ESBBA logo     

    MARCH 2013 

   INNdustry News for New York Innkeepers, Aspiring Innkeepers and  



Join Our Mailing List
In This Issue
April Meet & Greet
5 C's of Association Membership
Cornell Cooperative Ext. Workshops
Survey Says....
Is it a SCAM?
Sharing the Experience
Auto Insurance
Administrator Notes



Brady & Sons Agency Inc. 


C.S. Burrall & Son, Inc. 


The Shults Agency  


Vermont Mutual Insurance Group 





Greenwich Bay 



Meet & Greet with
Heather Turner

DATE: April 28, 2013
TIME:  2:00 - 5:00 PM
WHERE: Templeton Hall: 63 Pioneer St. Cooperstown, NY
R.S.V.P. by April 24, 2013
Light refreshments will be served.

 Heather Turner of Forfeng Designs will be our guest presenter and will conduct an educational workshop. Heather has presented at the Mid Atlantic Innkeepers Conference & Trade Show and PAII Conferences. She is well versed in the social media arena.
Heather will present an educational seminar on Blogging for your Business. (Specifically geared for B&B's)
What you will learn:

- Advanced Blogging tactics for marketing your business.

- Tips, tricks and techniques to leverage your posts for maximum exposure to potential clients and customers.

- Guest Posting

- How to integrate your other social media marketing and offline marketing with your blog.

-  How to target and market to specific clients or customers.

Click on RSVP Coupon to download   RSVP COUPON

or email Belinda at 

5 C's of Association Memberships 
 By Sharon Rowe
As the Past President of the Colorado State B&B Association, former innkeeper and independent marketing consultant for Acorn Internet Services, Sharon Rowe shared her thoughts on the importance of associations and  member benefits at the Mid Atlantic Conference. Sharon realizes that your membership dollars do not always translate into direct booking referrals. HOWEVER,  State Associations have a different and higher purpose through: communication, collateral, collaboration, cohesion, and contribution benefits.
Communication: Innkeepers as board members equates to a lot of good communication. They are:
- good planners,  
- good at networking,  
- attend educational conferences,
- budget well and innovatively decide how to spend your association $,  
- and have excellent people skills

Where do you go when you don't have a HR person to go to? Your industry association! Your association is there for you to get answers to your questions, concerns, or problems.
Collateral Benefits: Your membership dollars go towards a
- listing in the association web site with additional city listings at no extra charge,  
- marketing reach through  printed full color brochures distributed in visitors centers and on the Internet.
- Social Media coverage through blog posts, Facebook, Twitter, G+ and e-newsletters.
- discounts through vendor partners.
- inspection bragging rights against a set of standards. (Inspections give a sense that certain standards must be met).
- offer educational workshops and meet & greets. 
- Guest services - your association is there to help you problem solve (aka: war stories), brain picking (where to buy sheets, towels, other services such as B&B insurance, recommendations for a plumber, electrician, or roofer. Building relationships and learning opportunities.  
- Group marketing - web site, brochure, press releases, videos and print advertising.  
- Networking with local innkeepers. Learning that you may take children and I may take pets. Referrals - networking on availability of rooms in your area.

Cohesion: Industry oversight - self regulation and industry trends.
- Legislative oversight - a collective voice in your state legislature = strength in numbers.
Associations do not have the money to be lobbyist or PAC's. However, associations provide a "collective" voice for your industry. There is strength in numbers. Additionally, associations are self managed and self regulated.
Contribution:  Associations are made better by the sum of their parts - the "members". Member involvement strengthens the association through learning and teaching, which in turn gives the industry a stronger voice.
State Associations have a different and higher purpose. Your Association helps fight your battles; whereas dot COM B&B directories do not.

Membership investment translates into support and informed professional participants in the world of inn-keeping.
Cornell Cooperative Extension Workshops Feature NY Farm Products at your Bed &Breakfasts
Marketing Farm to Table There are three more dates in April to attend a workshop on learning about locally grown and produced products and where to find them.
On March 18th, I recently went to the Canandaigua workshop that was well attended by innkeepers and farmers alike. There was a strong and well received connection between the two audiences. Each innkeeper received a basket full of samples of farm fresh product from local eggs to corn meal, maple cream, butter, cheese and more.
The purpose of these workshops is to educate bed and breakfast innkeepers of the plethora of fresh New York products available for you to serve to your guest.  Click here  for dates remaining in April, locations and registration info for these FREE workshops being held in your area.
For additional Questions: Call Karen Baase at (315) 684-3001.
Quick Links...

Standards: Standards checklist and evaluation. Serves as a tool for new innkeepers, and offers all members the credibility and prestige of belonging to the premier New York State Bed and Breakfast Association.

Print Brochures: Distribution of 30,000 attractive, full-color ESBBA directories across the state; a brochure that people can keep and refer to again and again as they travel across the NY.


Networking Opportunities

Meet & Greet: an opportunity to get to know ESBBA members throughout New York State. An enjoyable way to learn from each other and assist you in your own concierge services to your guests on their way to other NY State destinations. The ability to recommend ESBBA B&B/Inns at destinations across New York State with confidence, and other ESBBA innkeepers can do the same for you.


Website ListingsMembership includes an enhanced listing with MULTIPLE TOWNS at no extra cost, inn/area details and pictures on with a link to your own website. Constant optimization of the ESBBA web site.

*Mobile Devices: ESBBA's  web site is Mobile friendly.  

*Mobile Web Site: ESBBA members can now opt for an individualized and dedicated Mobile web site of their own.


Advocacy and Information:  Empire State Bed and Breakfast Association advocates for and provides information to all bed and breakfasts across the state. A monthly email newsletter containing important information all B&B's can use is published for members each month. Additionally, ESBBA collaborates with the Mid Atlantic Innkeepers Conference and Trade Show in early March each year. Your association is a Legislative Voice in Albany.  

Pays for Itself: membership dues are lower than other state associations. The promotion of your bed and breakfast by ESBBA can recoup the cost of ESBBA dues in a one or two night stay.  


Save in other ways: ESBBA members receive a 20% discount on the cost of their Webervations or RezOvations Availability Calender or booking engine. AND your availability calender shows up on your ESBBA listing.


If you know of a B&B/Inn that may benefit from and would like to receive a  complimentary delivery of the ESBBA newsletter, email:  

President's Message:

Bob Matthews
Bob Matthews 
  The State of New York is in
  the process of determining
  whether or not to allow the
  use of hydro-fracking in
  drilling operations within the

Our thanks go to the local regional association that brought this to our attention so our membership can weigh in on this subject. As a state organization we can bring even more attention to this important topic. This issue is an example of what I think ESBBA should be supporting as a state-wide organization.

In the 1970's, my job in the U.S. Air Force was to examine seismology recordings. I am not an expert, but I have some experience with earth movements and some of the possible causes of the movement. 

Any disturbance within the layers of the earth can cause shifting and movement in all directions. My marginal understanding of "fracking" is that a slurry, sometimes heated and containing other chemicals or materials, is injected through a drilling well that angles from the initial vertical bore to a more horizontal position. This slurry forces expansion between the various layers at the bore hole terminus and beyond until the added pressure dissipates due to distance from the injection site. The slurry and now freed petroleum, natural gas or oil products are pulled back to the surface. The hope is that all the foreign matter that was injected is also removed when the target petroleum is recovered. This must be done to prevent possible contamination of the aquifer which supplies water for surface uses such as drinking and irrigation.


Every region of the country is different, so procedures to stabilize the "fracked" underground layers that have been disturbed in the Midwest or mountain west may not be effective in New York. I believe the best science can do is estimate within a percentage range the impact that will be made by "fracking" here in New York. As New York has two of the Great Lakes on our borders, we must consider any possible harm that may come from the use of these procedures to get petroleum from the ground. The Great Lakes is the largest collection of fresh water on the planet. This water should be protected. 

Care and caution are warranted now because there is no simple recovery from any irreversible actions that disturb underground formations. Using industries "best guess" or "scientific opinion" is taking a large risk that may only be evaluated in the future.

The Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association goals include increasing tourism in New York state by ensuring that member bed and breakfast facilities offer premium, quality accommodations for our guests. The State of New York must be careful with our countryside to ensure our state is as beautiful in the future as it is today so that all visitors may benefit.


Bob Matthews, President

Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association 


For more information on Hydro-fracking click on the links below. 

SURVEY SAYS..............
How Do Consumers Find a B&B?
by Mike Blumenthal
Local University Search Marketing Seminars Creates Specially for Small Business.

Several ESBBA members attended the Local University educational seminar at the Mid Atlantic Innkeepers Conference & Trade Show which comprised of eight experts on search engine optimization and the Google Sphere. They included well known Lisa Kolb of Acorn Internet Services, Mike Blumenthal of and Co-Founder of Local University, Joe Headly of Google, Mary Bowling and Ed Reese of Sixth Man Marketing, David Mihm of SEOmoz, Mike Ramsey of Nifty Marketing, and Aaron Weiche pf Spider Trap Online Marketing.
This intensive four hour seminar gave tips on basic terminology, how SEO results are generated, learning Google local products, Ranking your business, what makes good websites, SEO basics, Social Media, DIY Internet marketing, and Q & A. The speakers were more than willing to share their knowledge in each of these subject matters.
This all boils down to HOW DO CONSUMERS FIND A B&B?
This particular Local University team has put together a survey and the results on the process in which guest find our B&B's and have passed it along for us to share with you.
Click on the link below to learn where guest start their search, what is most important to the guest and what guests would do first if they started their search on Google.  

Fraudulent Yellow Page Listing SCAM 
By Scott Thomas of About The Inn. 
Seriously, I must answer the phone about six times a day when I realize its a ROBO call and the person on the line says that they are calling from XYZ online directory to "verify my business information". Of course we want to make sure that our business name, address, phone number and web site is correct on their listing! So I take the time to verify that "they", the person on the other end of the phone line representing XYZ online directory has the right information.  It all seems legitimate for the most part because we usually don't hear back from them.
But Scott Thomas explains in his article Scam? Verifying Business Information that he received a call claiming to be from Google Local. He jumped at the chance to "verify" his business information.because it was Google calling, or so he thought.
After verification he was asked to pay for  an advertisement. He declined.
Just when he thought all was said and done Scott received a call the following month from "an attorney" demanding payment for an outstanding invoice for more than $500.
Scott explained he didn't order the advertisement and had not received an invoice and he was not going to pay it. Then the "attorney" played a recording of the agreement to pay it; of which Scott disputed.
Scott informed the caller that he was aware of the scam due to an online forum through PAII and he intended to notify the authorities.  A few days later the "attorney" called back demanding payment.
When Scott searched the online local yellow pages he found that the company didn't exist. No surprise there!
However, Scott found that there were several forums for consumers or small business complaints filled with stories that all sound pretty much the same as his. The best result he found was an article by Denise Richardson, detailing this type of scam and what to do about it.
Here's what you can do to report this kind of scam if you are a victim. 

The Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) collects the information and provides it to the proper law enforcement or regulatory agency. If you think you've been a victim of a crime or attempted crime, check out their site to see if filing a complaint is appropriate.


Scot has decided not to talk to people who are verifying business information any more. "Sorry to be rude, but no", he says.   

Sharing the Experience: 
An Aspiring Innkeepers perspective on the  
By Maria Delaney - Aspiring ESBBA Inn-keeper 


As aspiring innkeepers my husband and I have found the Mid-Atlantic Conference to be an excellent resource for aspiring innkeepers and innkeepers alike. Attending the workshops tailored for the innkeeper wanna-be is a must for anyone who is interested in owning and operating a bed and breakfast.  


This year, the workshop was sponsored by Heide and Bill Oates who are icons in the field of inn-keeping.  Experienced innkeepers themselves for many years, they now sell inns and offer their own Aspiring Innkeepers Seminars.  The discussions and booklets  given out at the workshop encompassed everything an aspiring innkeeper would need. From decorating your inn, sheets, presence, financials and record-keeping.  Heide and Bill are an encyclopedia of information and answered any and all questions asked.  


Other helpful workshops offered at the conference specifically tailored to aspiring innkeepers included:  

  • Financials and Record-keeping presented by the B&B Team,  
  • How to make 6 figures from a 4 bedroom B&B, by Yvonne Halling. 
  • Social Media workshops on Facebook, Pinterest and how to market your Inn on these networks.
  • Cooking for guest with dietary restrictions. 
  • Vendor Trade Show offering web site hosting, reservation systems, linens, coffee, granola and more.
The Mid Atlantic Innkeepers Conference and Trade Show offers all the resources to become a successful innkeeper.  And for current innkeepers, ways to increase business, learning and understanding internet marketing and more.  All essential topics to run a successful business.  


The special part of the conference and my favorite is meeting other innkeepers and learning from them. I especially enjoyed getting together and getting to know the members of the New York -Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association group. 

Hired & Non Owned Auto Liability
Information shared by Aurora Insurance Inc. 
Do your employees run errands for you in their own cars? Do you ask them to stop at the post office, bank or other destinations for you?

If your employees are using their own vehicles on behalf of your business then you have a liability exposure that you may not be thinking about. If your employee is involved in an accident where they are found at fault, then your business can be affected. Your employees may not have enough personal auto liability insurance to cover a serious bodily injury claim. Your business is the next logical target. After all, you sent your employee on the errand.

Hired & Non-Owned auto liability will fill in the gap and can be included under the Commercial General Liability or Commercial Automobile Insurance.

Check with your insurance agent. 
Administrator Notes -A few reminders
          By now you have received the ESBBA brochure for you to share with your guest, gift shops, restaurants and chambers. You may have noticed that there were no changes as it is a two year brochure for 2012 and 2013. In order to save money on printing the board decided to print a two year brochure and use the savings to keep membership dues down and continue to optimize your ESBBA web site.
         More then ever, travelers are using their mobile devices (smart phones and iPads) to research and
make their travel plans. Just because YOU don't have a mobile device does not mean you don't need a dedicated "Mobile Web Site".  This is how guest are searching for you these days! The number of mobile users grows exponentially daily. 

For as little as $75 ESBBA members can have their own mobile web site. Our research has shown that most webmasters charge between $500 to $700 to develop a mobile web site for you. Usually, this does not include hosting. A mobile web site is a condensed version of your regular web site that will fit on and look right on a mobile device screen. This is extremely important as regular web sites do not fit on a mobile device screen. It is not readable unless it has been mobile optimized to fit the smaller screen size. If your web site is too small to read on a mobile devise visitors will leave your web site and go to another one that they are able to read on their mobile device.

Having a mobile web site is another way for visitors to find you and book with you immediately. If you are interested in taking advantage of this ESBBA member benefit call or email Belinda or Brad at 
(315) 483-2222  or (607)426-6586

NYSH&TA CONFERENCE April 21 - 23, 2013
Crowne Plaza - White Plains
  • Playing the Game of Social Media
  • Using Analytics
  • Mobile Marketing and more.
Register online at
by April 12. 

AND........Spring Cleaning
REMEMBER to UPDATE your ESBBA listing on the ESBBA web site. 
Your ESBBA Board is always available to hear from our members.

If you have any comments, opinions, news, tips or recipes you would like to share, send us an email. We would love to hear from you!  We hope to see you at the Meet & Greet on April 28 in Cooperstown. 


I hope that this months newsletter has provided you with news you can use. 

Wishing you a prosperous Spring season!
Belinda McElroy, Administrator
Empire State Bed & Breakfast Association

fb Don't forget to like us on Facebook!