Arbor View House Bed and Breakfast has always been a black-owned bed and breakfast. At the 2000 PAII ( Professional Association of Innkeepers conference in Myrtle Beach, we were only a handful of black innkeepers.
At first, we didn’t think about how unique we were until a guest showed up one day and was genuinely surprised that we were the owners and didn’t work for someone else. After all, it was 1999. Weren’t we in a post-racial society? We knew that black-owned bed and breakfast was rare but didn’t think it mattered that much. The race of the owner of a bed and breakfast mattered little. What really mattered was the quality of the home, the breakfast, the beds, and the ability to anticipate and assess guests’ needs and respond courteously and professionally.
Boy, were we wrong. Without going into all the details of how wrong we were, we realized that we had to let people know in advance that we were black and that they were comfortable with that.