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Inn on Main Street Asheville NC Bed & Breakfast
88 South Main Street
Weaverville, NC, 28787, USA
(828) 645-4935

Gift of New Friends

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Posted on December 24, 2008

One of the most rewarding aspects of running a bed and breakfast is one we hardly anticipated. Our guests are not just clients; they often become friends of ours and of other guests.

We just got a Christmas card with a photo from one of our memorable guests, Pat Kapeghian, who visited in September with her friend Edie Johnson to celebrate their retirement from careers as special education teachers in New York. The photo, shot by Pat, shows Edie, left, with a lovely British couple who was visiting us at the same time, Peter and Joan Green. They all bumped into each other at the Folk Art Center en route to the Biltmore Estate after enjoying a lively conversation at breakfast that morning. Along the Blue Ridge Parkway they had encountered friends, hundreds and thousands of miles from home.

When we all enter this surprising mix of ages and nationalities and colors and religion we bond and learn that we have more in common than we think. That’s the inn’s Christmas gift to us, and it keeps giving.

Room at the Inn

Posted on December 19, 2008 

In the Asheville area, we tend to think we’re recession-proof. Our economy is nurtured by the Biltmore Estate, Asheville’s charms and our beautiful mountains, a legendary draw for tourists. But our Inn on Main Street B&B, like other Asheville inns, is feeling the effects of the recession. Visits are down, and those guests who come tend to scale back on their stay.

To give our guests more value and more R&R, we’re offering more B&B this winter. Those folks who stay two nights in a premium room in January and February get a third night free, or free two-day tickets to the Biltmore. Stay in a queen room or the Monroe, and get the third night free. This deal doesn’t include Valentine’s Day weekend, but we have a special for Valentine lovers as well. Stay three nights in any room and we’ll buy an arrangement of roses. We stay busy and you get more value in your stay. We hope these specials can help make your stay special.

Get some anti-stuff

Posted on December 9, 2008 

A bunch of us innkeepers got together today with a couple faculty members from N.C. State University who are doing research into bed-and-breakfast demographics. Like most other Americans, Asheville bed and breakfast owners are feeling the pinch of the economy, and we’re looking for whatever edge the experts can provide.

One trend that falls in our favor, they said, was an anti “stuff” movement among Americans who have found that their possessions have increased, but not their satisfaction with what they have in life. Retailers who are already taking a beating this season won’t like to hear this, but Americans before the economic downturn were already scaling back on buying things in favor of spending on what gives their life more depth, more personal involvement and more meaning. I think of it as starting early on a bucket list.

If that’s the case, there will always be good reason to stay at a bed and breakfast instead of a hotel. The B&B experience is very personal. Your concierge is your host. Your chef is your host. Your maid may even be your host. Your breakfast conversation is with your hosts and a handful of other guests you may come to know on a first-name basis. The experience is unique, rich, unforgetable and personal. For two or three days, you’ll be a native of the community you’re staying in, not just a casual tourist guided by billboards and magazine ads.

That intimacy scares some folks. I once read a travel writer’s complaint that at a B&B he expected to be roped into boring conversations with a guy with a guitar who wants to be his best buddy for the weekend. I’ve never witnessed that scenario. We and our guests know when somebody wants to chat, and when he wants to be left alone. Most are much too busy to latch onto a reluctant guest. When a guest does participate, it’s usually a fun and rewarding experience to hear the perspective of someone from a different area, different vocation, maybe a different race or sexual orientation. Life is boring when you only encounter people a lot like yourself.

When you lose the IPod, the HDTV goes on the blink, you’re bored with Wii, and the Lexus has lost its new-car smell, you’ll always have memories of that romantic stay in the mountains to replay again and again.

-Dan

Merry Mountain Christmas Parade

Posted on December 6, 2008

Nancy and I just watched the last fire truck pass, signaling the end of yet another Weaverville Christmas Parade.

We often describe our town of 2500 as a cosmopolitan Mayberry, and Weaverville’s Christmas parade is more Mayberry than big-city. It represents all that is good and innocent and fun and reverent in small-town America. To be in the parade, you basically must have a pulse, and you don’t have to be human. We joke that there are more folks in the Weaverville parade than there are watching it.

We have clogging teams, karate clubs, a regional Model A club, Future Farmers of America and Breast Cancer Awareness floats. There are lots of horses and unicycles and tired kids with jump ropes. The North Buncombe High School Band is stepping sharp and sounding great, followed by an assortment of cement mixers, cable TV installer trucks, and front-end loaders. All the volunteer fire departments, representing crossroads too small to have their own parade, send their best equipment. Trucks from Jupiter, Reems Creek, Barnardsville and even Mars Hill and Woodfin blast their sirens, setting off howls from every dog in the neighborhood.

Every church, and there are plenty, has a wagon with kids and creche and free candy. There’s only one Santa in the parade, but at least 30 baby Jesuses.

Unlike the Macy’s Parade, ours isn’t to signal the beginning of the shopping season. That began a couple weeks ago. Ours is a celebration of community and of faith. And it’s a chance to be on stage for 15 minutes of fame.

- Dan

Women love bed and breakfasts

Posted on December 3, 2008

In our 10 years as innkeepers, we’ve seen one wonderful trend develop. More than ever, women are having a girlfriends getaway with old friends, sisters and co-workers, as well as with moms and daughters. We’ve answered that call with a Girlfriend Getaway special that includes a massage, facial and sauna at Secret Garden Spa, along with two-day tickets to the Biltmore Estate. The response has been fantastic. It helps that we are one of the rare bed and breakfasts around Asheville with two rooms with twin beds.

Another phenomenon has been an increase in women business travelers. As hotel costs rise, B&Bs become an attractive alternative for businesspeople on a budget. But women, in particular, say they prefer the hominess, safety and peace they find at our B&B. We were quoted by U.S. News and World Report a few years back on women’s preference for B&Bs. What businesswomen were saying then still goes. In addition, we have wireless internet now.

One recent visitor was Mollie Silver, here to begin classes at the Center for Massage and Natural Health. Several seminar teachers at the school have stayed here as well. Like most other business travelers, Mollie says she plans to return sometime when she doesn’t have to eat and run.

-Dan