Tuesday, February 8, 2011

W.Va. B&Bs offer unique traveler experiences

“There is a ‘Better Way to Stay’ when visiting West Virginia. Try a B&B; you will be happy you did!” 
Larry Garretson: Marketing Chair, Kathleen Panek: Legislative Chair, WV Governor Earl Ray Tomblin,Joanna Reeves: President of WVBBA, and Susan Church: Secetary of WVBBA
Reeves said the organization is immensely proud of a program started by one of its members that took the nation by storm in 2010. The B&Bs for Vets program began in 2008 at Gillum House Bed and Breakfast in Shinnston when the inn offered free lodging to members of the military in observance of Veterans Day. In 2009, nine other B&Bs joined the effort, making a total of 23 rooms available to veterans.

“In 2010, we decided to take it nationwide,” said Kathleen Panek of Gillum House and the WVBBA. With assistance from Joe Stevens of the Media Center, Panek set to work. She contacted the CEO of Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII), then sent e-mails to state and regional associations.

The Cody Country Bed and Breakfast Association in Cody, Wyo., was the first to join. Since then, the program has expanded to include 49 states, eight international locations and about 900 inns. Information about the program is available at www.bnbsforvets.org. The B&Bs for Vets program will continue in 2011 under the auspices of PAII.

In 2011, in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, the WVBBA is working on a Civil War Passport for history-loving travelers. More information on the passport will be revealed in the coming months as plans are finalized.

Bed-and-breakfast accommodations range from quaint log cabins and restored farmhouses, to classic mansions and historic inns. Each West Virginia Bed and Breakfast Association member warmly welcomes visitors to relax, rejuvenate and enjoy their distinctive quality accommodations.

For a listing of West Virginia bed and breakfasts as well as special packages on lodging, visit www.wvbba.com

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