Ever wonder draws a couple or individual to innkeeping? Well, I can tell you what attracted Rosemary & David Brown to bed and breakfast innkeeping. We had a large home with private entrances to bedrooms built around a central courtyard like historic Spanish haciendas. We are located on 16 acres in the foothills of the Rincon Mountains next to Saguaro National Park East in Tucson, Arizona. Since our children were grown, the house was way too big for just the two of us, yet we had built it ourselves and wanted to remain there. Having just retired from school teaching for many years and ready for a new experience, we were ready to try a new career. With the help of family and local adobe brick masons, my husband had built most of our home in the 1970’s so had the experience to remodel guestroom spaces. With her love of interior décor, Rosemary had the interest and experience to redesign the guest bedrooms with guest comfort and convenience in mind.
Having been teachers, we were both used to working independently and planning carefully. What we had yet to find out was whether two managers who had run their own classrooms over many years could work cooperatively together without killing each other. After a year of trial and error, we found we could share some activities such as, making reservations, checking in guests, breakfast preparation, visiting with guests at breakfast, acting as concierge, while other tasks were better handled by one or the other of us. David enjoys working with accounting and banking and does most of the maintenance work while Rosemary is the great list-maker/organizer/manager and is the only one interested in working on the computer, advertising, and decorating. Since David has a great deal of historical knowledge of the old southwest, he also provides background information to guests about the Tucson area.
Adaptability is also an essential characteristic for innkeepers as the World Wide Web and other advertising venues are constantly changing. Successful innkeepers must constantly keep abreast of new innovations and technology.
What we lacked was small business experience in the area of innkeeping. This we got by joining the Arizona Association of Bed & Breakfast Inns and talking with other innkeepers in our area. The Professional Association of Innkeepers International is also a great resource of those interested in becoming innkeepers.