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What is ABBBE (Posted On: Tuesday, April 03, 2012)

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David Long and his partner Arlene have decided to “arrest” people’s attention to the value of bed-and-breakfast establishments and help them to enjoy a better bed-and-breakfast experience.  David comes by the “arrest” word honestly, since he is a retired policeman, having worked initially in England and then, later, in Canada.  Today, Arlene and David operate Red Hills Country House Bed and Breakfast and have

lived in the Thornbury-Meaford area, west of Collingwood, for seven years. They first came to spend summers in the area at Lora Bay 25 years ago. Then, 15 years ago they purchased acreage on the Seventh Sideroad (Blue Mountains/Meaford town line) and built the house in which they operate Red Hills Country House.

They have come to love the Georgian Triangle vacation area where recreational amenities abound.

Arresting people’s attention to those amenities, which include local restaurants and facilities such as spas, became an idea for Arlene and David recently and they shared it, at first with fellow B & B members of the Collingwood/Blue Mountains and Area Bed and Breakfast Association (CABBA).

The idea of  “A better bed-and-breakfast experience”, shortformed to ABBBE, was created based on similar passport-type promotions used successfully in other areas.

David and Arlene wanted to come up with a way that potential new B & B enquiries could be further encouraged to try, or stay, at B & Bs in the area. The ABBBE website was born and encourages visitors to explore all that the region has to offer by providing a “VI Passport” (Very Informal Passport) The passport concept currently  involves 30  high-quality, tourist-related  businesses ,the owners of which provide  special offers, or discounts,  when the guest presents the stamped passport..
  
Some of the business participants include: Scandinave Spa, Meaford Hall, Georgian Hills Winery, The Dam Pub, Captain’s Corner, Grandma Lamb’s, DeCorso’s, Elaine Dickinson’s Fashions and The Candy Factory.

On arrival at a participating B & B, a guest will receive a stamped VI passport which is presented at a participating business partners location to receive the special offer.

The ABBBE website is informative and insightful giving narrative on each location that is part of the passport. The hope is, say the Longs, that B & B guests will enjoy the area and the passport concept so much that they will become return visitors, hopefully bringing friends.

Rosemarie and Vincent Pedulla, who brought local B & B operators together to form
CABBA years ago, see the ABBBE concept as a natural evolution of their business model which ties in to the Georgian Triangle Tourist Association when it comes to networking.

“The more we can get the word out about the many wonderful B & Bs in our area, the better,” said Rosemarie, who operates Pedulla’s Mountainside B & B at Blue Mountain. “I wanted our bed-and-breakfast visitors to get added value as part of their better bed-and-breakfast experience,” said David, who moved forward quickly to establish a website and a money-saving passport concept for B & B visitors to use.

The website ties in the Long’s idea of a “better bed-and-breakfast experience” and one only has to click on ABBBE to find out more details.
 
“We’re off and running on this idea and will evaluate it next autumn,” said David following meetings with ABBBE hosts this week in Eugenia, Meaford and at at Bacchus House B & B in Collingwood.

David and his ABBBE associates who regard themselves as being a special group of business people dedicated to providing only the best for their guests, recognized the value of being involved with Collingwood’s premiere promotional website, mycollingwood.ca and approached owner Julie Card who provided her immediate support. “That was much appreciated,” said David Long adding “association with mycollingwood gives our project additional credibility and exposure”.
 
Any local business which would like to involve itself with the VI passport  or appear in the electronic brochure should contact David Long at 519-599-7019 or redhillscountrybb@gmail.com.

Article and photos by George Czerny

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