Posts Tagged ‘aspiring workshop’

How an Aspiring Innkeeper Achieved Her Dream of Owning a Michigan B&B

October 9th, 2014 by linda

By Christine Shull, Owner and Innkeeper
The Painted Turtle Inn, St. Joseph

My innkeeping journey began back in 2000 when my (now) husband took me to a B&B near the Leelanau Peninsula.  We spent the weekend wine tasting and enjoying the area – and the B&B.  I was hooked!  I grew up in a family-owned business and worked in many aspects of it for years.  After a stint in corporate America, I knew owning my own business was for me.  After staying at that first B&B, I set my sights on becoming an innkeeper one day.

The Shull Family: Christine, Joel and their children.

The Shull Family today:
Christine, Joel and their children.

Fast-forward 9 years, many B&B stays and two kids later – it was time to get the show on the road and follow my dream.

It was the worst time to buy or open a business.  The economy was in a nosedive and everyone was scrambling.  But I was determined.  We decided St. Joseph was the place for us and started looking for suitable properties.  A B&B was for sale.  Of course all the banks said no, but I persevered.  I found the Lake to Lake B&B Association and immediately joined as an aspiring member.  Back then they didn’t even have the aspiring workshop as they do now, but I went to the conference and was welcomed with open arms.  I met some wonderful innkeepers.  I took notes and my brain swirled for days with all the things I had never considered and new ideas that propelled me to continue my journey.

Painted Turtle thank you noteIn 2010, the banks still said no, but again I attended the conference.  Met some new people; reminisced with some I already knew.  Made contacts and networked with seasoned innkeepers who are always willing to offer advice and support to help get you through many of the challenges this occupation throws at you.  Different seminar topics sprouted more ideas and propelled me to keep following my dream. I have attended every year since – and every year there are new people to meet and new ideas to be had.  Presenters and topics change every year to keep things fresh and interesting.  I never leave a presentation without learning something or gleaning a new perspective.

The Shulls opened The Painted Turtle Inn in late spring, 2013.

The Shulls opened The Painted Turtle Inn in late spring, 2013.

In 2013, my dream finally came to fruition and The Painted Turtle Inn opened just in time for the summer season.  Because of everything I learned from the conferences, combined with my own ideas of what MY B&B would be, we were successful from day one.  I had planned for so many details that surely would have been missed without the knowledge I gained from all those willing to share at the conferences.

This yearly meeting is a chance to interact with others in your same profession, which promotes great comraderie and can improve not only your business, but your outlook on your chosen life style as well.  No matter how long you have been in the business, you can always learn something new. And there is nowhere better to do that than the Lake to Lake Conference!

If you’d like to explore your dream, come join me.
There’s still time to register.
Just click on the image below for complete information
about the Workshop and the 27th Annual Conference.

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Dream of Being an Innkeeper? Follow Your Dream!

September 11th, 2014 by linda

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If you dream of being an innkeeper someday and wonder how to learn the business from the ground up, the 3rd Annual Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop is the answer to making your Grand Aspirations a reality. In the real world you don’t get do-overs, so rise to the occasion with practical knowledge, armed with facts. This full-day event — your chance to get it right from the start — opens Michigan’s only Innkeeping Conference, presented annually over the next two days by the Michigan Lake to Lake Bed & Breakfast Association.

Grand Aspirations
3rd Annual Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop
Sunday, October 26 from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
In the Conference Center of the Airport Hilton Inn
Grand Rapids

Includes lunch with veteran innkeepers and
an exclusive invitation to “Sunday Inn the Gardens,”
a mentoring and networking dinner that’s not to be missed!

Morning sessions will arm you with a profile of the industry, its lifestyle and its realities. Who are innkeepers? What are their characteristics? Are all B&Bs the same or are they distinct in type and style? What will you use as a model for yours?

The workshop is presented by innkeeper-training professional Carol Edmondson, "Innkeeping Specialists," assisted by professional member innkeepers.

The workshop is presented by innkeeper-training professional Carol Edmondson, “Innkeeping Specialists,” assisted by professional member innkeepers.

You’ll get sound information to help you make the right decision on whether to start your B&B from scratch or buy one that already exists. You’ll consider requirements for space, signage, zoning, breakfasts, baths, common areas and parking, for the number of rooms necessary to make your inn a success and for knowing when and if to expand. You’ll discover best practices in working with local authorities to get your business and licensing approved with a minimum of headache.

The issue of financing weighs on all aspiring innkeepers. The sessions will cover how to create simple business plans that lenders will recognize and appreciate, how commercial lending really works, how to understand appraisals and where to get money. Success in all of these rests on creating the right team of “partners” who will contribute to your success throughout your innkeeping career — your accountants, attorneys, investors, appraisers, lenders, associations and consultants.

After a lunch during which veteran “mentors” will answer questions and share their own “innsider” tips, working innkeepers will form interactive panels to discuss three aspects of successful innkeeping: business, rooms and food. One group of panelists will discuss their experiences with room pricing and reservations, partnering with other businesses and managing expenses to ensure profitability. Another will address the guest experience including remodeling and renovations, expected and desired guest amenities and how to best utilize common areas. A third panel will talk about breakfasts — that other “B” in the “B&B” equation. You’ll learn about food quality and local sourcing, how to scale your menu to your guests and how to create a menu that reflects your own unique style.

The Aspiring Innkeeper Workshop is your ticket
to making your Grand Aspirations a reality.

$90 for one attendee
$160 for two attendees registering as partners/spouses ($20 savings)

Click here for the workshop schedule. 

Click the image below for complete Workshop & Conference details and info on “Sunday Inn the Gardens.”
Scroll to the bottom of the conference page for registration forms.

follow your dreams

(Early-bird conference discount rates end October 5)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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