What's it all about?

This blog is one Innkeepers opinion. Over time I'll try to explore the differences between a B&B and a hotel/motel/resort as well as differences among B&Bs. Why we do what we do and what the trade-offs are.
You can agree, disagree or just sit back and enjoy my ramblings. If you have questions or opinions of your own, let me know and I'll attempt to give a fair and impartial reply - I may even address the topic in another blog.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Pace's Ponderings - Fall

Woof Woof!
  Me again, Pace'! My master is in MN, visiting his grandson Matty.  You'll remember him from my last posting.  Well he is getting that 2nd cochlear implant this Thursday (9/20) and Don's there to cheer him on and lend some support to Jeff (Matty's dad).  We pray that all will go well - he's in the hands of one of the best surgeons doing this work (and it shows in his bedside manner, I'm told).

  But it's Fall in MN and Don has traveled up to Lake Superior's North Shore to take in the early fall colors.  They're not prime just yet but the North Shore is a great place to visit Spring, Summer or Fall (not Winter so much)!  Fall is a great time to visit most places, it seems.

  In MN, as in Colorado (where my home, the Old Town GuestHouse, is) it's 'Shoulder season', the time between peak Summer (or Tourist) season and the much slower Winter (aka Off) season.
  What's so good about Shoulder seasons, you ask?
     - The weather is still wonderful - often better than during the hot summer months (or the cold winter months if you're not a skier.)
     - No (few) families with children - they have returned to home and school.
     - Uncrowded attractions - most remain open limiting hours as summer staff dries up, but open at the best times of the day.
     - Room rates take the first dip - at least in the B&B/Small hotel area.  Occupancies are down and rooms need to be filled while the guests are still coming.  Look for specials, especially mid-week.
     - The locally grown seasonal produce is outstanding - everything is fresh from the farm.  Farmers markets are in full swing and the harvest is always bountiful.  In Colorado look for Peaches and Apples from Palisade, CO, Melons from Rocky Ford, and Hatch chilis fresh roasted while you wait.  At our Inn, and most other local B&Bs we buy local and use the freshest produce we can find - you can tell by the taste.

  OK, I'm starting to get hungry and they don't even feed me table scraps.  Come and visit, take me for a walk in the woods, bring a jacket but layer up because it can still be rather warm in the sunshine - and there's plenty of that.

Gotta go and 'water the plants' - wink, wink


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pace's Ponderings - Service Animals

Woof Woof:  Hi, I'm Pace',
Along The Crag's trail

   That's me hiking The Crag's trail up the Western side of Pikes Peak with Matty (Shirley & Don's grandson).  It was a couple of summers ago and Matty has grown a bunch since then.  He's got a cochlear implant now and soon to get the 2nd one.  He signs (ASL), reads lips, talks all the time, hears almost perfectly and is, in every way, a typical 5 year old.  Disability?  What disability!?!  We should all have the abilities this kid has.

  Anyway, speaking of disabilities.  We had our first Service Animal stay with us last week-end.  A cute (well, not as cute as me) puppy name Penny.  It was a challenge for an old dog like me but I handled it pretty well if I do say so myself.  You see, Service Animals are the only exception to the GuestHouse's no pet policy.  By statute, if your place is handicap accessible you have to accommodate Service Animals as well.  The wording is loose and there's room for interpretation but Don & Shirley believe it would be unkind (and inhospitable) to turn away a person who needs, and benefits from, a highly trained Service Animal.  Penny was a great guest, never barked and didn't soil the room.  I guess I'm OK with Service Animals after all.

  Well, other than that, and some guests with food allergies (gluten and dairy), it's been a quiet time at the GuestHouse.  The summer has returned to normal, warm days, cool nights and the occasional afternoon shower - I'm lovin' it!

Woof!  Bye For Now!


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pace's Ponderings - pet policies

Woof, Woof,
  Translation: Hi, I'm Pace'
Me in Vermijo Park.
  Let me introduce myself!  I'm the house dog here at the Old Town GuestHouse.  House dogs don't have much to do other than lay around and look cute (I'm good at that) so my friend Kim Abels suggested I write a BLOG about things that go on here at the GuestHouse.
  So I was sitting there in my favorite park (just down the street), overlooking Fountain Creek and the new Midland Trail extension, wondering what to say.   HMMMMMM!

  OK, how about pet policies!?

  I'm a pet - duh, and Don and Shirley (well actually EVERYONE) loves me.  Maybe you have a pet too!  I hope you do and I hope you love your pet as much as I'm loved.  As it turns out, Don & Shirley don't take me on their trips, I'm left behind to do my house dog thing, just work, work, work.  But the truth is I like it that way.  I'm safe at home, plenty of food, plenty of company, I sleep in my own bed, take walks in my favorite park and avoid the stress of long car rides or, worse still, being caged up in an airplane going someplace I don't care much to see anyway.

  But maybe you like/need/want to take your pet along.  There are, I'm sure, any number of valid reasons why you might do this.  What you'll face at most hotels, almost all B&B's and even at Aunt Martha's house are 'policies'.  Google "pet policies for hotels" and you'll see an endless list of links to an endless array of 'policies'.  Large hotels are the most lenient (they can reserve a couple of rooms at the far end of the hall for guests with pets).  Cheaper hotels/motels are pretty lenient too, you can imagine why.  Small upscale Inns and B&B's have the toughest 'policies'.  Here's why:

  Allergies:  Pet dander is one of the most common allergies and one of the hardest to control and clean up.

  'Accidents':  Most Inns are not carpeted and furnished with industrial products - often the furniture is antique or 'one-of-a-kind', even throw rugs may have been hand picked to match the room's decor.

  Ambiance:  The other guests expect a quiet, relaxing, perhaps romantic experience.

  House Pets:  Yes, I'm the bad guy here.  I was here first.  This is my home, I'm trained to behave according to the rules.  I have a place to go if I behave improperly.

  The GuestHouse does not allow pets but they will make reservations at a near-by kennel (of which I have approved).  Inns that do allow pets often provide on-site kenneling of some sort (check first) and most always charge a 'clean up' fee and possibly a rather large damage deposit (refundable, all or in part).

  Remember:  Just because an Inn is not "pet-friendly" doesn't mean the owners are pet unfriendly.

  Well I hope this helps!

  Bye for now!  "Woof"