percent in the first half of the year from the year-earlier period, according to Smith Travel Research. Average U.S. daily hotel rates fell 8.7 percent to $98.66 in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while occupancy tumbled 11 percent to 54.6 percent, the company said.
The Eschenbrenners have hedged against expenses by tapping friends and co-workers for help with projects, but the bills keep coming. About $3,500 a year for insurance. A whopping $1,500 for a parking space. Anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 for a smoke alarm system. They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
"Just decorating alone is a huge expense," Don said.
As the project gets closer to becoming reality, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon. The bellwether of the lodging industry -- the U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator -- went up in August for the fourth straight month, meaning the industry expects to see significant improvement in the next four to five months.
For the Eschenbrenners, good news like that is something they never have enough of these days.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091012/BUSINESS/910120308.
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
.
tedwin said:
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
I wonder how much they are charging per room and how they are calculating their expenses. We have to average about 35 room nights a month in order to pay our bills (mortgage, taxes, insurance, food, supplies, utilities).
.
The exact quote from the article was:
"They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even."
I took the "two bedrooms at least one weekend every month" had to be rented to cover that extra $400.00 per month.
 

tedwin

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
70
Reaction score
1
I don't want the link to expire so I am posting the article here as well:
The ABCs of B&Bs[/h1]Starting a bed and breakfast can be a daunting endeavor[/h2]BY ERIC RUTH • THE NEWS JOURNAL • OCTOBER 12, 2009
It sounds like the perfect dream -- buy a pretty old house, primp it up with some pretty touches, and throw the doors open for the hordes of paying guests.
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from.
Just ask Don and Amy Eschenbrenner. It's been over a year since the couple took the leap toward their long-held aspirations, buying a centuries-old home on the outskirts of Newark and embarking on the fix-up project of a lifetime, even as they continued to work full time.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
The "Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast" grand opening has been scheduled and rescheduled. Their lives have become a whirl of planning dilemmas, permitting hurdles and Hamburger Helper dinners.
Then, Wednesday morning, the better part of a 100-foot tree fell on their fence.
"We wanted something with history and charm," Amy said, not quite anticipating creaky 300-year-old trees.
She and Don are like a lot of hard-working couples in this time of vanishing careers and uncertain futures. Dreams of becoming stay-at-home innkeepers fuel many fantasies, and also prove to be far more elusive than even die-hard realists imagine, experts say.
Even with eyes wide open and 401(k)s tapped, the Eschenbrenners are a bit dizzy over the ever evolving challenges. For the past year and a half, they have inched through the slow process of burnishing the grand old brick home, which sits on an regally wooded two-acre lot just east of the Maryland line on Nottingham Road.
For months, they carried two mortgages until they could sell their last house. Then, Amy was laid off. Then she found work. Then, Don's hours were cut back. Then he got a new job.
In recent weeks, momentum seems regained. A near fatal ruling from the Fire Marshal's Office on a $50,000 sprinkler system has been overturned, the perfect drapes have been found for the colonial-style living room, an extra parking space has been added, and the new puppy's leaping-on-strangers antics have been partly tamed.
But then, there's still that tree, wind-strewn across the yard.
""We have a ways to go," Amy said, but the journey has been buoyed by supportive family and the couple's sense of adventure.
The biggest challenges are yet to come, bed-and-breakfast pros say. "What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Successful innkeepers heed some important tips, she said. "Innkeepingschools" offered by consultants are a big help. So is spending a day with an experienced innkeeper, and making sure the "breakfast" is just as good as the bed. "Since breakfast is 50 percent of the name ... you can't diminish the importance of great food," she said.
Savvy marketing is often the make-or-break element of successful home-style inns, she said. "I tell innkeepers the most important thing you must have in your marketing toolbox is good photography," she said. "You can build it, but they will not come if you do not have decent photographs."
Then, there's also the "small stuff" to learn. Credit-card processing. Telephone etiquette. E-mail etiquette. These days, even "eco-hospitality" is a concern.
The Eschenbrenners already have some built-in advantages, B&B consultants said. The original section of the house was built in 1692, the remainder in 1840, giving it the kind of quaint and rustic aspect that gets travelers drooling, experts say. The home's proximity to the University of Delaware also brings the potential of a ready-made clientele -- visiting professors, relatives in town for graduation, fretful parents popping in for a quick check.
And luckily, the previous owner kept the old beauty updated and well-maintained.
"We were so excited to see this house, but we were so scared it was going to be bad," Amy said. "But it wasn't."
At the same time, it's clear that consumers have cut back on travel amid the recession. Hotel revenue per room fell 18.7 percent in the first half of the year from the year-earlier period, according to Smith Travel Research. Average U.S. daily hotel rates fell 8.7 percent to $98.66 in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while occupancy tumbled 11 percent to 54.6 percent, the company said.
The Eschenbrenners have hedged against expenses by tapping friends and co-workers for help with projects, but the bills keep coming. About $3,500 a year for insurance. A whopping $1,500 for a parking space. Anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 for a smoke alarm system. They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
"Just decorating alone is a huge expense," Don said.
As the project gets closer to becoming reality, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon. The bellwether of the lodging industry -- the U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator -- went up in August for the fourth straight month, meaning the industry expects to see significant improvement in the next four to five months.
For the Eschenbrenners, good news like that is something they never have enough of these days.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091012/BUSINESS/910120308.
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
.
tedwin said:
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
I wonder how much they are charging per room and how they are calculating their expenses. We have to average about 35 room nights a month in order to pay our bills (mortgage, taxes, insurance, food, supplies, utilities).
.
The exact quote from the article was:
"They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even."
I took the "two bedrooms at least one weekend every month" had to be rented to cover that extra $400.00 per month.
.
I suppose that's plausible. But if you read it in the context of the entire paragraph, it appears to imply more. I'm sure my interpretation is wrong but I think it's a case of poorly worded and misleading writing.
 

JBloggs

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I don't want the link to expire so I am posting the article here as well:
The ABCs of B&Bs[/h1]Starting a bed and breakfast can be a daunting endeavor[/h2]BY ERIC RUTH • THE NEWS JOURNAL • OCTOBER 12, 2009
It sounds like the perfect dream -- buy a pretty old house, primp it up with some pretty touches, and throw the doors open for the hordes of paying guests.
Then, reality rears its unpretty head -- running a bed and breakfast is actually a harder job than the jobs you were trying to escape from.
Just ask Don and Amy Eschenbrenner. It's been over a year since the couple took the leap toward their long-held aspirations, buying a centuries-old home on the outskirts of Newark and embarking on the fix-up project of a lifetime, even as they continued to work full time.
What a long, strange trip it's been.
The "Blue Hen Bed and Breakfast" grand opening has been scheduled and rescheduled. Their lives have become a whirl of planning dilemmas, permitting hurdles and Hamburger Helper dinners.
Then, Wednesday morning, the better part of a 100-foot tree fell on their fence.
"We wanted something with history and charm," Amy said, not quite anticipating creaky 300-year-old trees.
She and Don are like a lot of hard-working couples in this time of vanishing careers and uncertain futures. Dreams of becoming stay-at-home innkeepers fuel many fantasies, and also prove to be far more elusive than even die-hard realists imagine, experts say.
Even with eyes wide open and 401(k)s tapped, the Eschenbrenners are a bit dizzy over the ever evolving challenges. For the past year and a half, they have inched through the slow process of burnishing the grand old brick home, which sits on an regally wooded two-acre lot just east of the Maryland line on Nottingham Road.
For months, they carried two mortgages until they could sell their last house. Then, Amy was laid off. Then she found work. Then, Don's hours were cut back. Then he got a new job.
In recent weeks, momentum seems regained. A near fatal ruling from the Fire Marshal's Office on a $50,000 sprinkler system has been overturned, the perfect drapes have been found for the colonial-style living room, an extra parking space has been added, and the new puppy's leaping-on-strangers antics have been partly tamed.
But then, there's still that tree, wind-strewn across the yard.
""We have a ways to go," Amy said, but the journey has been buoyed by supportive family and the couple's sense of adventure.
The biggest challenges are yet to come, bed-and-breakfast pros say. "What most people don't realize is how much time it takes," said Marti Mayne, spokeswoman for BedandBreakfast .com. "Until you get into it, you don't know how all-encompassing it is."
Successful innkeepers heed some important tips, she said. "Innkeepingschools" offered by consultants are a big help. So is spending a day with an experienced innkeeper, and making sure the "breakfast" is just as good as the bed. "Since breakfast is 50 percent of the name ... you can't diminish the importance of great food," she said.
Savvy marketing is often the make-or-break element of successful home-style inns, she said. "I tell innkeepers the most important thing you must have in your marketing toolbox is good photography," she said. "You can build it, but they will not come if you do not have decent photographs."
Then, there's also the "small stuff" to learn. Credit-card processing. Telephone etiquette. E-mail etiquette. These days, even "eco-hospitality" is a concern.
The Eschenbrenners already have some built-in advantages, B&B consultants said. The original section of the house was built in 1692, the remainder in 1840, giving it the kind of quaint and rustic aspect that gets travelers drooling, experts say. The home's proximity to the University of Delaware also brings the potential of a ready-made clientele -- visiting professors, relatives in town for graduation, fretful parents popping in for a quick check.
And luckily, the previous owner kept the old beauty updated and well-maintained.
"We were so excited to see this house, but we were so scared it was going to be bad," Amy said. "But it wasn't."
At the same time, it's clear that consumers have cut back on travel amid the recession. Hotel revenue per room fell 18.7 percent in the first half of the year from the year-earlier period, according to Smith Travel Research. Average U.S. daily hotel rates fell 8.7 percent to $98.66 in the first half of the year from a year earlier, while occupancy tumbled 11 percent to 54.6 percent, the company said.
The Eschenbrenners have hedged against expenses by tapping friends and co-workers for help with projects, but the bills keep coming. About $3,500 a year for insurance. A whopping $1,500 for a parking space. Anywhere between $6,000 and $8,000 for a smoke alarm system. They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
"Just decorating alone is a huge expense," Don said.
As the project gets closer to becoming reality, there are some hopeful signs on the horizon. The bellwether of the lodging industry -- the U.S. Hotel Industry Leading indicator -- went up in August for the fourth straight month, meaning the industry expects to see significant improvement in the next four to five months.
For the Eschenbrenners, good news like that is something they never have enough of these days.
http://www.delawareonline.com/article/20091012/BUSINESS/910120308.
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
.
tedwin said:
Jo Bloggs said:
...meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even.
That's all?! I'd say we have to rent at least one room every night to keep afloat.
I wonder how much they are charging per room and how they are calculating their expenses. We have to average about 35 room nights a month in order to pay our bills (mortgage, taxes, insurance, food, supplies, utilities).
.
The exact quote from the article was:
"They figure it will cost them an extra $400 a month for miscellaneous expenses, meaning they have to rent two bedrooms at least one weekend every month to break even."
I took the "two bedrooms at least one weekend every month" had to be rented to cover that extra $400.00 per month.
.
I suppose that's plausible. But if you read it in the context of the entire paragraph, it appears to imply more. I'm sure my interpretation is wrong but I think it's a case of poorly worded and misleading writing.
.
They were referencing the added expenses they had not anticipated, therefore would need to rent the additional room nights JUST to cover that. (That was how I read it)
 
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