With the change in seasons, we begin turning our focus to leaf-peeping, fall festivals and then the B&Bs for Vets program. Last year nearly 900 inns and B&Bs in the U.S. and Canada participated in the B&Bs for Vets program, opening their doors to active and retired military and their families to say thank you for their service. Once again this year the Better Way To Stay Program will coordinate the industry-wide B&Bs for Vets campaign, recruiting and listing participating inns and B&Bs to offer free rooms to vets. This year, innkeepers will offer free rooms on November 11, 2013 so those who’ve served their country can celebrate Veteran’s Day at an inn or B&B.
We’ve had many questions about when the list of participating properties will begin to go public. Within the next few days innkeepers will receive instructions on where and how to post their participation. Those offers should begin to appear on BetterWaytoStay.com sometime between mid-September and Octover. Veterans seeking complimentary rooms can either check the list being constantly updated on their website (this list can be sorted by city, state, province or inn name) OR check the map pages for a quick visual view of participating inns.
It is important for veterans to understand that participation in the B&Bs for Vets program is completely voluntary; innkeepers participate at any level they choose. Some will offer one free room for veterans, other innkeepers may open the entire inn. Still other innkeepers might offer an additional discount or even a year-round offer to veterans. Every innkeeper who participates does so to say thank you to our military for their service, and each one feels a strong commitment to veterans who’ve put their lives on the line to protect their country.
Here are just a few of the many quotes we’ve received from innkeepers who participated in the B&Bs for Vets program:
“It was the BEST innkeeping experience we’ve ever had! “ – Jim and Judy Churchill, The Gables Bed & Breakfast
“We enjoyed very much being a part of this program and being able to thank a few vets in person for their service. What a success!” – Darlene Gonzales, Elkwood Manor Luxury Bed & Breakfast
Throughout the four years of the B&Bs for Vets program, we estimate approximately 50,000 room nights have been given to veterans from innkeepers anxious to reward our military personnel for their service. The B&Bs for Vets program was started by one committed innkeeper, Kathleen Panek of the Gillum House B&B in Shinnston, WV, and with help from fellow innkeepers at the Thomas Shepherd B&B grew into a national phenomenon. Now in its fourth year, we hope that more than a thousand inns and B&Bs from the U.S. and Canada will participate.
Vets, please give those innkeepers who’ve opened their doors a rousing applause. Be on the lookout for inns and B&Bs from the U.S. and Canada participating in the B&Bs for Vets program. Remember, offers are added daily, right through Veteran’s Day, so keep checking back. Also, please note that proof of military service will be required and a credit card may be required simply to hold the reservation.
For the complete list of participating inns, visit www.BetterwaytoStay.com.