4th Annual Million-Dollar Ideas

Bed & Breakfasts

B&Bs aren't just attracting younger guests--younger entrepreneurs are looking into the allure of innkeeping, and with good reason: A survey from BedandBreakfast.com shows an overall occupancy increase of nearly 8 percent for the B&B industry since 9/11. Bobbi Zane, editor/publisher of aspiring B&B innkeepers newsletter Yellow Brick Road who also moderates a discussion for the Professional Association of Innkeepers International, has noticed a trend of many thirtysomethings looking into innkeeping. "They have seen enough of corporate life," says Zane. Add to that the sway from frilly to more modern inns, and the new generation of innkeepers is thriving.

NEXT STEP.

With a quarter of inns run by owners under 40, Jim and Julie Degenfelder are in good company. They started Eaglenest Bed & Breakfast in Julian, California, eight years ago at 33 and 23, respectively. With 2003 projected sales of $125,000, the Degenfelders equip their rooms with amenities many older innkeepers try to avoid. "Some [innkeepers] fight the whole TV/VCR thing," Julie remarks. "However, to keep up with the evolution of travelers, it's important to make them comfortable." A stocked pantry filled with beverages and snacks is open to guests, and the Internet can be accessed through the phone line in each room.

PAII executive director Jerry Phillips echoes Zane's observation and also sees doors opening wider for minorities. Phillips adds, "We already have a lot of single ownerships, particularly single women." --April Pennington

Auto Aftermarket Bed & Breakfast
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This article was originally published in the January 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: 4th Annual Million-Dollar Ideas.

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