Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Why did we sell our bed and breakfast?

Many people have asked me recently why we sold The Kingsleigh Inn. So I thought I would post something in my blog about why.

Contrary to popular belief, it wasn't because we were burnt out, or that we didn't care to do it any longer. We put the inn on the market so that we could plan on buying our next inn. We did what we planned to do with the business at the Kingsleigh and wanted to find an inn on the water, not just an inn with a water view like Kingsleigh's. Once an innkeeper, chances are are good there will be a 'next inn'!

Several months after the inn had been on the market, I was approached by one of the brokers with The Swan Agency Sotheby's International Realty to become involved in their Maine Lodging Brokerage division. Okay, so I thought that maybe I could do them both (and as much as I'm a 'go-getter', it was impossible with a near 100% occupancy). So the inn was busy and I became fully involved in brokerage, listings started coming on board and things became crazy for me! I became very involved in web marketing and advertising my listings. This is when I realized there would be no way I could do both innkeeping and lodging brokerage simultaneously. Sure, we could have hired an assistant innkeeper, but that would have meant that I'd have to delegate and trust someone else to do breakfast my way! And this just wasn't easy for me. And my husband, though extremely handy when it comes to fixing or building just about anything, would have been perfectly happy serving bacon, fried eggs and toast to our guests! Um, I don't think so! So, we decided simply to put the 'next inn' on the back burner. For now, I will use my creativity and internet expertise to help market inns and bed and breakfasts.

So, who knows when the title of Innkeeper will again follow my name? Stay tuned...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fog and Sun...Maine's Yin and Yang?


Just beautiful...fog is mysterious...then the sun burns it off just enough to give the water a bit of glimmer...I think I'd have to take up photography if I ever really have time...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Social Media and Innkeeping? Absolutely!



Facebook...Twitter...Youtube...Myspace...you've seen them or heard about them all. They were primarily used for personal networking, but not today. Professions of all sorts have jumped on the social media bandwagon, and it's important that innkeepers jump on, too.

If you're an innkeeper, you know how often guests want to hear your "story" of how you came to be an innkeeper. They all want to hear about your journey. They all suggest you should write a book, or a cookbook, don't they? Well, having a presence on Twitter gives them just that. It's your way of letting them know what you're up to, what your baking, what's on the menu for breakfast, what's happening in your town, upcoming events, etc. And you might say that it takes too much time. But look at it this way: your website is somewhat "static" (stays the same) and having a blog is "dynamic" (ever changing). If you don't have enough content to put into a blog, or won't commit to the time it takes to keep it fresh, at least join Twitter and post short 140 character "Tweets" to give your visitors food for thought! How can you not have time to sit at the computer while drinking your morning coffee and tweet "making Maine blueberry muffins this morning - picked them yesterday at the pick-your-own local farm"? It's a marketing no-brainer!

I've been on Twitter for just 2 months and am still learning. But there are so many Twitter tips out there to help. You just have to make the decision to commit to it to in order to benefit. Try this: Twitter for Dummies Then, download Tweetdeck, but I warn you, it can become addictive!

We'll really get into internet marketing in our next Get Innspired Innkeeping Seminar. Stay tuned.

I am danamoos on Twitter. Your comments are encouraged!

What's for dinner? Lobster is calling...

Just came back from Beal's Lobster Pier...paid $6.17/lb for 1 1/2 pound lobsters...not bad, considering Filet Mignon is $16/lb, Strip steaks around $12/lb, Salmon usually $10/lb, and just plain chicken up to $5/lb...you get my point...
We only bought four (well, quite often we'll buy eight so we have leftovers for lobster bisque, lobster rolls, Lobster Louis salad with avocado)! Okay, so I appreciate that I'm fortunate to live in this amazing state and can enjoy truly FRESH lobster pulled from the ocean, not the tank!


I think we'll simply enjoy them steamed with drawn butter (add a dash of sherry) along with a nice Caesar Salad and glass of Sauvignon Blanc...for me it doesn't get much better!

Lobster tidbit: each Maine lobsterman is allowed up to 800 traps

Saturday, April 25, 2009

I visited a few of my listings yesterday...

It was a beautiful day to take a ride down the coast (with the top down, of course) to visit a couple of my listings and take new exterior photos (sans snow). As I passed through each town along Route 1, signs of the summer season were everywhere! Red's Eats in Wiscasset was even open! Freeport was nicely bustling, people were out and about in Rockland and Camden...it was really great to see. Reminded me of why I moved to Maine 5 years back. There was just something in the air yesterday...maybe just spring...

This is the idyllic, grand, Victorian mansion turned 12 room B&B in Rockland, Maine. A beautiful, painted lady...



This is Captain Briggs House, a 7 room B&B in Freeport. A great, turn-key property in a great location just one block off busy Route 1, but close enough to walk to shops and restaurants. Fabulous owners quarters and reasonably priced to sell. There's been lots of interest...I don't anticipate it will remain on the market very long.


I arrived in Edgecomb at the Sunset Vista Cottages and sat on the rock wall in the sun for a few minutes, just enjoying the view and sunshine! This is one of those properties that has so many possibilities just waiting for the right buyer...22 acres with over 500 feet of water frontage on the Sheepscot River, just 2 miles from the charming town of Wiscasset! And it offers the buyer the possibility to subdivide. Could be a family compound. The buyer can add another 6 cottages to the site for a nice rental cottage business. In this buyer's market, it's certainly one to consider.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bad Maine Weather?...let's set things straight!

summer in Southwest Harbor...looking toward Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park...

seasmoke in November...

fog in April...

As a former innkeeper, one of the comments we heard absolutely constantly, without fail, was "how do you deal with the weather, particularly the winter?" And our natural reaction was this "well, we don't often have to deal with hurricanes (hello in particular to Floridians???), tornadoes (much of the southeast), earthquakes (hello, Californians?), mudslides (upper northwest??), huge temperature swings (um, earth to Denver???), enormous amounts of snow (shout out to Buffalo, Green Bay or anyone else around the Great Lakes area)...get my point? We have THE most beautiful summers with low humidity, clear skies, 75-85 degrees (dropping 15 degrees at night for great sleeping weather), we don't need air conditioning (believe me, I came from Washington DC, I know the need for A/C), constant breezes; beautiful, crisp autumn with an incredible foliage season; and yes, a bit of a longer winter, but contrary to popular belief, it's not mostly gray and snow really doesn't fall until about December. The snowfall is quite manageable, not a nuisance (and properly budgeted unlike DC) and sustains so many businesses relying on skiing, snowmobiling and ice fishing, to name a few; so springtime finally arrives sometime in April, brings us some rain and idyllic fog and we don't really green up until early May...it is so worth the wait...our weather offers change of seasons and something for everyone.

clear blue skies in October...

sunshine in February...

beautiful lush greenery in August...

Regardless of the season, the coast or inland Maine, the weather and our natural surroundings make for beautiful scenery. A photographer's paradise! Come see for yourself...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Atlantic Brewing Company buys rival company, Bar Harbor Brewing


The Bangor Daily News just announced that The Atlantic Brewing Company, which began 18 years ago, purchased Bar Harbor Brewing Company and expands its wonderful line of local, award winning brews. Atlantic Brewery also offers incredible BBQ at its Town Hill location - a natural combination...

Best of luck and much continued success!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Fabulous weekly rental in Bass Harbor, Maine



The season is upon us and I'm soon going to list a wonderful home in Bass Harbor for weekly summer rentals. This spacious 4 bedroom, 2 car garage home has a living room, dining room, eat-in kitchen and a wonderful enclosed cedar porch. The home is just up the street from the small working harbor with a town dock, a waterfront restaurant (Seafood Ketch), and plenty of lobster boats. The home offers a nice water view from a couple of the bedrooms, is situated on a quiet residential side street and sleeps 6-8. Just 20 minutes to the busy and popular Bar Harbor and Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Hiking, the Bass Harbor Lighthouse and several spots to sit on the rocks and enjoy the water are within a 5 minute drive (or some a short walk). Weekly rates vary in the $1,400-$2,600 range and will begin mid-June. I will post an availability calendar shortly. Please contact me for more details.


A summer vacation in the wonderful, quaint fishing village of Bass Harbor is idyllic Maine. Make your reservation now!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Decadent Chocolate Truffles...


How good does that sound? They are easy to make and look AND taste incredible! Here's how...

Heat 1 cup heavy cream in saucepan until it just boils. Pour over 16 ounces of chocolate chips (in a mixing bowl) and whisk slowly until thoroughly melted. Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla, 2 tablespoons of rum, brandy or cognac, and whisk again. Set in the refrigerator for an hour or so until firm enough to roll. When ready, roll in powdered sugar, cocoa, toasted coconut or chopped toasted nuts, be as creative as you'd like. Store in the fridge but serve them at room temperature. They're rich, silky and fantastic!

Pair them with a glass of Port or a
Late Harvest Zinfandel...

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Another Day, Another Sunrise...


Clearly I have a passion for photography. But with the incredible scenery we have in Maine, can you blame me? I just feel the need to post sunrises...they always amaze me...this one shows the sun illuminating a small sliver of water in the distance. One minute it was there, the next, gone...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

At-a-Glance - My Maine Inns and Bed and Breakfasts for Sale


$429,000 - $845,000
Guilford Bed and Breakfast, Guilford - 4 rooms, village location
Captain Briggs House, Freeport - 7 rooms, village location
Lakeshore Inn Bed and Breakfast, Rockland - 4 rooms, WATER VIEWS
Mountain Village Farm B&B, Kingfield near SKI Sugarloaf - 6 rooms, 7 acres
Sunset Vista Cottages, Edgecomb - 4 cabins and a 4BR single family home, WATER VIEWS, 21 acres

$1,150,000 - $1,795,000
Craignair Inn, Spruce Head - 21 rooms & restaurant, WATERFRONT, substantial income
1802 House Inn, Kennebunkport - 6 rooms, village/golf course location, substantial income
Lindenwood Inn, Southwest Harbor - 9 rooms, WATER VIEWS, village location, substantial income

$2,200,000 - $2,695,000
Inn on the Harbor, Stonington - 13 rooms, WATERFRONT, harbor/village location, substantial income
Berry Manor Inn, Rockland - 12 rooms, residential/village location, substantial income

Keep in mind that if your current financial situation or salary may not fully qualify you for a higher priced inn, if the list price is based on a fair gross multiple of income, the loan-to-value will be higher and the bank's risk lower - but you will need to come up with the downpayment. Contact me for more information.

Get INNspired Innkeeping Seminars for Rookies...

I had a conversation with an aspiring innkeeper a couple days ago about the details of our upcoming seminar and innkeeping in general. The course is a fantastic way to get your feet wet and really learn what you need to before you buy an inn. It's also a great way to network with other first time innkeepers or aspiring innkeepers, sharing concerns and ideas before purchasing as well as sharing stories by keeping in touch after buying a property. Being well prepared and having others to lean on is of great comfort when you enter into something entirely new. Quite often attendees will not necessarily know what, when or where they want to buy, and that's perfectly okay. We have clients who have attended seminars and have been looking for quite some time; and they'll know when the time is right for them or when they've found the right property.

What you'll take away from our experienced course contributors will better prepare you to look for the inn or bed and breakfast with an open mind but will suit your needs.

And always remember, innkeeping is about a lifestyle, an investment, a job and a home. How much emphasis you place on each is up to you; that's the beauty of it...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Sunrise and Sunset from the same spot...

This is sunrise...Greening Island, left, Sutton Island, middle, Cranberry Island, right

and this is sunset...

Amazing that we're able to catch the sun gleaming down on the very same islands in view as during sunrise. Neither of these is color enhanced; the colors during sunset made the pine trees look like a field of wheat. It was spectacular!

This is Southwest Harbor, Maine.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Sunrise this morning...



I never get tired of a sunrise, even from the same location. The colors always vary and the reflection off the water is just spectacular...

Ellie the Excavator...

Yep, that's me!!!!!!!!!! I've worked with real estate developers for 20 some years but I've never had the opportunity to operate an excavator! Just one of the benefits of a new homes community? Spinning around is quite fun, but working the controls is not easy. I dug up a sizeable stump (aww, Mom and Dad will be so proud!!) and did pretty well. What's next? Who knows...



Saturday, April 4, 2009

Congratulations to the new innkeepers!


A NEW CHAPTER BEGINS...

March 26, 2009, Rick and Jane Ellis become new innkeepers of The Kingsleigh Inn in Southwest Harbor, Maine. Rick and Jane moved up from the Blacksburg, Virginia area to enjoy the Maine way of life.

We were proud to hand over the tradition to a 5th generation of keepers of the Kingsleigh and know that Rick and Jane will enjoy great success for years to come. --Dana and Greg Moos

Get INNspired Innkeeping Seminars...


Our first offering of 2009 is May 3-5 at the Pomegranate Inn in Portland Maine. Our course contributors (myself included) will focus on owning and operating a hospitality property in Maine and will provide aspiring innkeepers with the tools necessary to get INN-sync with their dream of the innkeeping lifestyle. Our course includes all meals and gives participants a chance to get their feet wet during some interactive sessions in the kitchen.

A beautiful room at Pomegranate

Anyone interested, please contact me.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Aaahhhh, I'm back online...still living amongst boxes...but I'm back online!

...and WITH A NEW iPHONE YET!!!!!!! I was a Blackberry believer and did not want to switch to the iphone until I began to have Crackberry issues and the device would just freeze up (blue screen and the frozen hourglass, not a good thing). Yesterday I said THAT'S IT (wanted to slam it against the pavement but I realize that wouldn't really do any good. So off to the store I went and came back happily with the iphone. WHAT A HUGE IMPROVEMENT! So user friendly...I can't believe it took me this long...some people will say "I told you so"!

Anyway, I'll be back posting interesting things soon...