When we opened our B&B in May, 2012, friends asked, "Who do you think will stay there?"
A valid question, and my answer couldn't have been more wrong.
I expected Ohio's Amish Country tourists, mainly. I expected age 50+. I expected to be busiest in the summer and autumn - the height of the tourist season in Amish Country.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.
Our guests come for a variety of reasons, and the reasons are as varied as the people who come.
We've had our share of business travelers.
We've had a lot of Special Occasions - birthdays, anniversaries, etc.
We've had folks who are just passing through the area.
Guests have come for our local festivals. They've come for family reunions. Weddings. Funerals. The Dennison Depot's Polar Express. Girls' Night. Special performances at the KSU Performing Arts Center. Winery tours.
(Don't tell anyone, but sometimes they stay here because it's easier or more relaxing than staying with the friends or family they've come to visit.)
Twenty-eight states and counting, with guests from as far away as California, Florida, Arizona, Texas and Washington DC, and as close as our own back yard. In 2014 we added international guests from Austria, Switzerland, Australia, France, Romania, and Quebec to that list. Little did we know, when we opened in 2012, that we would have the opportunity to visit one of our B&B guests in his beautiful Austrian home town this year. What a treat for us!
Ages have ranged from one month old to 80+. We've hosted as many 20-30 year-olds as we have retired couples. We're one of the few B&Bs in the area that welcomes families with children, so we've enjoyed hearing the pitter-patter of little feet around the house. This innkeeper's favorite "job"? Holding a tiny baby so Mom & Dad can enjoy their breakfast without distraction. One of my most treasured memories is of a very rowdy Game Night as three generations played board games together at the dining room table.
There simply are no specific demographics, unless you count every discerning person who prefers being spoiled with a fantastic old house, a quiet room, a comfortable bed, and delicious food. Maybe that's our demographic. The savvy traveler. Smart. Discerning. They come from everywhere, and they are every age, and they're looking for the perfect place to stay.
2013 was a phenomenal year for us. It was our first full calendar year in business, and we were astonished to be booked for a third of our available nights - all year round. Our busiest time was between Veteran's Day and the end of the year. Who could have guessed that? 2014 saw a 10% increase, and we're anticipating that 2015 will be our best year yet.
We're delighted when people find us here in our wonderful little village of Gnadenhutten. We realize we have been blessed to live in a time when technology can bring us instantly together, no matter how far apart we may be. You look on the internet for a place to stay, and your search brings us right into your home. You can take a peek into our guest rooms, check our our photos, and even read reviews about us. You can instantly see what we have to offer, and you know we're what you've been looking for. Why?
Because you're a Savvy Traveler. Smart. Discerning. You're looking for the perfect place to stay, and you're ready to be spoiled by us...
... your innkeepers
Cathy & Jim