Ask Lance and Joanne Murphy (above) what helped to sustain them during several years of renovating the property that became Port Austin Bed and Breakfast, and they’ll give lots of credit to their MBBA Aspiring Innkeeper membership.

After their opening weekend in May 2021, Joanne posted in MBBA’s private member forum, which is open to Aspiring members: “Our opening weekend although small went very well. Our guests enjoyed their rooms and their meals. We received lots of compliments on our attention to little details. Many of those details were inspired by you all and your willingness to share your ideas and challenges. We thank you all. Joining MBBA is the single most important thing we did to ensure our success. Again, THANK YOU!”

Starting your own bed and breakfast can be a daunting task, but with the help of our members and their resources, the Michigan Bed and Breakfast Association can assist you in making your dream a reality!

Scroll down for shadowing opportunities, to apply for membership as an aspiring innkeeper, and for great print and online educational resources.

Meet Aspiring Innkeeper members

Ed and Maryann Cutlip
3366 White Dr
Bad Axe MI 47413
(586) 634-9883

Angela and John Martin
1357 Buckhorn St
Saint Joseph MI 49085
We own a home that we are converting to a B&B. We are undergoing extensive renovations to accommodate a B&B.

Nancy and Megan Lassen
2856 Hammond Rd E
Traverse City MI 49686
We have purchased a property in Traverse City that was formerly run as a bed and breakfast. We are embarking on renovations to update the property and create a thriving B&B.

Christa Campbell
4334 Dell Rd Apt O
Lansing MI 48911
I am beginning the process of looking for a B&B site in southern Michigan.

Mary Rudd
111 S Ridge St
Port Sanilac MI 48469
I bought a home that was previously a B&B. I am making repairs and updates to open as a bed & brunch as soon as possible.

Hillary Miles
Chicago IL 60625

Judy and Bert Ross
9489 Hidden Lake circle
Dexter MI 48130
We are looking for what would be best suited for our own ideas for a B&B. We will know it when we see it. We are looking in the Dexter/Chelsea area.

Hillary Stifler
4447 N Beacon 3S
Chicago IL 60640
I currently work full time in marketing, but am planning a career change to innkeeping. To jump start my next career, I have helping out at the Wicker Park Inn in Chicago on weekends. Ideally, I’d like to start with a position as an innkeeper to learn the trade and eventually purchase a turnkey property. My timeline to transition from marketing to innkeeping is late 2020.

Charlie and Laura Horwitz
2210 Birchwood Ct
Glenview IL 60025
We are in the process of purchasing a B&B property in southwestern Michigan and are actively seeking a full-time managing innkeeper. Contact us if your are interested or have someone to recommend.

Steven Mandley and Brett Rogers
2093 N Baldwin Rd
Oxford MI 48371
Our dream of opening a bed and breakfast is soon to come true with Stag’s Leap Farm B&B, also our new home. Steven enjoys gardening and tending the chickens and Brett loves to cook. Together, we planned the design and layout of the B&B and oversaw all the renovations. Our goal is for every guest to enjoy an exceptional and happily-memorable experience.

Benefits of Aspiring Innkeeper Membership:

    • Listing on the Aspiring Innkeeper webpage
    • Notices of and invitations to meetings, webinars and conferences
    • Subscriptions to eNewsletters and other special mailings/alerts
    • “Shadow” veteran innkeepers for on-the-job training (See “Become a Shadower,” below)
    • Participate in educational webinars as scheduled
    • Access to the private online member Facebook forum 24/7
    • Waive the $50 non-member guest fee for the annual MBBA innkeeping conference

Annual Dues:  • $99
For a membership application, click here or call or email the office.

Note: If you open your inn and join as a full inn member before your aspiring membership year is over, we will pro-rate your $99 membership fee against your $150 start-up fee. Full inn membership is REQUIRED within 30 days after you open your doors to your first guests. If you choose not to become a full inn member within the 30-day grace period, your aspiring innkeeper membership status will be revoked.

Note: Aspiring Innkeeper Membership is as an associate member and is non-voting.


Find B&B Purchase Opportunities Here.

Become a Shadower – Learn the B&B Ropes

There’s no better way to decide whether innkeeping is right for you than by trying it on for size. And there’s no better way to learn what to do and how to do it best than by doing it — under the guidance of an innkeeper who lives it every day.

MBBA is the only Michigan organization that offers aspiring innkeepers the chance to shadow a professional innkeeper at a working inn. A list of those participating in the program is below. NOTE that each innkeeper and each B&B is different. Each has its own shadowing protocols. To the extent possible, each will tailor those protocols to suit your situation and availability. Some may charge you a fee (but only for an overnight stay), especially during their busy times. Others may offer only a mid-week and/or a daytime-only experience. Some have lots of time and space while others are more limited. But ALL will welcome you with open arms. Don’t be shy: if you are an MBBA-member aspiring innkeeper, call or email to set up your personal shadowing experience.

Ellsworth:  The House on the Hill B&B  l  Marci Palajac  l  231-588-6304  l  email

Grand Haven:  Looking Glass Beachfront Inn  l  Brian King  l  231-588-6304  l  email

Ludington:  Lamplighter B&B  l Jen Hinderer  l  231-843-9792  l  email

Ludington:  Ludington House  l  Ellen Alderink  l 231-845-7769  l  email 

Mt. Pleasant:  Ginkgo Tree Inn  l  Jean Prout  l  989-773-8733  l  email

South Haven:  Victoria Resort and B&B  l  Jim Martin  l  269-637-6414  l  email

St. Johns:  Nordic Pineapple B&B  l  Kjersten Offenbecker  l  989-292-4178  l  email

Whitehall:  The Lewis House B&B  l  Debi Hillebrand  l  844 -854-6424  l  email


Great Print and Online Learning Resources

Setting Up and Running a Successful B&B
How tough is it? Can you cut it? Find out from Karen Thorne, innkeeper and founder, Bed & Breakfast Academy

Articles for Aspiring Innkeepers.
A guide to financing B&Bs, inns and boutique hotels. Authored by Richard Newman, 

Running a Bed & Breakfast for Dummies
Learn to * Choose a location and make it your own * Create a profitable business plan * Decorate and renovate your property * Market your property for maximum occupancy. Authored by Mary White, former president of