Upcoming Tradeshows & Conferences August-October, 2015

Select Registry Membership Conference

aDates: Tuesday, September 8th through Thursday, September 10th

Website: http://www.selectregistry.com/

Reservations can be made at the Casa Marina- A Waldorf Astoria Resort to stay during the conference.a

Where:
Casa Marina- A Waldorf Astoria Resort
1500 Reynolds Street
Key West, Florida 33040
305-296-3535

 

 

 

Texas Bed & Breakfast Association Annual Convention

a Dates: Sunday, September 13th through Tuesday, September 15th

Website: http://www.texasbb.org/

Reservations can be made at The Tremont House to stay during the conference.

Where:a
The Tremont House
2300 Ships Mechanic Row
Galveston, TX 77550
409-765-7721

 

 

Arkansas Hospitality Association Convention and Trade Show

aDates: Wednesday, September 16th through Thursday, September 17th

Website: http://www.arhospitality.org/

Reservations can be made at local hotels and other accommodations to stay during the conference.a

Where: (Conference location only)
Statehouse Convention Center
101 East Markham Street
Little Rock, AR 72201
501-376-2323

 

Southern California Hotel & Lodging Conference

bDate: Wednesday, September 23rd

Website: http://www.calodging.com/

Reservations can be made at the Pacific Palms Hotel & Conference Center to stay during the conference.a

 

Where:
Pacific Palms Hotel & Conference Center
One Industry Hills Parkway
City of Industry, CA 91744
626-854-2490

 

Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns Conference

aDates: Monday, September 28th through Tuesday, September 29th

Website: http://www.florida-inns.com/

Reservations can be made at The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne to stay during the conference.a

Where:
The Courtyard at Lake Lucerne
211 N Lucerne Circle, East
Orlando, FL 32801
407.648.5188

 

Bed & Breakfast Association of Mississippi & Mississippi Tourism

aDates: Sunday, September 27th through Tuesday, September 29th

Website: http://www.missbab.com/

Reservations can be made at local hotels and other accommodations to stay during the conference.a

Where:  (Conference location only)
Vicksburg Convention Center
1600 Mulberry Street
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180
601-630-2929

 

Utah Tourism Conference

aDates: Tuesday, October 6th through Thursday, October 8th

Website: http://utahtourism.org/?page_id=11

Reservations can be made at Ruby’s Inn or Bryce Canyon Grand Hotel to stay during the conference.a

Where:
Ruby’s Inn
26 So Main
Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764

 

Bryce Canyon Grand Hotela
30 North 100 East
Bryce Canyon City, UT 84764

 

 

 

 

Federation of Ontario Bed & Breakfast Accommodation

aDates: Sunday, October 25th through Monday, October 26th

Website: http://www.fobba.com/

 

Where:
St. Jacobs

New England Inns & Resorts Association

aDates: Sunday, October 25th through Tuesday, October 27th

Website: http://www.newenglandinnsandresorts.com/

Reservations can be made The Wequassett Resort & Golf Club to stay during the conference.a

Where:
The Wequassett Resort & Golf Club
2173 Route 28
Harwich, MA
508-432-5400

 

Innkeeping Story – Applewood Manor Bed & Breakfast

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Going back to 1789, the Applewood Manor Bed and Breakfast found in Castleton, Vermont is a historic colonial house which has only exchanged owners four times since it was built. Nancy & Ralph Hirschfeld are the fourth set of owners, who have kept many of the original qualities of the house when they turned it into a bed and breakfast. Inspiring tips were given by Nancy about their welcoming bed and breakfast including how to make things comfortable and inviting in the hospitality business.

Q: How long have you been in business?

We started from “scratch” nine years ago. The house was a residence when we bought it.

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

My husband and I had both worked in corporation jobs. We wanted a change in lifestyle. Before we retired from the corporate world, we wanted to start a way to continue making a living.

Q: What is your signature breakfast?a

My husband does the cooking. He does a fantastic Eggs Benedict and wonderful blueberry pancakes.

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?

The northeast area such as New York, Connenticut, New Hampshire, and New Jersey.

We have a nearby local college. Often, the parents will drop off their children than stop by to stay with us.

In the summer and fall, we get more international guests. They are from the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

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

We focus on a warm welcome and developing relationships. We gauge what our guests are looking for and make sure they are comfortable. It is quite a psychological endeavor. Sometimes, what is forgotten is developing a personal, comfortable relationship so people feel welcome and want to come back again.

We keep things simple and try to concentrate on the needs of our guests.

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

Balancing the business time with some personal time. We close down at times to take time for ourselves. Our business model is very simple which is what we wanted in our business. It took a couple of years to come up with our business model. We realized in the first two years that we did not want to employ people nor do events. My husband and I can manage all of the five bedrooms. Still, we do need to take time for ourselves to refresh. We need to close down as we have no employees.

Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?

When I look back I wish we would have discussed a division of labor before we started the business. I had not thought how I would be in charge of all the cleaning. Identifying skills and communication is very important about these things. As there is only the two of us, we need to be able to talk things out with each other.

Q: What motto do you live by?

Keep it simple and let it go. In moments of stress, I often am in the kitchen singing “Let  It Go” from the movie Frozen.

Q: What is unique about your inn?a

The inn has historic features. The dining room is the original kitchen with the big, brick heathen and beehive oven. We, also have the original hardwood floors. Some of them are oak and other floors are pine. There is also a wonderful marble fireplace.

We have thirty three acres of woodland hills and river trails on the property. Often, our guests enjoy going for walks through the woods before breakfast.

And, we have an in ground swimming pool which is unusual for Vermont.

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

Being honest, I wouldn’t do it. We have made many friends with those who have stayed with us. Yet, it is not an easy way to make a living. As a business, I would have researched more about the business side in determining what our rates were going to be.  I have always charged rates that I was comfortable with. The pricing model and discounts that can be offered are some things I didn’t understand very well when we opened. I would liked to have talked to more innkeepers about running a bed and breakfast.

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

Outdoor activities. My husband loves fishing even ice fishing. We ski and enjoy going for hikes.

Q: Any unique facts you know about your town?

The village of Castleton is a historic village with great architecture.

Locally, we have the only battle site in Vermont; the Hubbardton Battlefield. It is the only battle ever fought in Vermont for the revolutionary war.

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

Early on, a couple who has been here several times, came one time because their son was getting married in the area. They had their new stepdaughter with them, who was going stay with them, and I forgot to put the roll away out for her. They rang the bell and we didn’t hear it. Our dog, Samson heard the bell and helped them by taking them to the storeroom where we keep the roll away.

Our pets are important to us. We joke that some of our guests come only to see them. They will bring treats to our pets. Often, the guests will take our dog, Samson for walks with them in the woods.

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

Find out more about the business itself, visit other innkeepers, talk with them, and welcome your guests. It is important to know what hospitality really means and develop more consistency and better standards.

We focus on why our guests are here and what their needs are as very important part of being successful in the business.

a

Innkeeping Story- Grady House Historic Bed & Breakfast

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aIn High Springs, Florida, the Grady House Historic Bed and Breakfast offers an enjoyable stay and a variety of activities within reach after indulging in a warm, gourmet breakfast. Lucie Regensdorf, co-owner with her husband Paul, shares discerning answers ranging from her occupation before joining part of the hospitality industry to insights that have helped promote her business.

Q: How long have you been in business?

We have owned the Grady House Bed & Breakfast for 9 years.  However, the inn has been in business for approximately 25 years.

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

I was a trial lawyer in Miami and had grown tired of the stress associated with that.  My husband and I always visited bed and breakfasts when we went on vacation and I began to think innkeeping was something that I would enjoy.  I loved to cook, I loved to entertain, I loved to decorate and I loved meeting new people.

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAQ: What is your signature breakfast?

I do not really have a signature breakfast because I love to try different recipes.  I get bored making the same breakfasts so I always change it up.  One of the recipes our guests seem to really enjoy is Berry Cheesecake Stuffed Croissant French Toast.

 

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?

The majority of our guests are about two hours away.  Although we get a fair number from further away.  Some of our guests stop here on the way North from South Florida or vice versa.  We have had a lot of guests from Europe as well.  The Springs and rivers, as well as cave diving opportunities, seem to attract people to this area.

 

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

Doubled the occupancy!  Actually, when we bought the inn we decided to upgrade the bedding to make it a little more luxurious.  We have down pillows and featherbeds and high-thread count sheets.  We added lots of amenities to the rooms and offer beer and wine to guests.  We expanded the gift shop portion of the inn and feature a contest every year for guests to take a Grady House bag, which we give them, and take a photo of themselves with the bag.  If they win the contest, they get a free weekend.

 

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

When we first bought the inn, I felt a little overwhelmed.  It took a few months but, with time management and experience, I got much better at it.

Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?

Ways to improve customer service is an ongoing lesson.

Q: What motto do you live by?

We want our guests to feel relaxed and comfortable.  Our only rule is to make yourselves at home.

 

aQ: What is unique about your inn?

The location near the springs and rivers, the Craftsman style of architecture and the fact that our rooms are large.  Three have a sitting room besides the bedroom and one has a large bathroom with a garden tub.  We fell in love with the sizes of the rooms and the large garden which is always a surprise to guests.

 

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

Meaning, what would I do differently?  If I had a time machine and knew how the market was going to change, I might have made some different real estate and investment decisions, but we don’t get the benefit of hindsight, do we?

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

I like to spend time with our friends.  We also love to travel and, at least once a year, close the inn and travel somewhere exciting.

Q: Any little known facts about your lives?

This is my third career.  I was in retailing as a buyer and manager then went to law school when I was 31.  I met my husband, also a lawyer, at a deposition in Georgetown.  We were married in 1996 and practiced law in Miami and Fort Lauderdale.  I talked him into buying a bed and breakfast but he continued to practice in Fort Lauderdale for 5 years – commuting home on the weekends.  Then, 3 years ago, he began practicing in Jacksonville.  He still commuted home on the weekends but this time the commute was shorter.

 

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

Lots of stories.  Lots of interesting guests.  Lots of repeats that have become like friends.  That is what makes this job so fun and unique!

 

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

Make sure you take time off for yourselves.  Some bed and breakfast owners in Gainesville gave us that advice the first month we were open.  This business can become all-consuming.  Taking a vacation is revitalizing and brings you back sharp and fresh and happy to be home.a

 

 

 

Upcoming Tradeshows & Conferences April-July, 2015

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MAINE RESTAURANT & LODGING EXPO

aDates: Wednesday, April 1

Website: http://www.maineinns.com/

Where:a
Holiday Inn By the Bay
88 Spring Street
Portland, Maine 04101
207-775-2311

Conference Location:
Cumberland County Civic Center
1 Civic Center Square
Portland, Maine 04101
207-874-2842

 Bed & Breakfast Association of Alaska Annual Meeting

aDates: Tuesday, April 17th through Wednesday, April 18th

Website: http://www.alaskabba.com/

Where:
Near Palmer

Idaho Conference on Recreation & Tourism

aDates: Tuesday, May 5th through Thursday, May 7th

Website: http://commerce.idaho.gov/tourism-resources/tourism-industry-development/conferences-trade-shows-and-workshops

Where:a
The Riverside Hotel
2900 E Chinden Blvd
Boise, ID 83714
800-733-5466

Innkeeping Story – Brampton Bed & Breakfast Inn

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aDanielle and Michael Hanscom in Chestertown, Maryland own the historic plantation named the Brampton Bed and Breakfast Inn. Danielle shared great inn keeping tips as she spoke about the definite ideas one needs to establish to own a bed and breakfast. Many changes have occurred in the industry since they began their long lasting business and their perfectly timeless inn has created lasting memories for each guest.

Q: How long have you been in business?

Twenty seven years. It was a private residence when we bought it. We started our bed and breakfast with two rooms. Now, we have thirteen rooms.

Q: Why did you decide to go into innkeeping?

We were living in San Francisco and as I am Swiss, I needed to be closer to Europe. We had a one and half year old child and a teenager and started looking around on the east coast. My in-laws were still alive and living outside of Washington DC. We were looking around the area they were though we didn’t want to be in the big city. We stayed in a bed and breakfast for the first time while visiting their area and decided we wanted to run a bed and breakfast. The one we stayed had small rooms. My husband said, “Wherever we do, we are not going to have a house with small rooms.” He found the Brampton house that we turned into a bed and breakfast and the rooms are huge.

Q: What is your signature breakfast?

aWe do seasonal items. Right now, we have caramelized onions, rosemary and smoked gouda. We always have choices from a savory to a sweet breakfast. We always have eggs on our menu which allows our guests to tell us how to prepare their eggs. We have somewhat of an a-la-carte breakfast with fruits, granola, greek yogurt, oatmeal and more. We have a staff which prepares their breakfasts. Also, I am part of Eight Broads in the Kitchen and we have a cook book on the market.

Q: Where are the majority of your guests from?

Many guests come in from around the big areas of Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington DC. Also, people come in from northern Virginia.

Internationally we have people come from the United Kingdom, Iceland, Germany, and Switzerland.

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

aA killer website! Investment in wonderful photography. We have great photography done by Jumping Rocks Photography on our website.

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

It is a 24/7 business. It is a challenge to find time for yourself and your family. We have four children. We recruited all our children to help in the business. I would say that we had a lot of “teenage labor” with our children. At this point, our children range in age from 23 to 43. Our oldest child has joined us in the business.

Q: Biggest lesson learned in the industry?

Going for quality over fancy in the rooms. There is a difference between quality and fancy. Good materials, not the flashy ones. Nice, solid beds and good, quality mattresses. Not necessarily the biggest pillow top mattress on the bed .

This is an old plantation house. We directed some of our decor to this style but we keep the surfaces cleaned off, no knick knacks, so guests have a place to put their things.

Q: What motto do you live by?

Be kind to people. I have something on my refrigerator that says, “Be Kind to Unkind People, They Need It The Most.”

Q: What is unique about your inn?

The plantation house was built beginning in 1830 and ended in 1860. Different parts of the place were built on during those years. It is on the historic national registry. Almost everything is original except the bathrooms. Not much has been altered in our place. Anything we do with the house, we need to get permission. The house has the walnut doors which are very heavy. It has walnut window frames with the original glass. The floors are all original.a

All the rooms have fireplaces. Eleven of the rooms have wood burning fireplaces. We prepare the wood in the fireplace for our guests. We have decorated in the plantation home style.

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

We didn’t probably choose the best location, business wise. Chestertown is a gorgeous little working town but it is not like a big tourist town. We have to get our name out there to create this place as a destination for people to come to us. When we started in 1987 there were no websites. Years ago people had to look for us in guide books or the Washington Post.

In the 90’s we got the website and reservation system when they were made available. Now, we have White Stone Marketing which helps us with our website and our marketing.

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

We like to visit our grandchildren in California. I get together with my group of friends in Eight Broads in the Kitchen. The way it started out was Kathryn White and Debbie Mosimann were on a road trip together and thought wouldn’t it be great to have a food blog. Several others including myself were asked to join them. We get together and go on vacation once a year to discuss our business. We have gone to the south of France, Santa Fe, and more. It is a great support group. I, also like to read and I like to garden.

Q: Any little known facts about your town?

Chestertown has the tenth oldest college in the country. It is the only one George Washington gave his name to it. It has the second largest collections of restored 18th century homes. It is a gorgeous town. At one time, Chestertown was the biggest port in Baltimore.

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

We had a dog named Molly as a brides maid which had a really pretty hat. We have many guests who come here to propose marriage. We had a man who wanted to have the ring come on a muffin at breakfast time. We were prepared for him and he didn’t show up for breakfast. Later, he called and told us that he lost his nerve and asked her yesterday. He couldn’t wait anymore. We will have a guest who can not eat many different kinds of foods and certain ingredients.

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

Invest in great photography and a good website. Look after your guests. Be as gracious, accommodating and welcoming as you can possible be to them. Be available by phone to your guests.a

Did You Know? 

In Chestertown, Washington College was founded in 1782. George Washington not only gave fifty guineas to start the college but it is the one college he gave permission to use his name. In 1789, he accepted an honorary degree from the college which was the same year, he became president of the United States.

Throughout the years, Washington College had its share of ups and downs. In the early years, tuition was known to be paid in bushels of oysters and other commodities. Citizens gave more than double of the five thousand pounds asked for by the state to grant a college charter. The college suffered through two fires which occurred in 1827 and in 1916.

Today, the college with its waterfront campus on the Chester River has new buildings. Renovations have been done on older buildings. George Washington is considered the patron so the core values are ones that he exemplified such as leadership, moral courage, determination, integrity and more.

 

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