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Thread: Bed and Breakfast Questions?

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Default Bed and Breakfast Questions?

    I have some questions about Bed and Breakfasts for all you great people that host and visit them.
    This could be a multi-focused thread because my questions are specifically about Bed and Breakfasts, but maybe we can share some nice B&Bs in our areas of Alaska and what you like about them.

    My husband and I are considering starting a small B&B. For those of you that are experienced in doing something of this nature, I'd like to know your thoughts (pros and cons) on your experiences with managing a B&B.

    One of my Interior area favorite is:
    http://www.atasteofalaska.com/main-lodge/

    My all time Alaskan Bed and Breakfast/Lodge by far is:
    http://alpinecreeklodge.com/id16.html

    I have a favorite in Colorado and one in Oregon. I have one that I am looking at in Homer that I'd still like to try as well.

    I tried to do a search on this, but it came up with nothing and I felt like this was probably the most appropriate place for this kind of thread.
    I'll be looking forward to responses!
    COtoAK
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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    Sent PM........

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kingfisherktn View Post
    Sent PM........
    Hope you don't get lost! HAHHAHA!!!
    I'd charge you the pain-in-the-rear fee!!! That's called a Bed and Breakfast tourism tax!!!
    Lurker.

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    Moderator kingfisherktn's Avatar
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    I know it would cost me a lot, I'd probably never recover.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    That's something my wife and I have thought about doing off and on since we moved up here. I can give the perspective of someone who's stayed in various B&B's, had a former co-worker who ran one, and a possible future owner.

    First figure out if you plan to do it as your primary source of income, or suplimental income. Making at as a primary source of income is going to be pretty tough, nigh impossible unless you're indepently wealthy. The only way I can see making it pay in lodging is an upscale fly in fishing lodge, which takes alot of $ to get going, but is worth it.

    If it's suplimental income, will it be in your current house, will you add stand alone cabins, or add on to the current house?

    My perspective as a client, I want a nice clean place to stay. It doesn't need to be deluxe lodgings, but cheap or shoddy contruction or otherwise run down is a big turn off. Just put yourself in the shoes of the tourist, they spent alot of $ to come up here, their lodging should add to their experience. As to breakfast, maybe I'm picky but there is a big difference between store bought pastries and cereal and fresh home made breakfast. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but again you're providing a homey ambiance and the food should reflect that.

    Your best advertising is happy customers, that's why the nice clean rooms and fresh baked meal is well worth the added expense and effort it takes to prepare.

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    Member COtoAK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul H View Post
    That's something my wife and I have thought about doing off and on since we moved up here. I can give the perspective of someone who's stayed in various B&B's, had a former co-worker who ran one, and a possible future owner.

    First figure out if you plan to do it as your primary source of income, or suplimental income. Making at as a primary source of income is going to be pretty tough, nigh impossible unless you're indepently wealthy. The only way I can see making it pay in lodging is an upscale fly in fishing lodge, which takes alot of $ to get going, but is worth it.

    If it's suplimental income, will it be in your current house, will you add stand alone cabins, or add on to the current house?

    My perspective as a client, I want a nice clean place to stay. It doesn't need to be deluxe lodgings, but cheap or shoddy contruction or otherwise run down is a big turn off. Just put yourself in the shoes of the tourist, they spent alot of $ to come up here, their lodging should add to their experience. As to breakfast, maybe I'm picky but there is a big difference between store bought pastries and cereal and fresh home made breakfast. It doesn't have to be elaborate, but again you're providing a homey ambiance and the food should reflect that.

    Your best advertising is happy customers, that's why the nice clean rooms and fresh baked meal is well worth the added expense and effort it takes to prepare.
    I have been thinking about doing this for quite sometime now. We host a ton of people throughout the year and we have had a large spare room that's getting ready to be vacant (see you later, brother in law). We do have a guinea pig (my dad when he comes up for his ice trucking gig) that's going to give it a trial period so that will be a positive experience for us.

    This will be supplemental income for sure. We don't expect for it to be used too often and we can say no or block/black out the days whenever we need to.
    VBRO has a great website that blacks out days and dates. Here is one place that I have wanted to visit for years:
    http://www.vrbo.com/108588
    Lots of great ideas from this ad.

    We do have an area in our current house. There is additional space that we can complete if we so chose to do that. We have area that we can build extra cabins on, too.

    I agree with you on pastries in comparison to store bought or homemade items. I'd definitely do homemade items over Safeway donuts anyday. Tricky, though. I'd rather have real food with salt in the morning, but my husband would rather do something sweet in the morning with his coffee. We are going to have to find a happy median. My dad likes real breakfasts so we will see how it mulls over.

    For me... I'd also consider selling our place. Who knows. Maybe there is a better market for a B&B elsewhere. I am not sentimentally attached to our place.
    Lurker.

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    The wife and I are not B&B people, but thought we'd try it this year on our fishing trip. We stayed in a nice place north of Homer a ways. We had reservations for a specific room with lots of room and a nice view according to their web site; we paid cash in advance. When we got there our room had been changed (given to someone else) and we had a nice dinky room with a view of the stairs coming down from the parking lot. We were advised the "rules" were to not wear shoes on the carpet...nice carpet. There were two pages of rules posted in our room. There were more rules concerning using the TV. We were less than thrilled!

    We were up in the morning to go fishing. I had tea and a piece of banana bread...very good! and the wife had cold cereal and coffee. We had the cheap breakfast due to going fishing early. I think that was $10 each. While eating our guide called and our trip was put off until afternoon. We went to town to play tourist and then we got a call we would not be going fishing that day. We went back to the B&B and told them we were leaving and would not be using the room that night because the only reason we were there was for the fishing trip. They were kind enough to give us back most of our money for the second night.

    So, for what little we know, keep your word if you reserve a specific space. Be flexable about check in times. Keep the rules to a min. Have a clear refund policy, but be fair. Something fresh baked is great; we had fresh cookies in our room (2 I think) and the bb.

    Good luck!

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