From “Ask Kit!”:
Q: I am considering opening a new B&B in Atlanta, Georgia. One of the concerns I have is that I have heard that a B&B is more successful in a “destination location.” Would you consider the city of Atlanta a destination location?
One critical aspect of my “place” decision is the targeted market. I am Jewish and live in a sizable Orthodox Jewish community. So, this will be my target market, and of course a kosher breakfast is a must to fit this niche. I’ll also be targeting Emory University and the CDC, both of which are five minutes from my desired location and both include huge populations for the area. However, I’m still concerned about the “destination location” aspect.
A: Having just been in Atlanta, and at a B&B, I can say I do think Atlanta is a destination city. It’s a fanstatic city with a wide variety of attractions. You not only have the tourist attractions but also the university and business travelers. That creates a stable, year-round business for you.
Location is indeed important, and targeting your market is important too. The remaining piece of your puzzle is your brand; what experience are you providing your guests and who will want that experience? With the market segment you are targeting you have to be sure to cater to their needs. The amenities and services you need to provide in the guestrooms include private baths, TV with DVD/VCR player, sound system, high speed internet, and at least queen size beds. If you can create a small meeting room, say for 15-20 people, you’ll also be developing another income stream which will help your longevity and success.
And with all that you are processing for this decision, I can’t urge you strongly enough to take at least one class and read the B&B books.
Good luck! Let us know what you decide.