Catherine and I joined other inn sitters representing The Interim Innkeepers Network at the Midwest States’ Bed and Breakfast Conference in Quincy, Illinois. I was the lone male in the group. The first night, we all had dinner together and I was hemmed in a large booth by the women. Some innkeeper stopped to comment on “my harem.” We had a good laugh, but trust me, those women wouldn’t take any guff from me, let alone any other man.
Seriously, the conference was excellent. The educational program was very informative. Bed and Breakfasts have gone far beyond just planting a sign in front of your house. Inn keepers work hard to create a memorable experience for their customer that differentiates them from the motel with the free breakfast buffet. They deal with the ever changing challenges of maintaining an up-to-date website, of optimizing their on-line reservation system, of making the most of third party reservation websites, of getting favorable reviews, the list is endless.
From our point of view, we wanted innkeepers to realize that being able to get away is a necessary cost of doing business. They cannot afford burnout. Catherine and I have stayed at absolutely beautiful inns with excellent breakfasts – all the amenities, but the inn keepers were “worn out”. It’s the difference between a “ho-hum” stay and a great experience.