A Wintry Season

Snow crunches beneath my snowshoes, the sun glistens and sparkles, it is freezing outside! Chocolat shakes herself, her tail between her legs. She is disgusted by the idea of roaming through the woods. I put her coat over her, I whistle for her and off we go! You know that when I am at home, I will not forgo this walk; this quiet time, this aloneness that will allow me to squander my time on reveries that have no place once I am ready to embrace my daily tasks.

My thoughts wander off to PAII, Jay’s resigning and our appreciation of a job well done! We (Bill and I, but mostly Bill) have seen many leadership positions come and go in PAII. From Mary Davies, and the book on “So You Want To Be an Innkeeper” with JoAnn Bell and Pat Hardy co-authoring, it was an excitement, a recognition of this emerging B&B grouping. They knew as an industry it needed a helm, an umbrella separate from the larger hospitality industry.

When Pat and JoAnn founded PAII, it was an inspiration, unification to gather and bring to the conferences; education, vendors and a socialization forum among like-minded, kindred spirits. But the leadership in PAII ebbed and flowed, did it ever really claim that it was a profitable organization?

I heard lots of talks, lots of new ideas to make PAII financially solvent, the regional meetings the large conferences all brought money into the till, and paid debt in arrears… but really profitable?

What research did DIA perform before embarking on their purchase of PAII? PAII was moving forward, under Jay’s leadership it was making the needed connection so vital to this industry’s success. But profitable? The research group hired by PAII to assess its value came up with this reality: PAII was not saleable. But PAII is the most valuable organization for small and large B&B/Inns. It keeps this industry current, vital, educated, connected to a greater network of banking, marketing, reservations system, insurance AND exposes the B&B/Inn owners to vendors from linens to nuts.

Now our esteemed leader, Jay Karen, will lead Select Registry. Congratulation Jay! We wish you all the best… but don’t ever forget that the majority of B&B’s are small, they are not Select Registry. And it was PAII’s leadership that kept them growing, revitalizing and shaping this segment of the industry as well the greater properties, to be current, to be vital small businesses! Innkeeping is a unique opportunity to escape corporate America, to give back, to be your own boss and create your own milieu.

I have always appreciated this great country for this opportunity: to have a dream and follow it!

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