adidas samba golf Historic inns on the outs in Kingston
At least four bed and breakfasts are currently for sale in Kingston, pointing to challenges for entrepreneurs in the hospitality industry and difficulties posed by stringent government regulations.
Nigel and Tessa Dearsley, owners of the Green Woods Inn on Hwy. 15, recently decided to sell their four room inn after operating the business for years.
The couple bought the historic home also known as the Baxter House after the family that built it in 1850 (later modified in 1910) after leaving Richmond Hill in 2002.
Before moving to Kingston, Nigel Dearsley owned an engineering firm and was a business consultant.
one of those things that people have thought about once in their lives, Dearsley said. a new venture and entrepreneurship was my speciality. since the zoning was approved by the city in 2010, Dearsley said owning a small bed and breakfast has meant costly renovations to keep up with ongoing regulatory change.
Legislation introduced by the province also forced the couple to put additional infrastructure in place to comply with fire regulations, such as fire separation between each room.
is horrendously expensive to do, Dearsley said. very very difficult to keep up with it. Kingston seems to be very firm in its interpretation of the regulations. with a recent personal injury, expensive property taxes and the fact they are nearing retirement age, Dearsley said operating the inn doesn make sense for the couple bottom line.
seems to be a lack of consistency with the whole thing, Dearsley said, pointing to industry regulations. made life so difficult to keep up with our dream. Doughty, owner of the Rosemount Inn and Spa on Sydenham Street, plans to retire after 22 years as an innkeeper and sell her home.
Although she did not have issues maintaining regulatory standards,
Doughty said she doesn see a future for historic inns in Kingston.
wouldn be at all surprised if all historic inns in Kingston couldn keep up, she said. a shame because Kingston is such a wonderful spot for them. pointed to changes in the hospitality industry that make it harder to compete with larger hotel and motel chains.
of the most difficult things is that people are being primed and coached to expect last minute deals or discounts, she said. are still expecting that they can come to our door and get (a room) for $99. That makes it very difficult. is especially true during the winter, where Doughty said other accommodation chains can offer customers less expensive rooms.
But for an historic home, she said rising utility costs and other factors prevent that from being the case.
think (historic inns will) disappear, she said. think everybody has done a wonderful job in Kingston, but waiting for the next generation to want to buy them is unrealistic. there were difficulties, Doughty said she was rewarded by loyal guests.
a lovely business to be in, she said. hard to leave it. But I done my time. Hochelaga Inn, an 1859 Victorian style home on Sydenham Street, as well as the the Whitney Manor on Glen Lawrence Crescent, built by Navy captain James McKenzie in 1817, are also for sale.
While the owner of the Hochelaga Inn cited retirement, the owners of the Whitney Manor cited a young family and a change in lifestyle as the reason for selling their business.
Don Matthews, owner of the Sleepy Hollow Inn in Gananoque and the regional representative for the Federation of Ontario Bed and Breakfast Accommodation,
said the typical bed and breakfast lasts an average of four to five years.