Trade your booking calendar, lengthy to-do list and chef’s hat for a juicy summer read, roadmap and sun hat. A vacation, although seemingly impossible with your bustling schedule, can actually be a reality.
With the help of interim innkeepers vacations for harried bed & breakfast owners and managers are possible. For the past 12 years, Jim and Susan Bickelhaupt, through their company InnAssist have served as the relief staff for 32 different inns throughout the southeastern states, allowing dozens of overworked innkeepers to escape on much-needed getaways.
“We’ve been inn-goers for years, just as guests,” said Jim in a recent phone interview while he was enjoying a break from his full schedule of innsitting assignments. But it wasn’t until a long 15-month stay at a North Carolina inn where Jim established a semi-permanent residence, that he and Susan actually stepped into the interim-innkeeper role.
While working on a consulting job in Siler City, N.C., Jim set up residence at A Bed and Breakfast at Laurel Ridge for just over a year. Naturally developing a close relationship with the innkeepers, Jim often gave the couple occasional nights off or allowed them to sleep while he took over the baking of cookies or breakfast duties.