Just the other night (a Sunday night, in fact), we had no new arrivals scheduled, and those who were scheduled to check in had done so. So….. we went to dinner in Boone, NC, about 25 minutes away.
Nice dinner. While returning home, and with only 12 minutes from turning into our driveway someone from Central Florida called and wanted a room for the night. “Where are you?” I asked. “In your driveway,” they said. Since we had a room I said “Sit tight; we’ll be there in 12 minutes.”
When we got there, guess what? They had gone. Guess we weren’t worth waiting 12 minutes. I also suppose that they were offended that we were not right there, ready to answer the doorbell when they strolled into town.
Let me tell you a truth or two. Innkeepers work 18 hours a day 7 days a week UNLESS they manage to get off the property for some free time. We don’t have relatives willing to “guard” the door (for free) when we take a few hours away, so we pick the least busy time (no arrivals scheduled), lock the doors and go. Sometimes, the “escape” is scheduled and our coats are on but a “walk in” phones to announce they are 5-10 minutes out. Or they just show up. So, off go the coats and our car keys go back on the hook. Dinner is created from our pantry and our refrigerator and we cheerfully greet those last minute guests at the door. They are none-the-wiser that they almost missed us.
Some do miss us. We are NOT mind readers! And we also wonder how someone can drive all the way from Orlando and NOT know they need a room prior to “right this minute.” We are magicians and manage many wonderful things, but manning a 24/7 front desk isn’t one of them. As a small property, we simply cannot PAY someone to sit and wait for hypothetical guests. I’m sure nobody wants their room rates to go up $35 just to pay for someone “on call.”
We also cannot see our way clear to NEVER having time away. We are also betting that “spontaneous travelers,” −if they work in “corporate” America−would have a cow if someone asked THEM to give up THEIR dinner hour or their “date night” every day of the week (and weekends, too).
So, let’s find the mid ground between over planning and finding yourself in my empty parking lot. IF you know you are headed our way (or toward any B&B for that matter), call ahead! We’ll work out being 100% ready for you when you roll into town, and yes, we’ll have the lights on!