Last night an internet article was brought to my attention by a leader in our bed and breakfast industry. It was about the Whitebriar Bed and Breakfast in Edgewater Park, NJ, and involved an exchange on their Facebook page. It made me gasp. The exchange is pictured here (click to make it big enough to read), and although we all have a right to express our opinion, this inn’s new notoriety comes at a very bad time for our industry as a whole.
For the past few years the B&B/Innkeeping industry leaders have been battling the perceived public image of bed and breakfasts. Based on polls taken by TripAdvisor and other factions in our industry, it appears the public doesn’t really even think about us when planning a trip. Worse yet..other polls show that when people do think about us, we are perceived as archaic, odd, grandma’s house, rigid with rules, forcing shared bathrooms and the list can go on and on. Part of this I think is due to tv shows like Faulty Towers, and the Newhart tv show. We have been fighting hard with a limited budget to create a more accurate and modern image for ourselves, and to point out that we are a great alternative to the regular hotel stay, being a “Better Way to Stay“.
This exchange on Facebook has now gone viral, being picked up by the Huffington Post, and endless other bloggers and news streams. This is NOT the exposure we need or desire.
This post is my own very small battle in this media war, geared to let everyone know that innkeepers are a very diverse group and offer up a great stay in every part of the country, for everyone, sans the political dialog, ranting and grandstanding.
Speaking for my inn, we welcome with open arms, everyone, no matter what race, religion, sexual orientation, or political stance you take. While we recognize and support the right for anyone in America to air their views publicly, we can’t understand the idiocy of putting it on a sign in front of your business, nor the rationale of dueling about it on Facebook or any other very public social media venue.