Bed and Breakfast Project Management Thesis

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B&B Project

Watch Hill, RI Bed and Breakfast Conversion: A Project Management Outline and Proposal

The Windridge estate in Watch Hill, Rhode Island, contains a large and historic nines-bedroom and five-bathroom house with extensive grounds and ocean views, making it a secluded and picturesque location that is still easily accessible and within several hours of major population centers (the New York and Boston areas, specifically, as well as other surrounding New England urban areas) (Coleman 2010). This makes the estate an ideal location for conversion to a Bed & Breakfast business enterprise, with very little in the way of structural or grounds modification necessary to ensure the estate's attraction to potential guests (greatly reducing initial start-up costs) and a geographic location that is at once central to many popular travel destinations yet enough out of the way to provide the privacy and seclusion that many travelers increasingly desire (Teal 2007; Adams & Adams 2006).

Initial startup costs, including the down payment and closing costs for the purchase of the existing estate, permits, taxes, and constructions costs for modifications to the property as well as the construction of an owners cottage on the property (which will allow for greater profitability of the business as a whole) are estimated at one-million and on-hundred-thousand dollars ($1.1 million). Monthly mortgage payments and tax payments would be approximately twenty-thousand dollars; additional operating costs would be minimal with owner-supplied labor. Profitability would be low in the first year and increase dramatically thereafter (Teal 207).

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TOPIC: Thesis on Bed and Breakfast Project Management Assignment

The initiation of the proposed Bed and Breakfast project at the Windridge estate will require a substantial outlay of initial capital, totaling just over one million dollars. Eight-hundred-thousand of this, the vast majority of startup costs, will serve as a down payment on the property, which is currently listed at four million and two-hundred thousand dollars ($4.2 million), and which it is believed can be negotiated down to an even four million dollars. Closing costs on the purchase, calculated at three percent, would one-hundred-and-twenty thousand dollars ($120,000), brining the total cost of the initial purchase of the property to nine-hundred-and-twenty thousand dollars ($920,000). At an annual percentage rate of four percent on the three-hundred-and-twenty thousand dollar loan and a property tax rate of one-and-a-quarter percent, monthly payments for the structure and property would be equal to approximately twenty-thousand dollars (MC 2010).

Construction costs will form the bulk of the remaining startup costs. There is currently a one-to-one bedroom/bathroom ration in the structure, but only one bathroom is en suite. The two-second-floor bedrooms without attached bathrooms can be converted to full suites; the addition of a third bathroom upstairs and the conversion of the three upstairs dens to two larger bedrooms will increase the number of available bedrooms in the structure to eleven, with no more than two bedrooms sharing a bathroom and with an un-assigned half bath on the second floor (Coleman 2010).

Total construction costs for these modifications are not expected to exceed one-hundred thousand dollars ($100,000). The remaining eighty thousand dollars will be primarily for permits and the construction of a small one-bedroom one-bath owners cottage, separate from the main structure, allowing for all eleven bedrooms to be occupied by paying guests and providing some privacy and respite to the owners. All construction and necessary inspections and licensing is expected to be completed within a three-month period; this will add an additional sixty-thousand dollars in mortgage payments to the initial costs before the business is ready to begin receiving guests, though booking can start in advance assuming an on-track construction timeline. Total timeline and costs from purchase to opening is three months and one-million one-hundred-and-sixty thousand dollars ($1.16 million).

Planning and Design

The operational design of the Bed and Breakfast will be fairly straightforward and in line with the operating standards and procedures of other similar enterprises in the area. Optional meals (in addition to included breakfasts) can be offered to increase profitability, as can other activities and amenities offered in conjunction with local tourism vendors (Adams & Adams 2006). The location of the property at the southwestern tip of Rhode Island makes it an excellent location for boating tours and day-trips to less affordable locations such as Fisher's Island; this fact will serve as both advertising fodder and increased profitability (Adams & Adams 2006).

The construction of the owner's cottage is also meant to ensure greater profitability based on expected occupancy rates and average room charges for similar enterprises located in the area. Though greater initial investment at the outset -- particularly in the form of a larger down payment -- would significantly reduce monthly operating costs, yet would require the attraction of outside investors and would significantly reduce the project's profitability in the long-term (Teal 2007). With the proper amenities offered to attract business and given the estate's location near two major urban centers as well as smaller but well-serviced airports within an hour from the property, as well as the picturesque grounds and hill-top views of the Atlantic and Long Island Sound in three directions, the physical design and location of this enterprise could hardly be better (Coleman 2010).

Execution

The operation of the project has also been carefully planned in a way that will both attract consumers and ensure profitability for the owners/operators. The full operation of the business by the owners, with the possibility of hourly-waged employees during busier seasons and doubtless with vendor support, is a key to profitability in the Bed and Breakfast industry, and the proposed Windridge project is no exception. Daily upkeep, including basic repairs and maintenance, cleaning, cooking, and all guest services would be provided by the owners, thus greatly reducing operating costs (Teal 2007).

The eleven rooms available in the estate's main structure would be rented at a nightly rate of $100-$250-year round, which is essentially in keeping with nearby businesses, such as the Stagecoach House Inn in Wyoming, Rhode Island (SHI 2010). Rates at this inn actually reach their limit at $199 for the Honeymoon Suite; the slightly increased prices for the proposed project at the Windridge estate is justified by several reasons. The grounds and views surrounding Windridge are far more desirable and striking than those at the Stagecoach House Inn, and Windridge also offers greater seclusion while still providing easy accessibility to the town of Watch Hill and the major urban areas already mentioned above, making it a more attractive setting to many travelers (SHI 2010; Adams & Adams 2006). The substantial grounds and the flat meadow area that are part and parcel of the Windridge estate also make the location ideal for events such as wedding ceremonies, which could be hosted on the property at premium rates, further increasing profitability and helping to justify higher single-room rates.

Also justifying these slightly higher rates is the fact that Watch Hill currently contains only one operating hotel, and this hotel's complex consists of residential condos as well as the hotel, which is very modern in design and in the service and amenities offered (Trip Advisor 2010). Though this hotel has received excellent reviews and is well established in the area, the planned Bed and Breakfast at Windridge estates would be marketed towards a different brand of tourist, seeking the privacy and romanticism not available at larger hotels (Teal 2007).

Assuming an average rental rate of $175 per room per night and an average of total monthly operating costs of approximately twenty-three thousand dollars ($23,000), which includes the mortgage and tax payments as well as costs for food, utilities, and upkeep, the Bed and Breakfast would need to book a total of 132 room-nights per month in order to cover costs. This is equivalent to booking half of the available rooms for twenty-two nights every month, or approximately four-and-a-half rooms a night every night in a thirty-day period. It is likely that some months will not reach these numbers, but other months are very likely to exceed them, and full occupancy (almost double what the Bed and Breakfast would need to achieve in order to break even) could be reasonably expected during the summer tourism months based on currently available information from nearby competition (SHI 2010; Trip Advisor 2010). This does not take into account any tourism-vendor profits or any other profit-generating activities such as extra meal provision or event hosting.

Monitoring and Controlling

The monitoring and controlling of the project's costs and profits will take place on a daily and near-immediate basis through the on-site management by the owners. Rate adjustments and vendor negotiations will take place accordingly, maintaining annual profitability while absorbing potential monthly losses through the use of long-term projections and data (Teal 2007). Adjustment of rates based on occupancy levels can also take place regularly and directly.

Community activism on the part of the owners will also be a necessary part of the control exerted on the business; ensuring the town's size and sprawl does not impinge on the current character, both in terms of accessibility and as a getaway from major urban… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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