Four years ago today Shannon and I bought the Addison. It was a fast sale and, after five years of looking, almost anticlimactic. Shannon had visited the inn and had fallen in love with it. I hadn’t even seen the inn when I was at the bank, pen poised over paper, ready to sign my life away. I asked Shannon “Are you sure?” and she said yes. We signed a bunch of papers and the Addison was ours.
The Addison was a bank foreclosure, a distressed property, that hadn’t had a lot of maintenance or investment recently. Wallpaper was hanging off of the walls, towel rods were hanging of off the walls, light fixtures were iffy. I couldn’t figure out how to turn the courtyard lights on. I looked for timers, light sensors, I walked around the courtyard clapping. Nothing worked. It turns out all of the light bulbs were all burned out. We replaced over 100 lightbulbs in the first week.
We didn’t have the usual business turnover procedures that occur when you buy an active business from someone. We didn’t have pass codes for the computers, I knew nothing about the mechanical systems and there was nobody who could explain how the hot water system worked. The file cabinets were empty. On top of it all, we had no idea how to run a B&B!
Jan and Rick from the B&B Team were a great help. Jan spent a week at the Addison discussing amenities, linens, towels, breakfasts, menu planning, vendors and everything else to get us started. Rick was here for a few days and we worked out a marketing plan, basic budgets and a path forward for the inn.
Four years later we have no regrets. Shannon and I just got back from a great dinner and we both agreed that what we did was a good thing. We originally thought we would be doing better financially but who knew, back in December 2007, that an alleged recession was about to knock the wind out of the economy. On the bright side…. People may not be able to afford to go to Europe or Mexico for two weeks but they can still afford to stay in a top-rated B&B on Amelia Island for a few days.
Four years ago. No regrets. We live on an island in Florida. We run our own business and people like what we do. What isn’t there to like? As my daughter likes to say “Nobody on this island has it better than Bob”. As I like to say, “I’ve never smiled so much in my life”.