The Quick Guide To American Bed and Breakfast History

Bed and breakfast history in America is fascinating. As early American pioneers traveled across the country, they looked for a safe place to rest. They stayed in homes, inns, and taverns. Some historic American accommodations continue to operate as bed and breakfasts today.

The 1980s and 1990s

Through the 1980s and 1990s, American bed and breakfast history shows increased rapidly in numbers. In addition, homestay B&Bs with shared baths and simple furnishings became the past. Thus, B&B accommodations evolved to beautifully renovated historic mansions with luxurious décor and amenities.

The Mid-1990s

The next big change started in the mid-1990s when the Internet became a major marketing force. This made it affordable for innkeepers to promote their properties worldwide. Email marketing, in particular, serves as a useful tool for the Bed & Breakfast industry. Emails proactively build relationships with existing guests after their stay.

In addition, online reservation software helped bed and breakfasts to capture more reservations. Also, they stayed in touch with a rapidly changing technological world. Currently, travelers research and book B&Bs online, and check out detailed photos, videos, and reviews.

Location of American B&B Inns

B&Bs are found in all states, in major cities, and remote rural areas.  In another blog post, we feature the importance of place branding.

Bed and breakfast history shows they occupied everything from modest cottages to opulent mansions. Structures like schools, cabooses, and churches became B&B accommodations.

The Appeal of American B&B Inns

Guests continue to find the following attributes also appealing:

  • Wholesome atmosphere and luxurious/heritage surrounds
  • Home-style meals
  • Area for conversing with other guests (optional)
  • Ability to tap into local knowledge of attractions and activities in the local area

Guests at B&Bs were asked to identify the features and factors which motivated them to choose the establishment they were staying at. The friendliness of the host was the most important factor, followed by easy access to other places, the site being the most appealing place in the region. Usually, B & B´s are privately owned, and therefore quite different from standard commercial hotels.

Benefits of American B&B Inns

Bed & Breakfast history shows that B&Bs continue to provide mutual benefits for both the guest and the innkeeper. Visitors have the opportunity for a relaxing break yet feel at home in the environment. Bed and breakfast owners have the opportunity to develop a profitable business, make new friends and contacts, understand the cultures and lifestyles of others, and educate guests about their way of life.

Typical Length of Stay

Income and leisure time has changed so that shorter breaks with greater choice of leisure activities are sought by travelers. Conveniently, the U.S. Travel Association continues to provide the latest American travel information.

Changing work patterns have increased the popularity of shorter breaks that minimize the absence from work and the effect of absences on workflow and involvement. Bed & Breakfast holidays tend to be short break holidays and could benefit from the increased popularity of short breaks, sought by people who aim for authenticity and personal service.

B&B Consulting

Realtors Rob Sales and Lori Blass both have a history of owning and operating B&B inns. Thus, combined with our years of expertise as consultants, we are happy to answer questions from those thinking of buying or selling their B&B properties. Contact us today!