When you consider buying an Inn, you should start with the vision for a viable business. Why? Because from day one there is an occupancy, likely advanced deposits and an established milieu. Of course, you are going to change that ambiance, starting with décor in the public rooms, and slowly evaluating each guest room with today’s traveler in mind. It is a process to make the Inn yours, which for successful Innkeepers is a process of constant evolution reevaluation.
While the search for a viable Inn (or an opportunity enriched property!) is important, what’s most important is what you consider providing once the guest has arrived. You’ve heard us use these words before: exceptional service, gracious hospitality, a generosity of spirit. What do they mean to you? As an Innkeeper, you truly are an actor on a stage and while you set that stage in large part before guests arrive, once they pass through your door, many with great expectations, it is your ultimate job to be exceptional in your presentation; to welcome them and make them comfortable. After those boxes are ticked, you are free to offer a special experience that will make them return guests.
It is in service that we excel within the hospitality industry and what sets us apart from home stay accommodations, flagged properties and other hospitality models. Often the “others” charge half the price that we charge for the “Inn experience.” Many young, double income couples seek privacy and unique experiences during their travels. What they do not likely crave is worn antiques, cold breakfast and inflexible Innkeepers. What will lure them to your Inn is your genuine respect (warmth and authenticity), your knowledge of the Inn and surrounding area, and the clean, uncluttered rooms that you so perfectly presented to them on your website.
In the early 1980s, mom-and-pop accommodations were the standard, in the 1990s small Inns emerged, stuffed with antiques left behind when Grandma died. Breakfast was served casually, and home prepared. Today, we have evolved. Our edge is impeccable service, attention to the details, luxurious linens on uncluttered beds, and modern technology where appropriate. Guests should not mind paying our room rates; as long as we stay on the cutting edge in all aspects of service, create unique and shareable experiences in a comfortable and clean environment, our guests will return time and time again. What keeps our industry truly enjoyable and profitable is our ability to accept change and grow with it.
Until Next Time,