Buying an Inn or Bed and Breakfast in Vermont: First Things First

Perhaps for a long time you have have wondered what it would be like to own an inn or bed and breakfast in Vermont. You have decided it is time to cash out of the city and retire from your hectic urban existence. The kids are gone, and you and your spouse would like to do something different together in a more bucolic setting. Perhaps you have been coming to Vermont for years on family vacations, are familiar with a certain part of our magical landscape, and have always dreamed of owning a piece of it.  Excellent! There are a number of questions you will need to answer as you begin to hone in on a list of lodging properties you might wish to purchase.

What are your goals? Are you looking for a lifestyle or a business, or a little of both?  What types of knowledge or skill sets are you bringing with you? The garden-to-table food business is getting a lot of press lately –  perhaps a restaurant is in your future as well. Will you hire people to help you, or will you do it all yourselves?  What shape are your finances in and will you have enough money to carry you through slow periods in the business?  How much is enough? Will you need or want to borrow money, and from whom? We can help you answer all these questions and more.

There are many kinds of Vermont hospitality properties on the market,  and some are not profitable. Unless your background is in finance or you have worked in the industry, you would be well advised to work with a  Vermont Inn broker like Vermont Lodging Properties, before you start touring inns. We can request and analyze financial documents and do a proper business analysis to determine a property’s current worth, in order to help you make a reasonable offer and not overpay. We can save you a lot of time, frustration, and money before you leave home.

Give us a call before you start this exciting and challenging journey toward becoming innkeepers. We have gone through all the steps ourselves as former owners of the historic 22-room Swift House Inn in Middlebury, Vermont.  We operated this successful, award-winning, four diamond inn and restaurant for 18 years and can offer great insight into the process. Let our knowledge and experience lead you to a successful and positive realization of your goals!

Look for future posts in this series covering such topics as: Procuring Loans; Vermont B and Bs vs. Full Service Inns; Management Styles;  Restaurants, Weddings and Events;  Location: Rural or In Town Properties; Motels etc.

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