The Inn Buyer’s Mantra: Location, Location, Location

Location, Location, Location.  We are often heard punctuating this mantra at our Seminar for Future Innkeepers.  Finding the “right” location is a critical aspect of what makes an Inn and its keeper(s) successful.  Throughout our 30+ years in this industry, we have encountered many Innkeepers who have done well for themselves because of the way that they use a given location, in concert with their strengths and interests, to create an environment that meets the needs and desires of guests.

Every location is unique, as is every Innkeeper.  However, as you move from a Bed and Breakfast in Stowe, VT, to a full service Inn in Lower Waterford, VT, expectations and requirements of an Innkeeper will change dramatically.  We have chosen to highlight three outstanding Inns that exemplify the importance of location in the search for an Inn.

Twilight Photo of Grounds at Stowe VT Inn for Sale

This Vermont Bed and Breakfast for sale sits on 9+ acres in the highly active, year round destination of Stowe, Vermont. Stowe is a quintessential Vermont village, but with high-end spas and some of the best skiing and hiking in the northeast.  Because of this, it is not necessary for Innkeepers to market STOWE. That job is already done for them.  Instead, they focus on appealing to guests who have already identified Stowe as their destination.  The Inn’s designation as the #1 Bed and Breakfast in Stowe by TripAdvisor is a good sign that current owners understand this.

Photo of Jackson, NH, Inn for Sale

Jackson, New Hampshire, is a lesser known destination location.  However, to those who know Jackson, it is a hidden gem worth keeping that way.  This 25 guestroom, full service Inn sits on a hilltop overlooking the village.  The Inn focuses on marketing its destination location and the Inn itself as a prime lodging option within the destination.  Fortunately, because of its high visibility, the Inn does a fine job of attracting guests to the area and the Inn, as evidenced by sales in 2015 of over $1,200,000.00 and cash flow of over $400,000.00.

Twilight-at-Vermont-NE-Kingdom-Inn

Lower Waterford, Vermont, is located in the Northeast Kingdom, an ecotourism destination, around 10 miles southeast of St. Johnsbury.  Because of its location, current Innkeepers at this luxury Northeast Kingdom Inn for sale are charged with two very important tasks.  For one, they must market the Inn as the destination, in addition to marketing the various area attractions.  Innkeepers here play a critical role in the Inn and their personalities, in many ways, define the Inn experience for guests. Thanks to the Innkeepers’ outstanding service and marketing acumen, with the help of a first rate marketing group, the Inn is a recipient of myriad awards and accolades. In 2015 the Inn enjoyed an annual occupancy rate of 41%, an average daily rate of $286.00 and sales of over $1,100,000.00.

These three mellifluous variations on location clearly illustrate that success is not dependent on buying an Inn in a proven destination location and riding that wave (we do not encourage that!).  As you build your Inn model for acquisition, keep in mind how location will directly influence your role as an Innkeeper.  Can you, as an Innkeeper, be the heart of the destination or would you prefer a low touch side of service?  Think on it and let us know your final determination.  We are, of course, here to help you make the right choice, which isn’t always the clear choice.

Happy Spring,

Eben Viens

Inn Partners

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