As we start to come out of the lock down what will the B&B market look like in Niagara-on-the-Lake? Of course, there is no crystal ball however if we look to the history, we can make some good predictions.
How fast will the B&B Market return?
Tourism has taken a huge hit it and it is not over. The Airlines will have a hard time coming back from this as will the Cruise market. Tourism Canada is suggesting that it may take 6 years, it took 3 years after 9-11. Ok, I understand where they are coming from with those statements but not Niagara-on-the-Lake or those touristic areas where most of the market is Canadian and most of that is from Ontario. That is not saying that all the market comes from Ontario, but that we have a large pool of tourist dollars to draw from.
As previously stated on a page on this website, Tourism research shows that 80% of tourism comes from a 5-hour drive. For Niagara region that has a large population draw from the GTA to Chicago. In 2020 we must assume that our American visitors will be limited this year, however that is still leaves a good size population, the GTA. How many people will come down? SO far Niagara-on-the Lak has had an issue with keeping people away. The town put up signs at all entrances telling people to basically GO HOME, the good news for us PEOPLE STILL WANTED TO COME. YEAH
However how do we open and still practice social distancing?
This morning, I just ordered 8 new bedspreads. They are machine washable, so that after each guests ALL bedding will go through the washing machine on a hot cycle. That includes Pillow, Pillow protectors, sheets, mattress covers and the bedspreads. Previously I have lovely duvet covers that need to be dry-cleaned only so they are sent after x amount of stays.
Breakfast and social distancing.
This year I will be offering 2 different times for breakfast with time between so I can clean up and keep people apart, unless they are traveling together in the same car.
It will be unique and at this time we do not know when we can open, but I do believe we will get through this.
So is this a good time to buy a B&B?
Real Estate hit the pause button and some areas are seeing a small drop in price, but mainly a drop in numbers of trades, the listings are down so the number of trades is down. THEY ARE STILL HAPPENING. It depends on your reasons for purchasing one, if the idea is to retire, move out of Toronto yet still be active and work together, a new chapter. Then the plan still works. If the goal is to semi retire keep your fingers in the industry but start something new, then the plan still works. If the goal is to buy a job with no to little debt, then depending on what you are selling and what you are buying the plan still works.
What must happen is the expectations of how much you will make in the next year. Historically the average B&B in Niagara-on-the-Lake could sell between 125 – 165 room nights per room, then as we are not open for May and June it will be impossible to reach those in 2020. And by the way after 2 – 3 years most of us start to close down 1 night a week or take 2-3 nights off every other week because most of us are semi retired, or have other jobs that take up some of our time (like being a Realtor)