Becoming a WBBA Member
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Become a WBBA Member!
The Wisconsin Bed and Breakfast Association (WBBA) was created in 1987 by innkeepers dedicated to maintaining high standards of hospitality. Wisconsin's finest Bed & Breakfasts and Inns have chosen to join WBBA: our present membership of about 150 B&B / Inns represents all areas of the state.
Why should you join WBBA? Our mission statement says it all:
To maximize the success of all members by marketing our unique brand of hospitality to travelers; promoting quality; being a leader in providing networking, educational, and business opportunities, and by being an advocate for members and the industry.
So, we're here to maximize the success of your business ... and together we'll accomplish that through the services and programs from WBBA available for each member:
Your Inn Here: www.wbba.org / www.WisconsinBandB.com
The greatest challenge for a B&B innkeeper is directing viewers to your own website. Our site is optimized to promote every member's B&B in a variety of ways - through text, searches, keywords, 'featured inn' listing, and multiple links to the member's own website. www.wbba.org (additional urls are used to track marketing) is at the top of most searches for Wisconsin B&Bs and cities with B&Bs.
Your text and photos are always current because you have the ability to update them at any time! You may also add Special Packages to your inn's listing, events on your region's calendar, and your inn's specific information on the Trail / Maps (Wineries, Breweries, Artisan Cheese, Golf, Birding, Biking, etc).
WBBA commits significant resources to retain one of the hospitality industry’s leading webmasters to develop and promote our site featuring each member inn listing. In 2014, our website underwent a reprogramming and redesign to even better promote WBBA member inns! The responsive design attractively shows on electronic devices such as smart-phones, pads, tablets.
• WBBA also adds your inn to www.travelwisconsin.com, the WI Dept of Tourism site, with a "trip planner."
• WBBA's website blog promotes member B&Bs and adds new content to the website which results in SEO.
• WBBA's facebook page reaches another demographic. Our recent facebook contest thru Discover Wisconsin attracted over 81,000 views in 2 months! Our 3000 facebook followers receive regular news & posts, and can interact with us.
Your Inn Here: The Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Directory
In an increasingly electronic age, traveler demand for a printed B&B directory remains high. 52,500 full color 2014 directories were printed & distributed by request through the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, visitors' bureaus, chambers, tourism attractions, and innkeepers. The WBBA Directory provides readers with B&B contact information and directs readers to WBBA’s website for more complete & current B&B information.
Your Inn Here: Monthly E-Newsletter
A monthly e-newsletter - "Seek the Unique" is emailed to 7000 thousand subscribers. Who are these individuals? They are travelers who like to B&B ... so we share B&B specials, recipes, and tips on B&B-ing. Each issue features a theme, for example, biking & B&Bs or B&Bs on water, and member B&Bs are featured. So, when you tell us what is special about your inn, we'll broadcast it to thousands! Subscribe to the ezine and read what your guests are reading.
PR ... getting the B&B story – and your story - told
• We put B&Bs in the news ... our professional PR consultant and writer places press releases and stories with travel writers and newspapers throughout the state (and over the borders, too). Our PR creates memorable stories – often a ‘clip & save’ article which results in reservations years later!
• WBBA is regularly contacted by travel writers to recommend B&Bs that fit their upcoming article – our email updates to members notify innkeepers of these opportunities!
• Member B&B's receive regular press releases and ‘working with the media tips’ to use to enhance their individual visibility – these are accessible anytime on the “Members Only” section of www.wbba.org.
Increase your income:
In addition to enhancing the success of your business through increased visibility and occupancy, WBBA provides additional income opportunities and savings.
• Credit Card Processing Program
• Sales of the WBBA cookbooks – innkeepers buy at wholesale, sell at retail
• Redemption of INN-Comparable Gift Certificates / Cards issued by WBBA
Meet Your Fellow Innkeepers at Meetings & Conventions:
These gatherings provide opportunities to learn and refine innkeeping skills, and exchange ideas with innkeepers.
• Annual Conference features educational seminars often focusing on economical & effective B&B promotional methods, plus vendors with B&B products and services on exhibit at the innkeeper trade show. 2014 date: Nov 9-10-11, at the Waupaca Ale House & Conference Center in Waupaca WI.
• Each WBBA tourism region has regularly scheduled meetings throughout the year.
• and ... keep in touch with innkeepers without leaving the B&B - just log into the innkeeper facebook group. Share problems, solutions, frustrations, and triumphs.
You'll be 'in the loop'
Member Updates: worried about scams ... how to minimize 'chargebacks' ... what legislation will affect you as an innkeeper? WBBA keeps you up-to-date on issues of interest to you as an innkeeper, through regular email updates, the WBBA ezine and ‘late-breaking’ marketing opportunities by email notification.
Increase your visibility and "clout"
Legislation affects your inn - your livelihood! WBBA represents 150 small businesses in Wisconsin and is a voice for the B&B industry on legal and licensing issues that affect inns and innkeepers. As an innkeeper in Wisconsin, you now enjoy the following as a result of WBBA's proactive work with the governmental agencies that regulate the B&B industry:
• B&B guestroom limit increased from 4 rooms to 8 rooms
• Complimentary wine may be served to guests
• Guests in a B&B's additional buildings (TRH license) may be served breakfast in the B&B
• The 'age of the building' is no longer a factor in B&B licensing. (formerly, any home built after 5-11-90 was required to comply with commercial building codes in order to be licensed as a B&B)
• and WBBA is a member of the Tourism Federation of Wisconsin & Room Tax Coalition
Apply For WBBA Membership ... Anytime is a good time!
2014 membership: “Start My Benefits Now!” pro-rated dues for remainder of year
You may apply at any time of year; your membership fees are pro-rated for partial-year membership.
Your application fee (separate from dues) of $275 includes one on-site WBBA Standards Inspection, scheduled at your convenience - it is not a surprise visit.
To be included in the 2015 print directory, your application must be received by September 15, 2014.
Your application fee (separate from dues) of $275 includes one on-site WBBA Standards Inspection, scheduled at your convenience - it is not a surprise visit!
Examples of dues:
• $543 for a 2-guest bedroom B&B ($51 per month)
• $693 for a 4-guest bedroom B&B - ($64 per month)
• $881 for an 8-guest bedroom B&B – ($80 per month)
Dues may be paid in 1 or 2 installments, or monthly or quarterly ...Ask us for details!
Wisconsin Bed & Breakfast Association
How to apply for Membership …
1. Complete the “New Member Application” form obtained from WBBA.
2. Submit application, copy of licenses, application fee.
Application fee is $275 and includes one on-site Standards Inspection.
Note: application fee is a one-time fee when membership is continuous.
Application fee is separate from membership dues.
3. Review WBBA’s Standards Inspection Criteria.
Take the checklist, walk through your inn, correct any deficiencies …
94 points are needed for membership eligibility.
4. Contact WBBA with any questions about the inspection.
5. Schedule your on-site inspection at a convenient time – our inspector will contact you.
6. Pass the inspection with ‘flying colors’!
7. Your Membership Eligibility is confirmed by Board of Directors.
8. Dues Payment Options:
“Start My Membership Now”
Payment of dues activates your membership. Dues amount is pro-rated to match the number of months remaining in the year.
9. Press-Release announces your WBBA Membership.
10. You receive the ‘Using Your Membership” binder which instructs you how to use WBBA’s member services.
11. You receive your WBBA website “Member Login” password and instructions for building /editing your listing and for redeeming gift cards.
12. You receive continual assistance to promote your inn through WBBA’s venues, notices of opportunities, education, camaraderie … and of course, increased occupancy!
We invite you to contact us for additional information and the membership application form ... we look forward to partnering with you to provide warm Wisconsin hospitality!
WBBA Standards Inspection Checklist
Standards Inspection Criteria: Points assigned follow the item. 94 points are required for WBBA Membership.
A. Required Items (current 2014)
(Inn must have 1-7 and 8&9 if applicable; licenses are verified by the WBBA office prior to the inspection)
1. Liability Insurance
2. Fire extinguishers conspicuously located on each floor
3. Smoke detector on each floor
4. Smoke detector in each guest room
5. Carbon Monoxide detector
6. Electrical outlets within three feet of water are GFCI
7. Refrigeration temperature (per thermometer) at or < 40 F
8. Occupancy Permits if required *
9. Two exits and compliance with building codes are required for third floor guest rooms *
Starred items (*) below receive the designated points in "does not apply" situations.
1. Marketing materials accurately describe:
A. Facility/Services Offered 1/2
B. Location 1/2
C. Current Rates 1/2
D. Acceptable methods of payment 1/2
E. Reservation/Deposit/Cancellation/Refund policy 1/2
F. In house pet(s) 1/2*
G. Bathrooms on a different level from bedroom 1/2*
H. Private unattached bathrooms 1/2*
I. Basement Guest Rooms 1/2*
J. Smoking Policy 1/2
K. Breakfast Policy 1/2
2. Breakfast table place setting items clean & in good repair 1
3. Sample written menu affirms type of breakfast listed in brochure and directory 1
4. Guest Registration Method (e.g. guest book, cards) 1/2
5. On premises or readily available host who is courteous, professional, and operates on an ethical and businesslike basis. Rude, indifferent or inhospitable service is unacceptable. 2
6. Means of answering incoming telephone calls at all times (e.g. staff, call forwarding, answering machine or service) 1
7. Telephone available for guest use 1/2
8. Emergency phone numbers posted on or next to every phone 1
C. MAINTENANCE & SAFETY
A. Building exterior is well maintained & in good repair (e.g. intact window panes & screens, roof, siding materials & paint) 5
B. Exterior inn sign or house numbers visible from street or in compliance with signage ordinances 3
C. Walkways & parking areas in good condition, smooth, free of debris 3
D. Lawn & grounds groomed & free of debris 2
E. Adequate exterior lighting of:
a. Guest parking areas 1
b. Guest walkways 1
c. Guest entries 1
F. Handrail(s) on exterior stairways in excess of three steps except when exempted by building codes 1*
A. Furnishings are in good repair & comfortable 3
B. Surfaces are clean & in good repair:
a. walls / wall coverings 1
b. ceilings 1
c. floors / floor coverings 1
C. Adequate interior lighting of:
a. guest halls 1/2
b. guest common areas 1/2
D. Handrail(s) on interior stairways in excess of three steps except when exempted by building codes 1*
E. Fire exit route(s) conspicuously posted 1
a. guest halls 1/2
b. guest common areas 1/2
Cleanliness is of primary importance and applies to the entire inn, including public areas, guest rooms, bathrooms and dining areas
1. Vacuum: carpets, rugs, furniture, stairs 4
2. Floors: swept, washed, waxed 4
3. Dusting: cobwebs, pictures, knickknacks, furniture, baseboards, ceiling fans 4
4. Disinfect & Sanitize: bathrooms, showers, tubs, toilets, sink & tiles, kitchen & dishes 4
5. Clean: blinds, windows & sills, mirrors, light fixtures, curtains 4
E. GUEST ROOMS: SAFETY & HEALTH, COMFORT
1. Adequate interior lighting of guest rooms 1
2. Each guest room equipped with inside privacy lock or latch 1
3. Beds are required as primary sleeping surfaces 3
4. Excellent quality, condition & comfort of bed components:
a. mattress 1
b. springs 1
5. Bed linens: clean, free of holes & stains: top sheet, bottom sheet, mattress pad, pillowcase & protector on each pillow 4
6. Adequate blankets in addition to bedspread 1/2
7. Guest rooms are devoid of innkeepers personal belongings unless they are made inaccessible to guests 2
8. Bedside lamp in guest room w/adequate light: 60 watt min. 2
9. Adequate heating in guest areas (heat vents, radiators etc.) 2
10. Adequate ventilation in guest areas (central a/c, window a/c units, operational windows, screens, vents) 2
11. Wastebasket with disposable liner in each guest room that does not have a private attached bath. 1/2
F. BATHROOMS: COMFORT & SAFETY
1. Plumbing & plumbing fixtures well maintained and in good repair, with adequate water pressure & hot water supply. 2
2. Well illuminated bathroom mirror at sink with GFCI outlet 1
3. Night light in shared bath(s) 1*
4. Bathmats or non-skid rugs in guest bathrooms 1/2
5. Individual bathmats provided for each room using a shared bath 1/2
6. Inside privacy lock or latch on shared bathroom door 1*
7. A ready-to-use disinfectant is available in shared bath(s) 2*
8. Bath linens: clean, free of holes & stains. One each per guest: bath towel, hand towel, wash cloth. 2
9. Travel green inns: sign or other method to indicate choice of reusing towels in lieu of daily fresh towels. 1*
10. Wastebasket with disposable liner in each bathroom. 1/2
G. SAFETY and HEALTH
1. Hot tub, spa, whirlpool, swimming pool:
a. Clean and in good repair 1/2*
b. Appropriate warning & usage signs posted 1/2*
2. Kitchen, food preparation & serving areas comply with
applicable state & local ordinances
a. Housekeeping: stove, refrigerator, walls, countertops 4
b. Dishwasher / Sanitizing system 1
OVERALL ASSESSMENT (Inspector comments required) 5
INSPECTION SUMMARY: Total Points 1 0 0
Points Deducted - _______
Total Earned _______
REVIEW FINDINGS HAVE BEEN DISCUSSED WITH THE INNKEEPER(S): __________
Innkeeper Signature _____________________________________________________Date________________________________
Request a Membership Application by contacting us:
WBBA - 108 S Cleveland Street, Merrill WI 54452
firstname.lastname@example.org - 715-539-9222