This past Veterans’ Day, many of your Authentic Bed and Breakfast innkeepers in Lancaster County, PA were privileged to participate in a nation-wide program sponsored by our trade association, PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International). The program, entitled “B and B’s for Vets”, began in 2009 in West Virginia when a local innkeeper was looking for some way to give back to her local veterans. In 2011, PAII took over the administration of the program. Hundreds of B and B’s in the US and Canada opened their doors and offered Veterans a free night’s stay. You can see other specials offered by PAII at the Better Way to Stay website.
With almost half of the Authentic B and B’s participating, approximately 70 rooms were offered for free at a value of almost $8,000. All branches of the service were represented. There were active military, retired veterans, old, young and in-between. There were service members home on leave from Afghanistan or Iraq and even some who had been in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII. Ages ranged from early twenties to folks in their eighties.
In addition to a free night, your Authentic B and B Innkeepers, working with their Passport Partners and others in the Lancaster community, compiled a complete program of offers for the Vets. These offers included meals, entertainment, shopping and Amish attractions. For example, Veterans were treated to a free show at the American Music Theatre and a free meal at Good N’ Plenty, and a free Segway tour at Red Rose Segway Tours.
The Veterans were very appreciative of the program. Many made arrangements to stay an extra night so as not to miss out on the many opportunities available to them. Several Vets have already made plans to return in 2012. As an added bonus, for most of the Vets and their spouses, this was their first time to experience a bed and breakfast.
Indeed, your Authentic B and B Innkeepers were very honored to be able to say ‘thank you’ in this very unique way.
Submitted by: Participating Authentic B and B Innkeepers of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania