Q. When is a “bed and breakfast package” not a bed and breakfast package?
A. When it’s not at a bed and breakfast inn.
For the second time since August 2, when Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association published a blog post to object to a similar instance, a large resort property is again imitating the authentic, warm hospitality available only in a bed and breakfast by offering – you guessed it – yet another “Bed and Breakfast Package.” And to rub salt in the wound, it’s promoted on the eSpecials publication broadcast by Travel Michigan, a state agency.
Why should that matter? The State of Michigan itself has defined a Michigan bed and breakfast as “a private residence that is also the innkeeper’s residence; has sleeping accommodations meant for lodgers; has no more than 14 rooms; and that serves breakfast at no extra charge to the lodgers.”
The resort property advertising the “Bed and Breakfast Package” in the Travel Michigan publication, sent to more than 100,000 subscribers, boasts 250 hotel rooms, suites, condominiums, townhomes and resort residences. There’s nothing in the description, taken from its website, that remotely resembles the state’s definition of a B&B.
When we contacted the property for more information on what its B&B package consists of, saying we enjoy staying at B&Bs, the woman on the other end of the line chuckled.
“Well,” she said, “if you’re thinking of a homey, personal home, no. This is a large resort. But we do include breakfast in some packages.”
Why would the Lake to Lake Bed and Breakfast Association give a rip? First, if the state has a definition of B&Bs, other types of lodging properties should not have the ability, nor the impertinence, to call themselves B&Bs – and especially not in a state publication.
We’re not mad at Travel Michigan. One the contrary: this collective membership of 130 quality-assured B&Bs actively supports passage of legislation to permanently fund the Pure Michigan campaign — a “gift that keeps on giving” from the State of Michigan to everyone in Michigan. Melinda Remer, Travel Michigan’s director of marketing, will be presenting a report on the campaign at our upcoming Annual Innkeeping Conference in Chelsea, October 24 – 26. We are thrilled! We have a good working relationship based on mutual respect for what each entity brings to the table.
But we’re also not amused. When a large resort misrepresents itself as having the capability to provide a B&B experience simply by calling its special a “bed and breakfast package,” it devalues bed and breakfast lodging experiences across the state that are unique and quintessentially Pure Michigan. And when a state agency endorses it despite the state’s own definition…. It gives us a moment’s pause.
Tell us what you think.