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Morticia

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One room last night, 'on loan' from another innkeeper. Seemed nice enough but had the heat on 80 (it was hot in the room) in spite of having the window wide open (it was COLD outside). And they made a side trip into the hall bathroom (not locked as we were working on it). So, no money made last night...it all went out the window...
 

Morticia

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And on the heels of this comes the fuel oil bill...$1400 for 6 weeks. And it's not cold yet.
 

GeorgiaGirl

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I don't know why some people act like pigs when they are on vacation?
We just came back from DisneyWorld and it's just amazing how people act.
Sorry about your fuel bill....
I can't imagine!
 

Samster

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And on the heels of this comes the fuel oil bill...$1400 for 6 weeks. And it's not cold yet..
Ouch, on the fuel bill

Well, people figure it's their room and with individual heating controls....
I don't have to tell you to lock those doors at all times! We had some friends stay with us for one night last week and I locked the hall bath. Sorry, they weren't even paying and the last time they stayed with us, they used both bathrooms.
All the other guest rooms were locked as well. I've learned from the Wise Ones

 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Wise ones were once foolish (ahem, unwise ones - yet to be wise ones).
Til they found some old dude
in another guest bathroom. "Oh I didn't think this was occupied?"
Edited to add - these are the stories than non innkeepers do not believe. When it happens to you, then you lock it all up and hide the keys. I will never, no matter how nice people appear at check in, leave other rooms unlocked, ever. From using the other rooms for a quickie to using the shower in another bathroom, and then of course the toilet - why not, it's a toilet, right? I won't leave any unattended area unlocked.
 

Morticia

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And on the heels of this comes the fuel oil bill...$1400 for 6 weeks. And it's not cold yet..
Ouch, on the fuel bill

Well, people figure it's their room and with individual heating controls....
I don't have to tell you to lock those doors at all times! We had some friends stay with us for one night last week and I locked the hall bath. Sorry, they weren't even paying and the last time they stayed with us, they used both bathrooms.
All the other guest rooms were locked as well. I've learned from the Wise Ones

.
I guess we thought that a room with a ladder in it might make guests think twice...we thought wrong. How the heck did they even know that anything would work?! I guess if the shower didn't work, no harm, no foul, but if the toilet hadn't flushed? Geez louise, I don't get it! (And they had to move the ladder!!!)
Anyway, reprieve for the next few days...no guests, just family, if they can make it! How's the weather Swirt? That'll tell me if youngest will be getting on the road on Sunday! Oldest rode motorcycle to work the other day...in the snow...in Las Vegas!
 

Samster

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Wise ones were once foolish (ahem, unwise ones - yet to be wise ones).
Til they found some old dude
in another guest bathroom. "Oh I didn't think this was occupied?"
Edited to add - these are the stories than non innkeepers do not believe. When it happens to you, then you lock it all up and hide the keys. I will never, no matter how nice people appear at check in, leave other rooms unlocked, ever. From using the other rooms for a quickie to using the shower in another bathroom, and then of course the toilet - why not, it's a toilet, right? I won't leave any unattended area unlocked..
Yep, good stories for us newbies....but not so good when they were happening to y'all.

You know, my guests look at me funny when I lock up our quarters sometimes when they are right there & I just say, "We are diligent about keeping all our guest information safe and secure". Then, they nod appreciatively

So far (knock wood), the "Private" signs are working on the swing door to the butler's pantry. We are only able to lock that with a slide bolt when we go out the side porch door. We tried to avoid drilling into more old doors.
 

Morticia

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Wise ones were once foolish (ahem, unwise ones - yet to be wise ones).
Til they found some old dude
in another guest bathroom. "Oh I didn't think this was occupied?"
Edited to add - these are the stories than non innkeepers do not believe. When it happens to you, then you lock it all up and hide the keys. I will never, no matter how nice people appear at check in, leave other rooms unlocked, ever. From using the other rooms for a quickie to using the shower in another bathroom, and then of course the toilet - why not, it's a toilet, right? I won't leave any unattended area unlocked..
Yep, good stories for us newbies....but not so good when they were happening to y'all.

You know, my guests look at me funny when I lock up our quarters sometimes when they are right there & I just say, "We are diligent about keeping all our guest information safe and secure". Then, they nod appreciatively

So far (knock wood), the "Private" signs are working on the swing door to the butler's pantry. We are only able to lock that with a slide bolt when we go out the side porch door. We tried to avoid drilling into more old doors.
.
The guy of the couple is a long-time B&B goer, too. He was telling me all the places here in town he has stayed over the years. And he has even stayed here before our tenure.
I'll never really learn the lesson about locking everything all the time, tho. But, more locks are going on this winter.
Even the innkeepers who were here last week were astonished at everything I have a lock on (cabinets, was the big one they were stunned by). It all depends on who shows up at the door, I guess. Should these folks show up again, and not just go back to their last B&B, I've made a note that they 'wander' and open the windows with the heat on.
Next year we won't lock into a contract with the fuel. I figure we'll even out over the years just taking our chances. However, we will NOT recover from buying high this year. It'll end up costing us $10,000 for what is costing the 'guy next door' less than $5000.
Right now we are paying $2.50/gal more than street value. So, for those who don't use fuel oil, just figure that if you pull up at the pump to get gas, you are charged $2.50/gal more than the guy next to you, for an idea of how painful this is right now.
We have the house temp at 50 degrees right now in an attempt to hold the line. Not pleasant. Our little bit of space (about 500 sq ft) we are heating up to 68, but not the inn. We may drain the water pipes on a couple of rooms and block them off unless we fill up. One of them definitely being the 'cheap' room!
 

gillumhouse

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And on the heels of this comes the fuel oil bill...$1400 for 6 weeks. And it's not cold yet..
Our first winter as a B & B 2 Mothers booked their student teacher daughters here for 3 months to be close to the student teaching schools through the winter (school is 35 miles away in a higher elevation and typical WV roads). The girls liked to have their rooms shorts & T-shirt temp. We kept the downstairs a bit warmer because they were here also. Gas bill (downstairs) was about $400 per month and the electric bill (upstairs) was about $250 per month and we were charging them a whole $300 per month each. Learned quickly - no thanks.
 

Copperhead

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Wise ones were once foolish (ahem, unwise ones - yet to be wise ones).
Til they found some old dude
in another guest bathroom. "Oh I didn't think this was occupied?"
Edited to add - these are the stories than non innkeepers do not believe. When it happens to you, then you lock it all up and hide the keys. I will never, no matter how nice people appear at check in, leave other rooms unlocked, ever. From using the other rooms for a quickie to using the shower in another bathroom, and then of course the toilet - why not, it's a toilet, right? I won't leave any unattended area unlocked..
Yep, good stories for us newbies....but not so good when they were happening to y'all.

You know, my guests look at me funny when I lock up our quarters sometimes when they are right there & I just say, "We are diligent about keeping all our guest information safe and secure". Then, they nod appreciatively

So far (knock wood), the "Private" signs are working on the swing door to the butler's pantry. We are only able to lock that with a slide bolt when we go out the side porch door. We tried to avoid drilling into more old doors.
.
The guy of the couple is a long-time B&B goer, too. He was telling me all the places here in town he has stayed over the years. And he has even stayed here before our tenure.
I'll never really learn the lesson about locking everything all the time, tho. But, more locks are going on this winter.
Even the innkeepers who were here last week were astonished at everything I have a lock on (cabinets, was the big one they were stunned by). It all depends on who shows up at the door, I guess. Should these folks show up again, and not just go back to their last B&B, I've made a note that they 'wander' and open the windows with the heat on.
Next year we won't lock into a contract with the fuel. I figure we'll even out over the years just taking our chances. However, we will NOT recover from buying high this year. It'll end up costing us $10,000 for what is costing the 'guy next door' less than $5000.
Right now we are paying $2.50/gal more than street value. So, for those who don't use fuel oil, just figure that if you pull up at the pump to get gas, you are charged $2.50/gal more than the guy next to you, for an idea of how painful this is right now.
We have the house temp at 50 degrees right now in an attempt to hold the line. Not pleasant. Our little bit of space (about 500 sq ft) we are heating up to 68, but not the inn. We may drain the water pipes on a couple of rooms and block them off unless we fill up. One of them definitely being the 'cheap' room!
.
Bree, don't beat yourself up any more than you must over locking into the fuel oil contract. You are not the only ones... I read the SW Airlines did the same and are taking a beating in their stocks as well as their earnings. They have been 'the' airline for best practices in the past. With the forecast as it was, we were to see $6 per gallon at the pumps by Christmas. Sure glad that has not happened.
 

Sanctuary

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I had guests onboard who were running the AC when it was 52 degrees outside, and then asking my why the AC kept shutting off...'CUZ IT'S 52 DEGREES OUTSIDE and the thermostat only goes to 55. Once it's satisfied at 55 degrees, it shuts off. I guess a meat locker was what they were looking for.
When the master stateroom is running AC, no other rooms can run heat since the staterooms are all on the same "system". To run heat, the valve has to be reversed and flow the refrigerant backwards, so it's an all or nothing thing. Fortunately, they were the only ones onboard, other than me. When I learned they wanted AC, I went to a storage area in that room and plucked out the electric blanket - still froze my buns off. It's been COLD here in Miami, by Miami standards that is, since mid October. I don't even have winter clothes - best I got is a long sleeved tee-shirt and a pair of socks.
Fortunately, my electric is included in my dockage. I have no idea what it would cost, from an electricity standpoint, to run this vessel.
 

DaisyMae

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we have athermostat in the dining room & one in the 2nd floor hallway. we bought those clear plastic locking covers to put on them because we were finding them turned up to 90 degrees sometimes. we assumed people would turn them up thinking they would warm their guestroom up. I want to say "people, look,the only one that is going to warm your guestroom is the one in your guestroom!"
when th fuel price forecast was not good & looking like it was going nowhere but up, i told DH that i was not shy about buying those covers for ones in guestrooms also. i said "it's either that or raise the room rates!" i don't want to raise rates & if it came to us putting those covers on the guestroom controls & someone put up a stink about it, i would just say ey, look, this is why.
we also have those geniuses that CRANK the dial to 90 & then open windows because it is too hot. I have to say "what the $%#!*&*&$" cause i just don't get the common sense behiind the concept. we take the crank handles right off the skylights so they can't be opened.People open them if they have gooten their room overheated, leave them open then when it cools at night the area around that melted is now froze & that, my friends, is how stuff gets broken! i just don't get people! Especially when the person, is talking about what type of engineer or such that they are. i want to say" o.k. you are not dumb, so, if you understand how to build a bridge then why don't you understand..."
anyway, i could go on & on & On & On & On...
 

Morticia

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we have athermostat in the dining room & one in the 2nd floor hallway. we bought those clear plastic locking covers to put on them because we were finding them turned up to 90 degrees sometimes. we assumed people would turn them up thinking they would warm their guestroom up. I want to say "people, look,the only one that is going to warm your guestroom is the one in your guestroom!"
when th fuel price forecast was not good & looking like it was going nowhere but up, i told DH that i was not shy about buying those covers for ones in guestrooms also. i said "it's either that or raise the room rates!" i don't want to raise rates & if it came to us putting those covers on the guestroom controls & someone put up a stink about it, i would just say ey, look, this is why.
we also have those geniuses that CRANK the dial to 90 & then open windows because it is too hot. I have to say "what the $%#!*&*&$" cause i just don't get the common sense behiind the concept. we take the crank handles right off the skylights so they can't be opened.People open them if they have gooten their room overheated, leave them open then when it cools at night the area around that melted is now froze & that, my friends, is how stuff gets broken! i just don't get people! Especially when the person, is talking about what type of engineer or such that they are. i want to say" o.k. you are not dumb, so, if you understand how to build a bridge then why don't you understand..."
anyway, i could go on & on & On & On & On....
Relatively few guests touch the thermostat in the living room, unless we have it on and we ask them to turn it down when they go to bed. It's a 'last guest standing' sort of thing. We ask them to get the lights and the thermostat, turn off the TV and turn off the gas stove. Probably the number one thing (for high expense) that gets left on is the gas stove. It may run for 9-10 hours for no reason depending on when the guests went to bed and we get up.
We just got a label maker to label all the light switches, in the hopes that guests won't turn the lamps on-off-on-off and then tell us the lights don't work. I know I am just setting myself up for some other gripe later on. And, yes, I will be using a large font.
 

gillumhouse

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we have athermostat in the dining room & one in the 2nd floor hallway. we bought those clear plastic locking covers to put on them because we were finding them turned up to 90 degrees sometimes. we assumed people would turn them up thinking they would warm their guestroom up. I want to say "people, look,the only one that is going to warm your guestroom is the one in your guestroom!"
when th fuel price forecast was not good & looking like it was going nowhere but up, i told DH that i was not shy about buying those covers for ones in guestrooms also. i said "it's either that or raise the room rates!" i don't want to raise rates & if it came to us putting those covers on the guestroom controls & someone put up a stink about it, i would just say ey, look, this is why.
we also have those geniuses that CRANK the dial to 90 & then open windows because it is too hot. I have to say "what the $%#!*&*&$" cause i just don't get the common sense behiind the concept. we take the crank handles right off the skylights so they can't be opened.People open them if they have gooten their room overheated, leave them open then when it cools at night the area around that melted is now froze & that, my friends, is how stuff gets broken! i just don't get people! Especially when the person, is talking about what type of engineer or such that they are. i want to say" o.k. you are not dumb, so, if you understand how to build a bridge then why don't you understand..."
anyway, i could go on & on & On & On & On....
Especially when the person, is talking about what type of engineer or such that they are. i want to say" o.k. you are not dumb, so, if you understand how to build a bridge then why don't you understand..."
They are the ones who cannot walk across the street and chew gum at the same time!
 

Copperhead

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My guest rooms do not have individual termostats for heat but 2 of them do have the termostats for all the guest rooms. We did the same thing, placed thoses locking plastic covers over the boxes with a label that says - this thermostat controls multiple rooms, please see innkeeper. This seems to have solved that problem!
We had one of those window openers this last month, and he happened to be staying in one of the rooms with the thermostat. He was here for 2 weeks and I wondered why the other rooms were so warm and was wondering if there was a problem with the heater cut off. But I realized that he would close the window when he left for work so I was not aware of this until he forgot to close it when he checked out. My November heating bill was through the roof.
We have since placed a label on each of the guestroom windows. "Please keep window closed" If this does not work we will change it to 'window broken, do not open'. Of course we all know a sign will not stop a PITA.
 

Morticia

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My guest rooms do not have individual termostats for heat but 2 of them do have the termostats for all the guest rooms. We did the same thing, placed thoses locking plastic covers over the boxes with a label that says - this thermostat controls multiple rooms, please see innkeeper. This seems to have solved that problem!
We had one of those window openers this last month, and he happened to be staying in one of the rooms with the thermostat. He was here for 2 weeks and I wondered why the other rooms were so warm and was wondering if there was a problem with the heater cut off. But I realized that he would close the window when he left for work so I was not aware of this until he forgot to close it when he checked out. My November heating bill was through the roof.
We have since placed a label on each of the guestroom windows. "Please keep window closed" If this does not work we will change it to 'window broken, do not open'. Of course we all know a sign will not stop a PITA.
.
We just bought a label maker. I thought I was done when I labeled the light switches in the common areas. You have opened up a whole new realm of possibility...I'm going to take it back out and make some more for the light switches in the rooms...
"Please be sweet,
lower the heat."
I can peel them off in the summer.
Many of our windows have storms, which most guests do not seem to notice. They 'open' the window and go to bed. No harm, no foul. It's the ones who open the un-stormed windows who wreak havoc on the heating bills.
 

gillumhouse

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My guest rooms do not have individual termostats for heat but 2 of them do have the termostats for all the guest rooms. We did the same thing, placed thoses locking plastic covers over the boxes with a label that says - this thermostat controls multiple rooms, please see innkeeper. This seems to have solved that problem!
We had one of those window openers this last month, and he happened to be staying in one of the rooms with the thermostat. He was here for 2 weeks and I wondered why the other rooms were so warm and was wondering if there was a problem with the heater cut off. But I realized that he would close the window when he left for work so I was not aware of this until he forgot to close it when he checked out. My November heating bill was through the roof.
We have since placed a label on each of the guestroom windows. "Please keep window closed" If this does not work we will change it to 'window broken, do not open'. Of course we all know a sign will not stop a PITA.
.
We just bought a label maker. I thought I was done when I labeled the light switches in the common areas. You have opened up a whole new realm of possibility...I'm going to take it back out and make some more for the light switches in the rooms...
"Please be sweet,
lower the heat."
I can peel them off in the summer.
Many of our windows have storms, which most guests do not seem to notice. They 'open' the window and go to bed. No harm, no foul. It's the ones who open the un-stormed windows who wreak havoc on the heating bills.
.
My daughter gave me a label maker years ago and I wondered what I was going to use that for! Hmph! Many years later I am still trucking it out to make price tags for the things in the gift shop, label my spice bottles, label jars for country of origin for the coffee. (especially when giving it as gifts)......... The 2 problems are that Casio label cartridges are big bucks and when the batteries die I have to go buy a truckload - it takes 8 AA batteries. It turned out to be VERY useful.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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We have a key for ours. We also have a code we could put in. #1 thing we did when we moved in was install digital thermostats that heat to the temp gradually, it has saved BIG BUCKS. The old thermostat downstairs is right near the front door! Idiots. Then upstairs we left the old one as people think it is the real one and can move it around all they want to (it is a dummy).
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

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You can set these digital thermostats really easily innkeepers - replace those old dinosaurs. You are throwing money away by having ones that people touch, or that you manually turn up and down. To hit it HEAT UP to a certain temp instead of incremental to that temp is costing you.
Ours drops down for the 9pm shut eye upstairs, it boosts up prior to check in time, it drops down at 10am again preparing for check out. It is set diff for weekdays and weekends (I am talking about heating).
As you know 70 degrees heating is totally diff to 70 degrees cooling. So it is set for all those times of the year.
Of course there is no way to make each room as efficient as possible. The room on the east side of the house with little insulation in that wall gets warmer than another. Larger rooms vs smaller rooms etc
 

muirford

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My guest rooms do not have individual termostats for heat but 2 of them do have the termostats for all the guest rooms. We did the same thing, placed thoses locking plastic covers over the boxes with a label that says - this thermostat controls multiple rooms, please see innkeeper. This seems to have solved that problem!
We had one of those window openers this last month, and he happened to be staying in one of the rooms with the thermostat. He was here for 2 weeks and I wondered why the other rooms were so warm and was wondering if there was a problem with the heater cut off. But I realized that he would close the window when he left for work so I was not aware of this until he forgot to close it when he checked out. My November heating bill was through the roof.
We have since placed a label on each of the guestroom windows. "Please keep window closed" If this does not work we will change it to 'window broken, do not open'. Of course we all know a sign will not stop a PITA.
.
We just bought a label maker. I thought I was done when I labeled the light switches in the common areas. You have opened up a whole new realm of possibility...I'm going to take it back out and make some more for the light switches in the rooms...
"Please be sweet,
lower the heat."
I can peel them off in the summer.
Many of our windows have storms, which most guests do not seem to notice. They 'open' the window and go to bed. No harm, no foul. It's the ones who open the un-stormed windows who wreak havoc on the heating bills.
.
What is it about storm windows? Are they so uncommon that most people have never seen one and don't know how to work it? I always find windows with the inside up but the storm down. I guess I have always lived in houses with them.
 
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