Quantcast

Your "type" of Inn

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

wendydk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
0
OK, so we all tell aspirings to "buy the type of Inn that you love to stay in", in order to attract guests that are most like yourself. I had no inkling of that when we started looking...we looked all over the country at operating Inns, but ended up starting our own for financial reasons. I knew I wanted to handle it all myself, so it would have to be small. Because it was a start up, it was all us and we naturally attracted our "type" of guests. And, believe me, I feel blessed because of that, and think that might be the reason that we think our guests are so wonderful, and have so few problems.
What about you? How do you feel about your type of inn and guests now? If you purchased an existing Inn, do you wish that you had bought in a different location or an Inn that had a different demographic? Do you wish you had bought smaller or larger? Is there a type of Inn that you would trade yours for if you had the chance?
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,558
Reaction score
145
My four-square is me. Enough fancy work to it that it is not boring, has an "air" about it that is comfortable, casual, but with a touch or elegance and in a town with a lot of action under and on the surface - it is ME!
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
"OK, so we all tell aspirings to "buy the type of Inn that you love to stay in", in order to attract guests that are most like yourself."
I never say that. I don't want guests like myself. STOP! I CAN HEAR YOU FROM HERE!!!!
I love to stay in a lighthouse on an atoll. Honestly I don't want guests like myself, that is half the fun (let's say the FUN PART) of this business. Do you really tell aspirings that? I did not buy the place we built and sold, I bought something totally different. That is part of the adventure.
 

wendydk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
0
My four-square is me. Enough fancy work to it that it is not boring, has an "air" about it that is comfortable, casual, but with a touch or elegance and in a town with a lot of action under and on the surface - it is ME!.
Kathleen, I see your house's design as being more traditional farmhouse than foursquare. Am I missing something? From Wikipedia:
The hallmarks of the "Four Square" style include a basically square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The boxy shape provides a maximum amount of interior room space, to use a small city lot to best advantage. Other common features included a hipped roof, arched entries between common rooms, built-in cabinetry, and Craftsman-style woodwork.

 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,558
Reaction score
145
"OK, so we all tell aspirings to "buy the type of Inn that you love to stay in", in order to attract guests that are most like yourself."
I never say that. I don't want guests like myself. STOP! I CAN HEAR YOU FROM HERE!!!!
I love to stay in a lighthouse on an atoll. Honestly I don't want guests like myself, that is half the fun (let's say the FUN PART) of this business. Do you really tell aspirings that? I did not buy the place we built and sold, I bought something totally different. That is part of the adventure..
I was answering the part about do you wish you had a different place. I agree, people just like me would drive me nuts! As we tell the Aspirings - find a place you want to live in FIRST. Then think inn.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,558
Reaction score
145
My four-square is me. Enough fancy work to it that it is not boring, has an "air" about it that is comfortable, casual, but with a touch or elegance and in a town with a lot of action under and on the surface - it is ME!.
Kathleen, I see your house's design as being more traditional farmhouse than foursquare. Am I missing something? From Wikipedia:
The hallmarks of the "Four Square" style include a basically square, boxy design, two-and-one-half stories high, usually with four large, boxy rooms to a floor, a center dormer, and a large front porch with wide stairs. The boxy shape provides a maximum amount of interior room space, to use a small city lot to best advantage. Other common features included a hipped roof, arched entries between common rooms, built-in cabinetry, and Craftsman-style woodwork.

.
I do not have the dormer but that IS my house. No basement, stairs to the side becase it is just a sidewalk from the street. It is 4-up and 4-down. The back porch was enclosed and made into the kitchen in late 40s/early 50s. The Post office used to be next door - lots of traffic and dust - so Mrs. Gillum had them enclose half of the front porch for a sun room. Lovely French doors between sunroom (DH workshop now) and our living room (DH studio now).
 

wendydk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
0
"OK, so we all tell aspirings to "buy the type of Inn that you love to stay in", in order to attract guests that are most like yourself."
I never say that. I don't want guests like myself. STOP! I CAN HEAR YOU FROM HERE!!!!
I love to stay in a lighthouse on an atoll. Honestly I don't want guests like myself, that is half the fun (let's say the FUN PART) of this business. Do you really tell aspirings that? I did not buy the place we built and sold, I bought something totally different. That is part of the adventure..
What I actually said on another thread recently was:
"When I talk to aspirings, I tell them to be sure the area where they are looking is someplace they will enjoy...but even MORE IMPORTANTLY...buy into a demographic you will enjoy.
If you buy a gingerbread-dripping victorian that promises romance, roses and high revenues (and high maintanence guests)...but are a jeans, tennies and sweatshirt out on the hiking trail kind of person, you will be miserable. If you can only afford to drive a clunker and resent people who drive luxury vehicles and ask for discounts, you will be unhappy with your luxury Inn purchase and come to resent your guests for expecting so much of you. And vice-versa. If you only stay at high end Inns yourself, don't buy a small and casual place, as you might tend to look down on your guests.
Buy the type of Inn that you would be comfortable staying at, and you will attract guests the most like yourself."
 

Don Draper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
2,863
Reaction score
0
Well, this is a really interesting question. We are oddballs because we were never aspirings, we found this place for sale and jumped in with both feet. So we never did any comparison shopping.
The reason it works for us is the location, we love where we live. Our Inn would not necessarily be my first choice for where to stay in this area, but we know enough about what type of guests we want to have to market to that "type". There are things I wish were different about our place (like having individual fireplaces) but we just can't change them at this point. But it all goes on our bucket list and we make changes as we go. Our house is LOVED, and you can feel that in every room of it. It's a very special location for most folks to stay and they take fond memories with them.
Most of my guests are as different from me personally as is humanly possible...I never get to open my mouth about politics because I am always the minority! So I don't discuss it.
I don't think there is any blanket advice you can give an aspiring (other than the basics like licensing, etc.). This business is much more art than science and people have to go with their instincts.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,357
Reaction score
224
What I have found over the years of watching B&B's in the area sell over and over again is that the innkeepers generally buy the inn that suits their personality. In all cases, the very casual innkeeper bought a very casual property and the less casual innkeeper bought the less casual inn.
If I could change, I would buy in a different area. We thought we bought in a 4 season area, which was what we wanted. But we are really in a 2 1/2 season area so we'd be better off in a one season area that was slammed for that season. And then take the other seasons off.
I'd buy Joey's lighthouse inn! Except if we had a really slow season, hubs & I would surely become fodder for a Stephen King story. (Best not to think about it.)
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
"OK, so we all tell aspirings to "buy the type of Inn that you love to stay in", in order to attract guests that are most like yourself."
I never say that. I don't want guests like myself. STOP! I CAN HEAR YOU FROM HERE!!!!
I love to stay in a lighthouse on an atoll. Honestly I don't want guests like myself, that is half the fun (let's say the FUN PART) of this business. Do you really tell aspirings that? I did not buy the place we built and sold, I bought something totally different. That is part of the adventure..
What I actually said on another thread recently was:
"When I talk to aspirings, I tell them to be sure the area where they are looking is someplace they will enjoy...but even MORE IMPORTANTLY...buy into a demographic you will enjoy.
If you buy a gingerbread-dripping victorian that promises romance, roses and high revenues (and high maintanence guests)...but are a jeans, tennies and sweatshirt out on the hiking trail kind of person, you will be miserable. If you can only afford to drive a clunker and resent people who drive luxury vehicles and ask for discounts, you will be unhappy with your luxury Inn purchase and come to resent your guests for expecting so much of you. And vice-versa. If you only stay at high end Inns yourself, don't buy a small and casual place, as you might tend to look down on your guests.
Buy the type of Inn that you would be comfortable staying at, and you will attract guests the most like yourself."
.
Yes I read where you say gingerbread dripping Victorian that promises romance and roses.... not all Victorians are that way - inclined.

 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,743
Reaction score
0
What I have found over the years of watching B&B's in the area sell over and over again is that the innkeepers generally buy the inn that suits their personality. In all cases, the very casual innkeeper bought a very casual property and the less casual innkeeper bought the less casual inn.
If I could change, I would buy in a different area. We thought we bought in a 4 season area, which was what we wanted. But we are really in a 2 1/2 season area so we'd be better off in a one season area that was slammed for that season. And then take the other seasons off.
I'd buy Joey's lighthouse inn! Except if we had a really slow season, hubs & I would surely become fodder for a Stephen King story. (Best not to think about it.).
The innkeepers personality dictate the feel of the inn. Not just the decor.
I will never forget our inn-mate in PA who said to me "Everyone loves the fact I wear levi's and a tshirt to serve breakfast" and I believe it. Those men esp who had never been to a B&B were astonished the innkeeper was a regular guy, not some old fuddy duddy talking history and politics.
When we bought this place the po's with their noses high up in the air and hired every thing out here - told us we better catch up on our history. Our guests are the ones who know history and share in the discussions here, I learn alot from them. THEY are the history buffs who travel and can tell me what I did not know. I find that interesting. I guarantee our conversations and hugs at check out are a heckuvalot different to the po's. Same dripping Victorian too! "The spirit of the innkeepers make the inn." :)
I will say YOUR PRICE POINT will also dictate the type of guests you receive, not 100% of course, but a good majority.
If you are a full service spa, versus a regular B&B...we all know the scenario.
 

aieechihuahua

Well-known member
Joined
May 29, 2009
Messages
247
Reaction score
0
some old fuddy duddy talking history and politics.
hey! I resemble that remark!!
We were jeans and t-shirts too! The pair I'm wearing now has a bit hole in the backside. Oh well. We seem to attract people a lot like us more often than not, but I think that has to do with how we market ourselves more than anything else. OMG! It is snowing outside! I just looked up and it is snowing like crazy!!!
 

Iris

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 8, 2009
Messages
811
Reaction score
4
We came here on a vacation and saw this place for sale and bought it. I loved the house. Then we went home and thought about the situation at hand. Mike had to resign from the Coast Guard and so our lives changed. The work was not what I was dreaming of - I actually didn't even think about the work part of the deal - but it worked for us with the twins being so little - we could "stay home". I grew up in a resort area and was very familiar with all the aspects of taking in guests. I would never vacation in a place like ours. But I have always understood how to make anyone feel welcome and pampered and enjoyed doing it. That to me is fun. Personally, I am more the penthouse with 24 hour butler type. Mike, on the other hand, would love to stay here.
Long story short, this place is too much fun. We have met some incredibly interesting, nice people who have become friends (at arms length :) but none the less friends)
We moved here from the San Francisco Bay Area and my mother warned me that I would be most unhappy in this village of 1500 inhabitants. We're happy.
ummmm, this is what the question was, right?
 

Samster

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
6,475
Reaction score
14
Location
South Carolina
This would be a tough one for me because I like to stay in all types of B&Bs and inns. The only ones that I'm not really drawn to are the over-the-top Victorian. We looked at other places in the country and actually tried to buy a place that was pretty casual in Texas. I would have been very happy there.
For me, it's more about what type of service and amenities we wanted to offer, no matter what the property was like.
 
Top