Often referred to as a “B & B,” the practice of hosting overnight guests who yearn for a calm, nostalgic environment has been around since the 19th century. For the hobby farmer, agritourism businesses such as these can be quite profitable, whether run as a full-time or part-time operation.
Bill and Annette Hendrixson operate McCoy Place Bed and Breakfast in Crossville, Tenn. Situated in the 70,000-acre Catoosa Wildlife Management Area and surrounded by century-old towering oaks and lush gardens, this 1920s farmhouse is the only remaining house left in what was a thriving community in the 1800s.
“We started this business on a lark,” explains owner/operator Annette Hendrixson. “This was originally my parents’ farm; it’s been in the family since the 1870s. After my mother passed away, I really didn’t know what I was going to do with it, as we didn’t live here at the time.”
The Hendrixsons didn’t want to sell the 60-acre farm, but were well aware of the costs involved in its upkeep.
“I thought opening up a bed and breakfast would be the perfect solution,” says Hendrixson. “With a bit of planning and a lot of hard work, it’s been quite successful; most weekends I have guests.”
Pampered with gourmet meals, good local wine, and nearby recreational activities like golfing, canoeing and winery tours, visitors find McCoy Place a perfect retreat from the stress of city life.
While the bed-and-breakfast model typically requires more time from its owners in interacting with guests, few B & Bs offer any on-site activities other than a library or board games. Guests are encouraged to discover the area surrounding the B & B; having only breakfast included in the price of the room gives guests a gentle push to explore.
Having such operating procedures in place before opening will help you balance your work and personal life. “I’m only open Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights,” says Hendrixson, “So I still have time for myself and the things I enjoy, like gardening.”