Monday, August 16, 2010

An interview with the Innkeepers of The 1806 Inn at Mount Sunapee

When asked what their favorite thing about owning a B&B, Bill replies, "Creating a business on our property where none previously existed and having it grow each year." He comments, “Now I know what it means to give birth.”  To which Karen, mother of twin boys, responds, “No you don’t”!  Bill says, "The icing on the cake with running a successful B&B is the opportunity to meet interesting people from all over the world.  We have had guests from France, Italy, Holland, Israel, Canada, Germany, Ireland, Austria, England, Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, Russia, Ukraine, Japan, China, India, and South Korea."

Bill and Karen started their B&B from scratch nearly 5 years ago because they wanted to do something together in their retirement. Before owning a B&B, Bill worked for an insurance company for 29 years and Karen was retired from teaching.  In their first retirement, they ran a successful bookstore for 7 years.  This is their second retirement.  "And, we are still having fun!" comments Karen.

Karen says, "In the summer, the most challenging thing about running our B&B is keeping the lavish gardens weeded and watered.  In the winter, being located directly beside Mount Sunapee, finding a place to put all the snow." But it's not all work and no play. They both enjoy reading the books from the Inn’s extensive library when it's quiet and they often travel to visit family in Europe.

Karen mentions that their B&B has a great advantage locally in it that makes the area a great place to visit because of their proximity to Mount Sunapee and the State Beach on Lake Sunapee.  Guests come to the 1806 Inn because of the location and reasonable rates.   Many guests return because of their positive experience the first time.

Bill says, "We welcome our guests by name and assure them that we are close enough to attend to their needs, but far enough away to insure their privacy." He continues, "All kinds of people come to stay with us, e.g. newlyweds, business travelers, those attending family reunions, international guests, skiers, hikers, and wedding party members and guests."

At the 1806 Inn at Mount Sunapee, Bill is the chef.  Karen says she happily relinquishes that duty to Bill because too many cooks in the kitchen is not a good idea.   The other duties of running a full time bed and breakfast are shared equally by Bill and Karen.

Some of the nicer features of the 1806 Inn are the library, spacious great room, two gas fireplaces, and garden patio.  Karen says, "Often the reason the Inn has so many repeat guests, we are told, is because of the innkeepers themselves." And she continues, "We serve a complete breakfast everyday, not just on weekends.  We have a hot country breakfast, including eggs prepared to order, French toast, pancakes, sausage, and bacon.  Also, we provide a buffet table of breakfast item choices that are only limited by the size of the table.  After frequent visits to the Netherlands, we are looking forward to introducing a new recipe, Poffertjes, for breakfast."

Bill comments, "We would say to people who have never stayed in a B&B before, “Give it a try.  It is a unique experience because staying in a B&B affords the guests a more personal experience than a hotel.  It is an opportunity for guests to meet new people and make new friends.  We often see some of our guests, after a few days visit, swapping email addresses, telephone numbers, and business cards for continued contact."