Historic bed and breakfasts : common characteristics and successful aspects

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Bechler, Emily L.
Glass, James A.
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Thesis (M.S.H.P.)
Department of Architecture
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The purpose of this thesis is to assess the characteristics and aspects that make B&Bs, particularly historic B&Bs, successful. This thesis also briefly demonstrates how historic B&Bs can contribute to communities and to the field of historic preservation through public awareness and adaptive reuse projects. Background information on the B&B industry is presented. Sources for the research include B&B owners, professionals in the B&B industry and historic preservation fields, written sources, and studies conducted on B&B owners and their businesses. Six B&Bs and their owners were selected as case studies in Indiana. Four of these six B&Bs were included in a previous Ball State thesis, The Role of Bed and Breakfasts in Heritage Tourism, prepared by Terri Ash in 1996.Additionally, three case studies in Georgia were chosen to increase diversity in the types of B&Bs evaluated. A profile of each B&B is presented; it includes information on the history of the B&B, why the owners decided to open up the B&B, the type of rehabilitation work that was needed, and how, if applicable, the B&B has changed over the last ten years. All of the information gathered from primary and secondary sources is combined to form conclusions regarding the primary aspects and common characteristics that contribute to a successful B&B. Primary conclusions drawn from this study include how the location, the number of rooms, the amenities, and the hospitality of the owners contribute to a successful B&B. Additionally, conclusions are drawn that compare the likelihood of success between historic B&Bs to non-historic B&Bs, and the benefits of locating a B&B in a historic building.