Letters from Vermont



10 Questions For Wedding Venues That Save Money (Part II)

Posted by on May 2, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

10 Questions For Wedding Venues That Save Money (Part II)

Did you know you can actually save money on your wedding? Seriously. When you know what you’re looking for and what questions to ask, you can save a lot of money in dreaded “add-ons” and extras. Take these questions to your wedding venue to avoid surprises on your bill. Missed the first five? Catch up here. 6. Is seating for the ceremony available? Depending on your chosen ceremony venue, determine how and where your guests will sit. Some venues use the same event space for the ceremony and the reception. Find out if they offer chairs for...

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10 Questions For Wedding Venues That Save Money (Part I)

Posted by on Apr 25, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

10 Questions For Wedding Venues That Save Money (Part I)

You’ve found the groom, bought the dress and shoes, picked your bridesmaids, now what? It’s time to find a venue! Getting to know your venue is so important. Look at their website, read through their contract, and ask lots of questions. Here are 10 questions you should ask your wedding venue to avoid extra charges. 1. What table linens do you provide? Table linens are the “icing on the cake” to your wedding reception. They provide a crisp base to your table setting. Depending on the venue, some may charge to use and clean their linens. At the...

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Wedding Reception Timeline? We Can Help

Posted by on Mar 24, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Wedding Reception Timeline? We Can Help

Planning a wedding reception is one of the first big challenges a wedding couple faces – and they have to handle it before they’re even officially married! In addition to the questions of food choices, décor and music, one of the big questions Lynne usually receives is “is there a set time for us to do each of the things we want to do during our wedding reception?” The answer obviously is no. It’s your wedding, and you can schedule it however you want. Want to cut the cake right after the ceremony? Sure. First dance before going off for...

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30 Years of “Welcome Home”

Posted by on Mar 15, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 2 comments

30 Years of “Welcome Home”

The year 2016 marks a very special year for the Phineas Swann Bed and Breakfast Inn. This year is our 30th anniversary. Back in 1986, Richard and Helen Kortea had no idea they were creating institution in the Jay Peak/Montgomery area. The couple opened up several rooms in their home, which was already hosting an outdoor outfitter in the back of its carriage house. Now, some three decades later, the Phineas Swann Bed and Breakfast has hosted more than 20,000 guests, welcoming couples, families, thousands of dogs, skiers, hikers, bikers,...

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No, We’re Not For Sale

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

No, We’re Not For Sale

Google searches always bring up interesting results. We’re fortunate that there aren’t too many places called “Phineas Swann,” so finding us on the web is very easy. But sometimes when people search “Vermont Bed and Breakfast For Sale” they get a surprise. They find us. It’s an interesting quirk, and proof that on the internet, nothing ever dies. Old pages from years ago still linger. This particular page, from almost five years ago now, still hangs out there. And it’s a little disconcerting for...

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Bed and Breakfast Feedback is a Gift

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Bed and Breakfast Feedback is a Gift

The late Stephen Covey, author of “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,”  always stressed that feedback is a gift. He bemoaned that so many companies were defensive about any criticism they received. They took it personally, and shut down or tried to make excuses to mute or refute the criticism. How many of us are like that? At the Phineas Swann, our team constantly reminds itself that bed and breakfast feedback is a gift. We don’t shower every morning in every room.  We don’t sample every bottle of wine...

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A Modern Bed and Breakfast Isn’t Grandma’s House

Posted by on Jan 23, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

A Modern Bed and Breakfast Isn’t Grandma’s House

We had an interesting experience last week. We were speaking with a young lady who is getting married in the area, and was looking for rooms for all of her wedding guests. It’s a common situation, and we love being the base of operations for weddings even when the ceremony and reception aren’t happening at the Phineas Swann. In fact, when wedding parties take our whole inn, we even provide complimentary shuttle service to the site for guests. The bride-to-be wanted to learn more about our B&B, because according to her we had been...

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Hospitality Includes Making Guests Safe and Secure

Posted by on Jan 5, 2016 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Hospitality Includes Making Guests Safe and Secure

In the Disney hierarchy, there’s only one thing that trumps courtesy when it comes to dealing with customers. It’s the only excuse that cast members (what Disney calls its employees) can cite for being less than courteous to guests. As priorities go, it is first, ahead of efficiency and showmanship. It’s safety. Safety in the hospitality industry should never be an afterthought, and yet for many organizations it’s not something to which hosts devote enough time. If you’ve ever stayed at an inexpensive hotel, or...

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When The Owner Is A Guest

Posted by on Dec 16, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

When The Owner Is A Guest

Found this yesterday while scrolling through Phineas Swann Bed and Breakfast reviews on TripAdvisor. We get lots of reviews on Google+, Facebook, Expedia, Booking.com and other sites, but I’ve found TripAdvisor’s to be the most popular. What I stumbled across on TA was my review, from back in 2012 when I was passing through Montgomery Center, a year before we bought the place. It was my first visit to the Phineas Swann Bed & Breakfast Inn, and it’s fascinating as the current owner to see what I thought of the place as a...

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Being An Innkeeper – A Peek Behind The Curtain

Posted by on Nov 15, 2015 in Letters from Vermont | 0 comments

Being An Innkeeper – A Peek Behind The Curtain

One of our recent guests, writer Thomas Lee Jones, asked us to pen a brief story about how Lynne & I came to be innkeepers in northernmost Vermont. Thomas’s wonderful blog, Orange and Magenta, is filled with great stories of travel, food and the arts. We include the article here, but encourage you to visit all of Thomas’s site for some very enjoyable reading.   Fulfulling A Fantasy Bob Newhart is a liar. Not the actor, mind you, but the character and situations he portrayed for eight seasons in the 1980s in his CBS-TV...

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