Reflections on Five Years of Innkeeping
Unlike many innkeepers we didn’t set out to find the perfect B&B; in fact we didn’t set out to find a B&B at all. Other than the occasional “oh wouldn’t it be fun to own a B&B or a campground” running an inn was not on our radar.
We have lived in many parts of the world and when we landed in Lancaster Country, Pennsylvania in 2007 we thought we might stay there forever. But after seven years of living in the over-crowdedness of the eastern USA, we decided it wasn’t for us. We longed for the open spaces of the Midwest, the warmth and openness of the people and the close proximity to family – particularly my 90 year-old parents. In our search to “find a way” to move back to Iowa, we found out through my brother (who also owns a B&B in Iowa City) that Die Heimat Country Inn in the Amana Colonies was for sale. So, we did our due diligence and studied the feasibility of us owning it. The rest is history.
We moved in July 23; on the hottest day of the summer of 2014. We moved all our personal belongings to the basement (which is now Marc’s shop) and set up our personal apartment at the other end of the basement and hit the ground running. The previous owners were around for a day or two and then we were on our own. We found that was the best way to learn – to jump in and do it ourselves and our way. Looking back – we knew so little. But I did know how to cook breakfast and welcome guests and Marc knew how to fix anything in the building that needed it and to welcome guests, so we plunged ahead and have learned so much.
In the past five years we have hosted people from all 50 states, 5 Canadian Provinces and 12 additional countries. The highlights of our job are meeting the interesting guests at breakfast time. We are always fascinated by their travels, their unique jobs and hobbies, what they do in retirement, their families and how they view the world.
Along the way, we’ve learned a few things about owning the business of Die Heimat Country Inn