I receive calls almost daily from innkeepers interested in hearing about our services and hoping for helpful tips to spice up their marketing. Many times, these calls are from owners of very small inns who operate on a shoestring budget and need a little professional assistance. In these instances, I generally refer them to a few competitors who specialize in the ‘do it yourself’ training for proprietors of small inns. Mistakenly, I assumed the owners of this Lake Erie bed and breakfast were this sort of innkeeper. They told me about how they had run their inn part time over the years while they worked in their respective careers to ‘pay the bills.’ Rodger did fundraising and Lesley was a teacher. However, as I listened more closely, they talked of their dreams, of one day being able to devote their lives to simply running their inn. They wanted to quit their jobs and rely on the inn to usher them into the type of retirement they dreamed of for their life. Still on my single-minded track of sending them on their merry way to a do it yourself marketing company, they finally stopped me and said something I will never forget; “Even if we have to pay you half of what we make at this inn, it will be worth it because you are the best in the business and we want our inn to be in the hands of the best company in this industry.” You certainly could have heard a pin drop after that comment. I was floored, humbled and inspired by this couple. From that point on, I determined we would make them the best White Stone site we possibly could and we would all be very proud of our work for these awe-inspiring innkeepers.
The new site speaks for itself. Some days, I open it up and just stare at it. I love the design, the colors, the photography and the interface of the design. It ranks as one of my favorite designs we have ever done and I am so proud to show it to all of you! But, more than that, I’m proud of the work we have been able to accomplish for Rodger and Lesley Hazen. They challenged and humbled me and made me want to be a better marketer, a better designer and to show them that they put their enormous trust in the right company. They commissioned Beth Campbell to develop all the gorgeous photos you see throughout the site. I know Rodger and Lesley have more plans to remodel 3 of the 4 rooms to reveal a more contemporary look and feel. But, for now, it’s just right and the revenue is pouring in. As of this writing, they have both been able to devote themselves full time to the inn and continue to market their 4 room inn aggressively and without compromise.
In the first year since the site launched the following increases occurred:
“This website is absolutely stunning! Beth’s photos and the team’s design really capture the experiences people can have here. Please convey to the team how ecstatic we are with this design. It is jaw-droppingly gorgeous and we are so very appreciative.”
Roger & Lesley Hazen, Barcelona Lakeside Bed and Breakfast