Bed, Breakfast And Beyond

The Good Life

While innkeeping is hard work, it does provide a lifestyle that might otherwise be impossible. Take the Libowitzes, who have an infant son. "There aren't many fathers who spend the whole day with their kids. I get to do that," says Bruce.

Spending time with their baby daughter also attracted Andrew and Liz Evans, 34 and 25, respectively, to innkeeping. The couple own The Inn at Easton, located on Maryland's Eastern Shore. "We got the idea to open an inn after the birth of our daughter," explains Andrew. "We both wanted to be home to raise her."

Increasingly, quality-of-life issues are attracting a new generation of innkeeper as more people step off the conveyor belt of conventional jobs at a younger age. "Family time in a family business is what makes [innkeeping] so appealing to younger people," Zane explains.

Even without children, owning a B&B enables you to meet new people and live in a beautiful home you might not otherwise be able to afford. "I love the lifestyle. You have to be an odd combination of homebody and people person, and that describes me," says Nobile.

But be prepared to sacrifice some privacy, adds Eva Kidwell. "If you're alone in the house, you can't even take a shower in case potential guests come by, or worse, an inspector."

Most innkeepers say lack of privacy and zero downtime are the biggest drawbacks. The solution? "You have to take time off," Nobile says. "Also be sure your living quarters are very separate from the guest quarters."

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This article was originally published in the April 2000 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Bed, Breakfast And Beyond.

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