Innkeeping Story – Stone Canyon Inn

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b Dixie & Mike Burbidge own the Stone Canyon Inn located in Tropic, Utah. Dixie spoke with me about the hard work and dedication that goes into doing what they love, running an inn. They started out at ground zero when they purchased a rugged piece of property where they began building their dream in the form of an inn. Now, they operate an expansive establishment with breathtaking views.

Q: How long have you been in business?

We opened in August of 2000.

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

We use to bring our family down into this area all the time to explore it. We decided it would be fun to run a business down here where we could show off the area to other people. We’ve always liked to entertain though we had no experience in the hospitality industry. We got into this industry as a business to begin with. I laugh when people ask, “Did you retire to do this?” This is a full time job and than some.  My response has been, ” You think this is retirement!?”

Q: How did your bed and breakfast evolve into an inn with a restaurant? a

We ran our bed and breakfast for fourteen years than turned into it into an inn with a five star restaurant, Stone Hearth Grille. I published a recipe book while we were running our place as a bed and breakfast. Our breakfasts were well known while we ran the bed and breakfast. We, even started the restaurant with breakfast but people would only trickle in for breakfast as we are a mile and half off the highway. Now, we only serve dinner. The restaurant has just been amazing. We found people are willing to drive to have a good dinner. The food is amazing and the atmosphere is unbelievable.

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?

We get a lot of people from the east and west coast. New York, Massachusetts, Florida, California, and Oregon are the main states. Outside of the country, we get many Europeans from France, United Kingdom, Germany and Italy.

Q: What’s the best thing you have done for your business?

Changing to the inn with outdoor eating and fine dining.  We added a huge deck so people could enjoy the a gorgeous panoramic view. Our clients wanted fine dining which couldn’t be found in the area. Our restaurant is a perfect fit.

Our cottages and bungalows are very upscale and first class. They all have fireplaces, acentral air and air conditioning. They each have a deck with its own private hot tub.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

The fact that we are not on the highway. We are four hours from any metropolis. The next challenge is the internet. We need to have a really great internet presents because Bryce Canyon is out of the way. Bryce is a “bucket list” destination. People say that they will visit Bryce Canyon once in their lifetime. It isn’t a place to go back to every year.

Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?

Wearing twenty hats is challenging. Government needs to know that small business owners do everything. They can’t pay someone to do this and do that. They need to be understanding. It is tough been sole owners. Also, we stay open year round. It is a huge responsibility doing all the ordering, advertising, etc.

Q: What motto do you live by?

And it came to pass.

Q: What is unique about your inn?

We have a tremendous location and knowledge of the area. We tell our guests about good hiking locations and what to do in the area. We are a great resource for our guest with our knowledge in archaeology, paleontology, and more. We bought the 80 acres with Bryce Canyon as our property line. First, we built the inn. Later, we added four cottages. We started with eighty acres with gorgeous red cliffs surrounding the area.

We have nine units which are freestanding. Five units have full kitchens. Our main building has a huge deck, waterfall, stream, and pond. Our fence line borders Bryce Canyon. You can head right into the park from our property. We are a mile and a half off the highway so we have beautiful views. Everyone has their own private view and aspace.

Q: What would you do all over again if you had a time machine?

I don’t think I would change anything. We had a vision of it being a certain way. We love that our place blends in with the area.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

I have eighteen grandchildren. They come out here and we go where they live to see each other. Our children and grandchildren love to come out here. We go hiking and more. It is always a big adventure for them.

Q: Any little known facts about your town?

The town’s name is Tropic. The founding fathers must of had a sense of humor as this place isn’t tropic at all. They came from where it was much colder and probably named it such as this is much warmer. We have beautiful summers here.

The local people knew Butch Cassidy. He is from this area. He came here after Bolivia. At one point he changed his name. A lot of outlaws went through here.

Q: Any fun guest stories you want to share? Such as unique guests, crazy situations or celebrity guests. a

Richard Gere stayed here.

We’ve had ambassadors and other government officials.

Our grandchildren and our children have stayed with us. We took them on our sixty foot long slip and slide down the hill into a big mud puddle as well the 300 ft zip line, and mud course. Everyone, including my husband and I got all muddy.

Q: Do you have helpful innkeeping tips you would like to share? 

Have a sense of humor and perseverance.  People are interesting and fascinating. If you are not happy, you are not a good innkeeper.  Be able to thrive on chaos. It is what it is.

Did You Know?

Ebenezer Bryce, a Mormon pioneer, holds the title for the canyon’s name. In the year, 1928, Bryce Canyon located in southwest, Utah became an official national park. Unique geology including natural amphitheaters shaped like horse shoes are here. Spires called “hoodoos” are formations here which early geologists believed could cast spells.

aBryce Canyon has many adventures trails to choose from which led many outlaws including Butch Cassidy in their day to use this spectacular location. Horseback rides offer a taste of where outlaws may have tread throughout the canyon. Moonlit hikes are available as well as stargazing.

 

Upcoming Tradeshows & Conferences November- December 2014

Washington Bed & Breakfast Guild Annual Meeting & Conference

aDates: Monday, November 3rd through Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Website: http://www.wbbg.com/

Reservations can be made at the inspirational Chrysalis Inn & Spa to stay at during the conference.

Where:a

Chrysalis Inn & Spa
804 10th St
Bellingham, WA

 

 

Pennsylvania Association Bed and Breakfast Inns Conference and Trade Show 

aDates: Tuesday November 4th through Thursday, November 6, 2014

Website: http://www.painns.com/

Reservations can be made at the elegant Toftrees Resort to stay at during the conference.

Where:a

Toftrees Resort
1 Country Club Ln
State College, PA.

 

 

 

Maine Innkeepers Conference

aDates: Wednesday, November 5th through Thursday, November 6, 2014

Website: http://www.maineinns.com/

 

Reservations can be made at the stately Point Lookout Resort to stay at during the conference.

Where:a

Point Lookout Resort
67 Atlantic Hwy
Northport, ME

 

 

 

Wisconsin B&B Association Conference and Trade Show

aDates: Sunday, November 9th through Tuesday, November 11, 20144

Website: http://www.wbba.org/index.php

Reservations can be made at the majestic Waupaca Ale House Conference Center to stay at during the conference.

Where:a
Waupaca Ale House Conference Center
201 Foxfire Drive
Waupaca, Wisconsin 54981

AH&LA Fall Conference with the International Hotel, Motel + Restaurant Show

a Dates:  Sunday, November 9th through Tuesday, November 11, 2014 

Website: http://www.ihmrs.com/ & http://www.ahla.com/

Visit the official IHMRS housing bureau, Travel Planners, for a list of hotels
offering special rates for the show. Make your reservation early, as it is on a first-come, first-served basis and room blocks fill quickly.

Where:a
Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
New York, New York

 

 

 

Kentucky’s 26th Annual Educational Conference and Exhibitor Tradeshow

aDates: Sunday, November 16th through Monday, November 17, 2014 

Website: http://www.kentuckybb.com/

Reservations can be made at The University Club at University of Louisville to stay at during the conference.

Where:a

The University Club at University of Louisville
200 East Brandeis Avenue
Louisville, KY 40208

 Hospitality Marketing Summit

aDates: Tuesday, November 18th through Thursday, November 20, 2014

Website: http://www.hmsconference.com/

Reservations can be made at The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center to stay at during the conference.

 

Where:a

The Inverness Hotel and Conference Center
198 Inverness Dr W
Englewood, CO

Product Review: The 5 Best Mobile Booking Engines

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Online booking systems have transformed how guests find a place to stay.”Software Advice, an evaluation firm for hotel booking systems, has published an article featuring the top 5 best online booking systems in alphabetical order.”

In this article you will find the noted highlights and pictures of how the software displays on smart phones and tablets.

Check out this informative article today and find the right online reservation system to help you capture even more online bookings.

 

Innkeeping Story – Inn At Riverbend

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Jeanne Jeffers and John Dush, expertly transitioned when they took on ownership of the Inn at Riverbend, located in Pearisburg, Virginia this year. Acquiring an inn at its peak season is not easy yet they have successfully accomplished this feat and made friends along the way. They work well at maintaining the seven exquisitely done rooms. Jeanne gave insightful answers about their innkeeping business.

 

Q: How long have you been in business?

We bought the Inn on May 27, so at this location, really new.  The Inn has just celebrated it’s 11th birthday.  Just like any pre-teen; still has its growing pains!

 

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

I was a very bored accountant.  Hated bean-counting for others but always loved my domestic skills.  Hence, I thought it would be fun to live in a nice place and bake cookies.

 

Q: What is your signature breakfast?a

I love making a summer egg bake that is loaded with farm fresh veggies and lots of cheese.  I am one of those cooks who has to look at the ingredients then the recipe emerges from there.

 

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from? 

Washington DC, the city of Raleigh in North Carolina, and Ohio.

 

Q: What’s the best thing you have done for your business?

So far, being new, most are in the dream stage.

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Q: What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

Coming in to cook breakfast with no pots and pans or utensils.  Our kitchen was still in storage from our move and we came in to run the Inn at Riverbend before all our furnishings were delivered.  Talk about being creative!

 

aQ: Biggest lesson learned in the industry? 

Most of our guests are just such fun, interesting people.  You would find it difficult to get to know so many wonderful folks doing anything else. 

 

Q: What motto do you live by?

“I’m only one person”….It will get done, just not right now.

 

Q: What is unique about your inn?

We have the most amazing (truly) views from every guest room.a

 

Q: What would you do all over again if you had a time machine? 

Not come into the business in the busiest season.  We came on for Virginia Tech graduation and haven’t stopped yet.

 

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

Ride my bike more.

 

Q: Any little known facts about your town? 

Pearisburg is located in the most scenic and beautiful valleys in western Virginia.  It’s a region with so much to do (Appalachian Trail, New River) and it is abreathtakingly quiet and relaxing at the same time.

 

Q: Any fun guest stories you want to share? Such as unique guests, crazy situations or celebrity guests.

We had some guests from England arrive after a long day of driving in the mountains to get here. They were hungry but too exhausted to drive to a restaurant for dinner. We really wanted them to enjoy their stay, so we stopped our work, changed into something more presentable and drove them to a restaurant where we ended up having a fabulous dinner together and became good friends. We plan on visiting them in England next fall.

 

Q: Do you have helpful innkeeping tips you would like to share? 

No matter what time check in is, guests will ALWAYS arrive early and say “Hope we’re not disturbing you, we know we’re early.”

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Did You Know?

The Appalachian Trail which is located 2 miles from the Inn at Riverbend has quite a long history on becoming an national trail which is comparable to the time it takes to hike the entire 2,180 miles of the trail. The trail stretches from Georgia up to Maine in which traveling will take you through a total of 14 states.

The story began with a project proposal put in by Benton MacKaye back in October of 1921.  He would die without ever seeing the results of his work. Myron Avery continued the process where Mackaye left off. Along the way, he became the first “2,000 miler” as he measured the trail. Numbers have grown over the years on recorded finishers of the Appalachian Trail which became a national scenic trail in 1968 of October.

 

Innkeeping Story – The Victorian Ladies Inn

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The Victorian Ladies Inn is located on 63 Memorial Boulevard in Newport, Rhode Island. I spoke briefly with Harry Schatmeyer, the owner of the inn. Through email, was how he found the time to answer the questions for our interview as he goes about maintaining the elegance of his inn. He has eleven beautifully done rooms that are encompassed within three separate buildings that have peaceful walkways and breathtaking gardens. Also, a few years ago, he obtained ownership of the Adele Turner Inn. Now, potential guests are offered a more expanded variety of lodging in the Newport area.

Q: How long have you been in business?

A total of twelve years.

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

My wife and I had long and successful careers.  Not wanting to retire, we opted for innkeeping.

Q: What is your signature breakfast?a

We make an Eggs Newport. The breakfast buffet picture has been attached as it is a tantalizing arrangement of some of the delicious foods available during breakfast.

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?

Most of our guests come from Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey.

Q: What’s the best thing you have done for your business?

We make sure to personally greeted everyone.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you had to overcome?

bThe challenge of having the time to get things done.

Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?

Having associations are of great importance.

 

Q: What motto do you live by?

We feel that every guest deserves our best.

Q: What is unique about your inn?

We know the names of our guests.

Q: What would you do all over again if you had a time machine?

We cannot turn back time.  We enjoy today.c

Q: What do you like to do in your free time?

We enjoy relaxing at our condo.

Q: Any little known facts about your lives?

I owned seven McDonald’s. My wife ran a medical center. What we have done has been fun.

Q: Any fun guest stories you want to share? Such as unique guests, crazy situations or celebrity guests. 

We feel every guest is unique, a little crazy, and would be a celebrity for two or three days of their lives.

Q: Do you have helpful innkeeping tips you would like to share? a

Get to know your guests. Invite them back for your great breakfast.  We have an afternoon tea, which we do in our parlor. It is also important to introduce everyone to everyone.

Did You Know? 

The seaside city of Newport, Rhode Island is home to the Naval Station Newport. Within the station, you will find many naval facilities including the Naval Undersea Warfare Center which carries on there with research and development for underwater systems, weapons, and submarines. Also, present is the Naval War College, started in 1884 and is the oldest war college in the world. The museum on its grounds is a National Historic Landmark. Rumor has it was christened the Naval War College in October of 1884 when Commodore Stephen B. Luce arrived onshore and entered the stone building’s doors.

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