My first marketing grant from The Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau
A tour of the Consol Energy Center which included Old Man Winter dropping inches of snow in a short time frame. Took over 5 hour to to get home from Pittsburgh. I was white knuckled when I stopped at Chef Robinson’s in Jeannette to ask to use the ladies room. Even though the restaurant was closed they not only let me in but made me dinner. I am forever grateful.
I paid more for snow removal for two parking places and the sidewalks in front of the B&B than I spent in 6 years. Yes there was a lot of snow…but the cost was way past my budget. Can you imagine the cost if I would have had professional snow removal from the long drive-way, the parking lot in back and spaces in front of the motel. (I now own a 30 inch snow blower with power steering)
Next I got caught in a hail storm on my way to Greensburg! The Soupkid van had dimples and dents-so off to the body shop for a huge make-over paid for by insurance. I was scared as the golf ball sometime baseball size hail beat against my van. I felt like popcorn inside a micro-wave. If I thought I had van damage it was nothing compared to the roof damage on the B&B. Hail beat the roof up and the roof lost the battle. Half of my two car garage is filled with shingles as well as other roofing materials. The replacement must be complete by April 15, 2012. If you are wondering why the roof hasn’t been replaced as of now-well I am happy to say the B&B was to busy week days for me to close for 5 days so the work could be completed. Can you imagine guests trying to enjoy breakfast or a relaxing more with all the noise above them. I convinced my insurance company to let me postpone the work (on the word of my contractor who said it wouldn’t be a problem). MY ROOFER IS LOCAL! No storm chasers on my roof.
I enjoyed a busy year…along with business booming, there was never ending laundry, ironing, cleaning, cooking and more of the same. As a single innkeeper I found myself working long hours (nothing new) needing additional help with serving breakfast and housekeeping. Good help is not easy to find in Ligonier and I didn’t like the position I found myself in…paying more and getting less. Sometimes there were four of us working and still couldn’t keep up-well the help couldn’t keep up. After a long hard look as well as a lot of thought of my business I have had to make some changes. Starting January 2nd, 2012 Full breakfast will be served week-ends only…Continental breakfast will be available Sunday through Friday mornings with the exception of guests who have booked their 2012 accommodations in 2011. This was not an easy decision for me to make as I enjoy cooking breakfast and personally am not fond of continental breakfast. I will be able to handle breakfast on my own with out the added cost of help and or the help not showing up or not guest friendly.
Although I welcome small groups with many asking for discounts because they are filling up the B&B. In fact; the B&B fills up based on size, repeat guests and Ligonier being a destination. Just like a restaurant has a charge for parties of 8 or more, Campbell House will have a 10% surcharge for groups of 6 or more starting with the new year. Exception any groups who booked their 2012 reservations in 2011.
As I say good-bye to 2011, I look forward to a new year in which I am about to embark on my 19th year in business…I look forward to a growing business while taking in to consideration changing times and an older Innkeeper…that’s me.