Friday, August 28, 2009

Pet Friendly Lodging...creating a niche...

How I arrived at this blog post: We had breakfast this morning at Cafe 2/Eat-a-Pita in Southwest Harbor. I love this casual cafe and have ever since we moved here. But being innkeepers, we were never able to go for breakfast (they closed at the end of October when we did) so I was excited to try it. And although this post is not about the food, I am compelled to tell you what I had because I love out of the ordinary. I had an omelet filled with roasted red peppers, portabello mushrooms, homemade pesto and local goat cheese. It was absolutely delicious!

But we're sitting outside on this fabulous flower filled patio on one of the most gorgeous days of our summer and I noticed doggie dishes filled with water. Several tables around had small dogs sitting by the table while their owners enjoyed the morning out. Bingo! Pet friendly lodging.

During my inn ownership I received numerous inquiries about bringing a beloved pooch to the inn. But for our particular inn, it was a "oh I'm so sorry, as much as we love pets, we are not able to accommodate them". Maine seems to have a large pet population and it's very common to see dogs along side their owners on the trails in Acadia National Park. There was recently an article in Woman's Day noting a couple pet friendly beaches in Maine.


But some of my listings would be ideal for pet friendly lodging, particularly those with individual cottages or spacious lawns:
Abbington's Seaview Motel & Cottages
Rockwood Cottages
Craignair Inn (they have 8 rooms in the "Vestry" building perfect for this use)
Wilson Pond Camps (details coming soon!)

Aspiring innkeepers could really tap into a niche market by offering pet friendly rooms or cottages. There may be a bit more of housekeeping to deal with, but the outcome could be very positive. You could also allow pet friendly accommodations in a property without cottages, such as an inn or bed and breakfast, especially if the rooms have exterior entrances.


So, after breakfast it was off to the tiny little Southwest Harbor farmer's market, then home and back to work...I was full with delicious food and inspiration...



Maine, the way life should be...

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