Thursday, 16 February 2017

Business in the off Season at a Bed & Breakfast

We're back in business at Spoiled Rotten.  The phone has started to ring again;  I stared at it while a funny noise came out and suddenly I realized, I was receiving a call, for business, no less!  Until Valentine's Day, it is the quiet season for most of the B&Bs in Canada and I'm pretty sure I have seen  tumbleweeds rolling around in my living room and families of dust bunnies having potlucks under the beds. Wait, that last reference doesn't relate to the lack of business,  just that I need to clean better.  "Jury will disregard that last statement".  

I ended last season with the busiest October ever.  I traveled figuring who travels to Ottawa in November?  I knew it would be quiet because two years earlier, when I first opened the doors, I only had 3 guests in November but I had only been open a couple of months.  I've always assumed every November would be the same.  Google analytics proved me wrong, Very Wrong, HORRIBLY WRONG!!  My "quiet" month generated 1200 hits in November.  OMG!!!!! I will never travel again at that time. 

Christmas was surprisingly and blissfully quiet and I have really really really enjoyed the silence and done two months of paperwork, month-ends, year-ends and marketing.   For the longest time, I lived on high alert that the phone would ring, and  guest will say they are just pulling in the driveway.   Except for the odd booking at New Years and the Romance packages, I have now relaxed into it.  I have become so relaxed that I fear the worst... the phone will ring and I will have a disaster in my house and need to do tornado cleaning.  

Things are getting done around the house; cleaning, organizing, some painting.  I did rent out my romance suite to a man in transition and he was the perfect house guest but never again will I tie up that room for a longer rental.    Having someone stay longer in the house means I can no longer rent the entire house.  Having someone in the high end Romance rooms means all the high rollers will no longer have Romance or a private ensuite soaker tub at their disposal. A lesson well learned.   

It's interesting what you discover about yourself when you haven't lived with anyone for 6 years and suddenly, there they are...parked behind you in the morning so you can't sneak away to the gym, (or is that a pro?) parked in front of the tv when you are used to have your favorite shows on in the background, talking when you are used to working alone.  I had no idea how much I took my privacy and solitude for granted until it was taken away.  The rental was such a blessing and even more so that it came to an end.  

February, being my month for lovers, sent me some of the best ever guests.  You know you've won pay dirt when the 5 star reviews start coming in before they have even left.  That's when things get comical and the stoopid stuff starts to happen; you know, you forget to give them silverware or press start for the coffee but hey, doesn't matter.  They already sent in the review and I can rest on my laurels.  

March might be another quiet month before the season blows up.  I did see what Ottawa is doing for the Red Bull Crashed Ice raceway and it's going to be spectacular, altho it's hard to imagine now.  

This is the construction of Red Bull off the famous Chateau Laurier.

 Now with that said, I sure hope families get off their duffs to make their bookings and come to Ottawa for Winterlude before it's over with Feb 20th.  You're late to our birthday party of 150 years...ok, not technically late but we celebrate for the entire year!  Come to Ottawa to get Spoiled Rotten. 

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