Wait… airbnb and B&B aren’t the same thing?

Any time an article about Airbnb is shared on social media, which is all the time it seems, we get asked what we think about the short term rental website. And a lot of people think the Inn on Mill Creek is an airbnb because it’s a B&B. So we want to clarify some things.

Inn on Mill Creek, a licensed bed and breakfast (B&B)

There are “real” B&Bs on the Airbnb website, absolutely, but being on Airbnb does not automatically make an airbnb property a B&B.

The Inn on Mill Creek Bed & Breakfast is a professionally-run, independent small business that is licensed, insured, and inspected twice a year by the health department. We’re members of our state’s highly regarded B&B association (NCBBI) as well as a national group called the Association of Independent Hospitality Professionals. We take very seriously the role we have as a B&B of providing you with safe, clean accommodations, personalized assistance with planning your getaway, and excellent hospitality (and of course a great breakfast by Chef Dave). We believe you deserve this from a B&B, whether it be ours or one of the other thousands of legitimate, professionally run B&Bs in the world.

We don’t believe in canceling our guests’ reservations and leaving them without a place to stay (see this article), having hidden cameras set up (see this article…creepy), instructing guests to lie and say that they’re family visiting so we can get around a lease violation or HOA rule or expecting our guests to know our local laws and regulations to make sure they aren’t a party to fraud (see this article… ridiculous), or creating an unsafe situation for our guests that comes with lack of proper insurance or licensing or inspections (see this article). Are all airbnbs like this? NO. But because there is the misconception that Airbnb = B&B, the negative things we just mentioned are often wrongly attributed to the B&B industry and B&Bs get lumped in with Airbnb as a lodging type not to be trusted. So we have to bring it up to say no, that is not our industry. That is not a B&B.

It is important to note that we are not anti-Airbnb. With its clout and its ability to reach a wide audience, Airbnb has done tremendous work educating travelers that there are excellent alternatives to hotels out there. They have a very user-friendly website. Our friends have wonderful, legal airbnbs that they rent out; there are even some nice airbnbs in our area that we recommend when we know it’s a good fit. Plus, to its credit, Airbnb wants legitimate bed and breakfast properties to list on its site; they are even a member of our national association and they have been listening to the concerns that professional B&Bs have with Airbnb. All that said, we can see with our own eyes some of the issues that have arisen, like the disappearing of neighborhoods and affordable long-term residential housing (see this article) and the influx of unregulated, illegal and potentially unsafe short term rentals (see this article). And so we hesitate being on the Airbnb website until those issues are seriously addressed.

Of course, our decision not to connect ourselves with Airbnb at this time affects our business since Airbnb is very popular, especially with travelers under the age of 35, all of whom as adult travelers came of age in the era of Airbnb and many of whom believe that “Airbnb” is synonymous with “B&B”. Needless to say, it is frustrating that for a large subset of the traveling population, the term “B&B” has been defined by a website of mostly whole house rentals and rooms for rent in private residences, few of which offer the second “b” in B&B (and if they do offer breakfast, chances are they are not inspected unless they are a legitimate B&B).

So those are our thoughts on Airbnb for those of you who have asked. You may see us on Airbnb one day. You might not. But regardless of how you discover the Inn on Mill Creek, just know that you will get a truly unique and authentic travel experience at a legitimate B&B like ours, a safe place to stay, great amenities (and that includes breakfast), and an attention to hospitality that makes B&Bs a fantastic option for a getaway.

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