The meaning of the short form, V.I.P., usually defining a “Very Important Person” has been expanded to mean “Very Informal Passport”. It has nothing to do with travels from one country to another and everything to do with visiting the southern Georgian Bay area.
Some bed-and-breakfast operators between Collingwood and Owen Sound have joined forces with
some other business operators in this area to offer their guests “a better bed-and-breakfast experience”, now known as ABBBE.
The link between the bed-and-breakfast operations, other businesses and local visitors is a “Very Informal Passport”, a sheet of paper, printed on both sides with special offers from almost 40 local businesses.
The ABBBE project is the brainchild of Red Hills Country House B & B operator, David Long. Mr. Long, who operates the Meaford-area B & B with his wife Arlene, thought that guests to local B & Bs should get additional benefits for staying in participating B & Bs. He also wanted to draw attention to bed-and-breakfast accommodation as “an excellent place at which to enjoy local hospitality and much more”.
A year ago, Mr. Long approached other B & B owners with his ABBBE idea. Today, about two dozen B & Bs have partnered with the many businesses which provide discounts, or special offers, to visitors through use of the Very Informal Passport.
Many of the partners got together Monday at the Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery to celebrate ABBBE’s first birthday. The Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery, which is located north of Highway 26, on the Second Concession, between Meaford and Owen Sound, is one of the partners in the ABBBE project.
Other ABBBE partners include restaurants, spas, craft shops, a bicycle shop, a tour company, Georgian Hills Vineyards and the Meaford Hall arts and cultural centre. The partners are featured on a website at ABBBE.