Monday, September 28, 2009

We still have a few spots open for our INNkeeping Bootcamp...

I've just been finalizing the agenda for our interactive seminar. It's going to be a fun but intensive 2 day interactive bootcamp for aspiring innkeepers. We'll cover everything from the general aspects of hospitality (and some things you'd never think about until they happen) to cooking sessions (with insider tips of what works for a crowd) to heavy marketing, web 2.0, Social Media and of course the business side, financing and investment bottom line.

We'll tour some area inns, have some great conversation, wine dinners and camaraderie amongst former, aspiring and current innkeepers.

See the flyer for more details. And contact Leslie ( at The Danforth to sign up.

And bring your laptops!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A really great buy in today's market...Craignair Inn, Spruce Head, Maine

Not too often do brokers disclose a property's income (or reason for selling) on a public listing prior to a buyer prospect showing interest, or even prior to a showing for that matter. In this case, sellers of Craignair Inn have allowed me to openly discuss it - and with very good reason. The income is fantastic and still allows room to grow for new buyers, so why not market it? Below is the inn's year-to-date occupancy as compared with last year. It would seem that the wet Spring we experienced in Maine didn't really affect the business at Craignair like it did some properties.


May 2008 -10% 2009 -12%

June 2008 -28% 2009 -24%

July 2008 -56% 2009 -65%

Aug 2008 -79% 2009 -76%

Sept 2008 -51%

Oct 2008 -23%

Room revenue was $200,000 and restaurant revenue was $113,000 in 2008. And at a list price of $1,150,000 - that works out to be a gross multiple of 5.75 based solely on room revenue, without any consideration of the additional restaurant revenue. So in a nutshell we're looking at a 20 room property with plenty of room to increase the occupancy, priced at a 5.75 x gross and the inn is only open mid-May to mid-October, 5 full months. Restaurant profit is just icing, particularly when it's staffed and well established. Numerous properties on the market today aren't priced at this low of a gross multiple.

The 4th level of the main building is a spacious finished attic space complete with a full bath for staff. The owners quarters is a two bedroom two bath apartment on the 2nd floor of the main building with a small office area and spacious loving room complete with a beautiful water view. There is access to the kitchen via a separate stairway not utilized by the guests. More photos of the property are on Flickr.

So you might be thinking that you have no restaurant ownership or management experience and have never considered a full service inn? Well neither did the seller. Craignair's restaurant is only open for dinner, has adequate staff and isn't absolutely essential to the business (though a very nice amenity) and the current chef has expressed interest in remaining with the inn under new ownership. I do believe having a restaurant can be a very strong marketing tool. The buyer could extend the season and having a full service inn with a restaurant on premises makes for a wonderful winter stay on the coast. Inn goers really love the notion of a staying at a full service inn during those romantic snowy months. During the high season the buyer could limit the restaurant service to weekends if they wanted. Or offer a fabulous weekend brunch buffet open to the public with complimentary Mimosas and Bloody Mary's for the guests at the inn. Or lease out the restaurant - there are many talented chefs who aren't financially positioned to purchase a restaurant of their own but have what it takes to run one. The sellers dine at the restaurant every night and are able to enjoy what their guests do (they also enjoy some really nice wines, too).

So why are they selling? After 14 years, any innkeeper has a right to sell - they've put in their time! And this property, though owned by a couple, is only run by one of the partners. Of course she has more than adequate staff (both housekeeping and restaurant), but having a partner run a business of this size with you would make it much, much easier. Having a 2nd person involved would facilitate more marketing and more business growth. The current sellers are limited with just one person at the helm. A property on the market with room to grow is a buyer's advantage. And one at this price, with water frontage, is pretty close to a rare find.

Monday, September 21, 2009

I've launched a new website for my listings...

It's I thought about a variety of names for my new website using relevant terms, Maine Inns, Bed and Breakfasts, etc. but in the end decided to simply go with my name. I hope I've made it simple and to the point. And if anyone has a a suggestion, I welcome it. I want to make it a useful tool for you, the Aspiring Innkeeper.

It's now where all of my listings are displayed with links to additional photos and information. I will still post on my blog, but it will be about the innkeeping industry in general, or to announce a new listing.

See you there, and thanks for visiting...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Fantastic new 4-season recreational listing! Wilson Pond Camps, Greenville

This is Wilson Pond Camps, nestled on a very private 3.5 acres on Wilson Pond in Greenville, Maine. A lesser known lake than Moosehead but spectacular and serene. Wilson Pond Camps offers 682 feet of water frontage, 7 completely renovated cabins (each sleeps a minimum of 6) and a beautiful 3 bedroom owner's house, two car detached garage and shed. All cabins have beautiful custom kitchen cabinets, hardwood floors cedar interiors. The exteriors are maintenance free vinyl siding. Cabins have all been jacked up where necessary. Each cabin has its own private dock and Adirondack chairs to enjoy the view and the quiet (except for the loons and occasional moose).

the large cabin...

stairway leading to a cabin's private dock...

The owner's home offers 3 bedrooms, full bath, full kitchen, very spacious living/dining room with beautiful interior woodwork and picture windows to enjoy the view. One of the focal points in the room is the incredible Mahogany spiral staircase - an absolute work of art. There is a large laundry/storage area and full basement. Two car detached garage and shed are both done in the same shingle style as the home.

incredible Mahogany spiral staircase in the living room of the owner's home (below)

one of the waterfront cabins...

The area: The Moosehead Lake Region is a destination of choice for not only nature lovers and those seeking to escape from the stress in their busy lives, but also for eco-tourists. The region offers year round activites. From snowmobiling, snowshoeing, skiing/cross country skiing, ice fishing to hiking, fishing, boating, camping, hunting, swimming, birding, canoe and kayaking, moose safaris, sea plane tours, tours on the steamship S.S. Katahdin, white water rafting, you name it. Lower Wilson Pond is a 130-foot deep, 7-mile long crystal clear LAKE populated with native brook trout, lake trout (togue) and land-locked salmon. Many walk-in trout ponds and streams are available within a 5-mile radius. Both Upper and Lower Wilson Ponds are known for their crystal clear, calmer waters, making it a destination spot for kayaking and canoeing. The warmest temperatures are usually during the months of July and August, but continues into the first part of September. Greenville is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise; unspoiled nature where moose sometimes outnumber people. Yet there are enough restaurants and shops to support the tourist season as well as locals who choose to dine out now and then. Each cabin is outfitted with a full kitchen and cookware for the guests. Each cabin also has its own outdoor grill, and all cabins share a few outdoor firepits.

Property Photos on Flickr
Property Photos on Picasaweb
Virtual Tour
Property's Website
More Property Information (coming soon)

Wilson Pond has entertained guests for many years and has a remarkable repeat clientele who book well in advance for their annual week long stay. This is a fabulous opportunity for new buyers to continue the tradition, run a year round business and enjoy the lifestyle in the beautiful north woods of Maine.

Turnkey business and furnishings offered at $1,890,000. Contact me for more information or to schedule a showing.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New Camden Listing! Timbercliffe Cottage Bed and Breakfast

This is Timbercliffe Cottage Bed and Breakfast in the beautiful harbor side village of Camden, Maine. The original section (the smaller portion to the right of the porch) was built by Jesse Thomas in 1790 and the large section (with the porch) was added by Captain Pendleton in 1860. The current owners performed major renovations between 2005 and 2006 including all new mechanical, new electric wiring, cable and data pulled to all rooms; the foundation was jacked up where needed, roof replaced, bathrooms renovated; all furniture, furnishings, window treatment, decor and light fixtures, are all new. The furnishings and interior paint colors were chosen to match the historic period. Hardwood floors were restored and new were installed. The feeling you get when you walk in is that you've stepped back in time but in comfortable luxury. The inn seems to tell a story...

The Penobscot Bay from the inn

The game room in the Parlor

The Parlor (gas fireplace)

The Library (wood burning fireplace)

Custom window treatments, bedding and area rugs true to the period are in all guest rooms.

Custom canopy and drapes in the Chauncey Keep Chamber

The inn sits on close to one acre on a small residential side street off Route 1, just a short walk to the bustle of downtown. And at 4,700 square feet on two floors, the inn is quite large.

The owners quarters are nice as well, offering privacy, a separate entrance, 2 bedrooms, full bath and parlor. The parlor has rough in plumbing to add a small kitchen, but the current owners realized their use of space did not require a second kitchen. The inn's kitchen is very spacious, private and offers table space, separate entrance, and access to the large laundry and storage/pantry.

After all renovations and restorations were complete, the owners opened their doors to bed and breakfast guests mid-summer 2006. They've built quite a steady business and leave plenty of room for growth for new buyers; they've taken care of the physical structure and have a nice website and marketing program to allow new buyers to walk right into a very turnkey operation.

More details coming soon.

Flickr photos and Picasa photos
Virtual Tour

Offered at $1,389,000