"What's a bed and breakfast?" Tina Czarnota was shocked by how many times she heard this question. Czarnota is an "inn-thusiast" and author of the book Country Inn, Dead & Breakfast. Pledging to do something about this lack of knowledge, Czarnota set about introducing friends and family to B&Bs and inns by visiting many of them and sharing her experiences with others. After searching and brainstorming, Czarnota found a bigger platform by sponsoring an annual day honoring the industry: National Country Inn, Bed & Breakfast Day.
Czarnota kindly answered several questions for me via email about this special day.
BedandBreakfast.com: When is National Country Inn, Bed & Breakfast Day?
Tina Czarnota: Country Inn, Bed & Breakfast Day is celebrated annually on the first Sunday in October across America, Canada, and soon, globally.
BB: What does it celebrate?
TC: Country Inn, Bed & Breakfast Day celebrates the industry's unique style of lodging. Unlike chain hotels, each bed and breakfast and inn has its own personality and is quite different from the next. Some are regal and manor-like, while others are kitschy and funky—and there's every style in between.
BB: When did you start it and why did you decide to start it?
TC: On the first Sunday in October, 2005, National Country Inn, Bed & Breakfast Day was born. Since then, annually, the first Sunday in October recognizes B&B, inns, innkeepers, and fans of B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada. One may find the official listing annually in Chase’s Calendar of Events. After discovering and experience the joys of lodging at B&Bs and inns, I shared my experiences with friends and family. I was surprised at how many folks had no idea what a B&B or inn was, or how much fun they were missing. So after some sleuthing and brainstorming, I found a way to declare a day for the “inn-dustry.” National Country Inn, Bed & Breakfast Day is the result.
BB: How can both travelers and inns participate?
TC: Each innkeeper does it differently. Some share how they became an innkeeper; others will answer questions on how to get started in innkeeping, and some have guided tours and tell history and share information about the property. Some offer ghost tours, sit-down discussions, author book signings, and some hold giveaways and special brunches. Innkeepers can contact me for more information and suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For example, on Sunday, October 3, 2010, guests at Our House Bed & Breakfast (St. Augustine, FL) will receive an Our House B&B coffee mug to take home to commemorate the day. It sports the inn's logo and the phrase, "Welcome to Our House!"
Besides flying her banner announcing the day, innkeeper Jolene of Quite the Stir B&B (Gettysburg, PA) will host a 1940s Light Tea and Etiquette Instruction in honor of the day and to maintain hospitality of a by-gone era in B&Bs and inns.
The Inn Above Onion Creek (Kyle, TX) is our 2010 award winner, chosen by Jolene of Quite the Stir B&B. Innkeepers Amy and Don will fly a banner (Amy is pictured with her banner below), and in concert with the talented Chef Galvan, they will offer an extra course to their already decadent three course dinner. Additional treats are in store for fans who lodge on Country Inn, Bed & Breakfast Day.
At Harborside House (Marblehead, MA), innkeeper Susan Livingston will celebrate by gifting her lodgers for that day with a complimentary gift box of Harbor Sweets of Salem, MA.
At Gateways Inn and Restaurant (Lenox, MA), owners/innkeepers Rosemary and Fabrizio Chiariello will give overnight lodgers on B&B Day a complimentary, created-on-premises baked good.
Travelers are definitely invited to celebrate too, for they are a major part of this lodging phenomenon. They can contact their favorite B&B or inn and inquire if the property is participating in the day.
BB: Has B&B Day grown over the years?
TC: I'm happy to say it has. On the launch, Our House B&B celebrated with a ribbon and cake cutting, an open house, and giveaways. That was a thrill for me to see the day being celebrated. Since then, several B&B innkeepers from the UK and other parts have written me, asking how they could be included in the celebration of the day. We are working on that presently.