Learn about B&B’s effect on community

Published 12:01 am Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Learn how our Natchez Bed & Breakfasts enhance our quality of life and how you can contribute by attending our 2012 Mississippi Bed & Breakfast Workshop at the Monmouth Historic Inn, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday Sept. 5.

Lunch is included with registration. If you work with, or have interest in, our Natchez tourism, I urge you to attend the workshop to gain information, tools and contacts you can use to benefit your community, business, staff or you personally.

Our goal is to create more jobs in our state by educating Mississippians and local government officials about the benefits of bed and breakfast inns in the community. These workshops will give attendees the tools and resources necessary to open or invest in and successfully operate their own bed and breakfast inn.

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Always dreamed of owning a bed and breakfast? Make that dream a reality! Learn the “inns” and outs of innkeeping from industry experts. Topics will include an introduction to the Bed & Breakfast Industry, economic impact and opportunities, business plans, historical impacts, zoning regulations, tax credits, finding the perfect property and much more.

Workshop organizers are seeking to educate aspiring innkeepers, current innkeepers, investors, mayors, city council members, tourism leaders, Main Street associations, city zoning and planning officials and legislators on the opportunities and economic impact on tourism with Bed & Breakfasts in local communities.

The BBAM along with MDA-Economic Development and Tourism, MDAH and the Mississippi Heritage Trust are collaborating to conduct six workshops around the state in late August and early September. This is the first workshop series of its type. If you cannot attend this workshop, opportunities still remain to attend workshops scheduled for Hattiesburg on Sept. 6 and Gulfport on Sept. 7.

As the first settlement on the Mississippi, Historic Natchez is in an enviable position of being both a desirable destination as well as a convenient stop for casual sightseers and weary tourists. A survey of tourists to our American South by our Mississippi Development Authority indicates travelers believe Mississippi most reflects their view of “The True South.” Tourists from around the world travel for pleasure or business and bring material profits to the full range of our community’s services, including transportation, dining, shopping and accommodations. Thus tourism is actually one of, if not the world’s largest, industry and generator of jobs.

Jobs contribute to improving the quality of life for our residents. In a perfect world your city and visitors bureau officials collaborate and partner with individual businesses to create a community environment that brings more tourists to our community. Clearly all the participants in this partnership have an important role necessary to guarantee success.

Our Natchez Bed & Breakfasts enhance our community’s desirability, contribute high quality lodging choices as well as contribute to city and state taxes. However, a successful B&B requires city ordinances that encourage their startup and operation, a convention and visitors bureau that celebrates and markets the community to potential visitors, an owner that understands what it takes to provide a superior guest experience, a business plan that encourages growth while capitalizing on programs that support operating a business from a historic property or in a historic district, and staff that understand the value of providing our renown southern hospitality. Our B&B workshop will cover all aspects of this success scenario and as such the workshop has something for everyone.

Clearly more visitors to Natchez provides us more customers and guests, more business for our lodging, restaurants and shops, which yields more business revenues for jobs, property upgrades and tourism taxes for city operating budgets. Find out if you have what it takes to help make this happen.

Workshop registration is $25, which includes lunch and handouts. Contact Maybelle Beasley 601-956-0084 or manager@missbab.com if you have questions.

Go to www.missbab.com for an informational flier or to register online.

Contact me at 601-304-5378 or comfort@dshieldsusa.com if you have interest in the Bed & Breakfast Association of Mississippi.


Ronald Fry is the president of the Bed & Breakfast Association of Mississippi.