Bed and breakfast

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Small inns and bed and breakfasts saw business rapidly decline during the pandemic. But operators are recasting their inns and offering them to home buyers in a new light—as a new home.

The Wall Street Journal reports that home buyers are purchasing spacious B&Bs and renovating them into single-family homes. A shortage of homes for sale and a desire for larger homes is fueling demand.

Rick and Suzanne Weichert purchased the 4,800-square-foot Jabberwock Inn in Monterey, Calif., for $2.38 million in 2014. In 2020, they closed for four-and-a-half months during the start of the pandemic. They recently listed the home for $4.95 million as a single-family home, believing a buyer from the Bay area may gravitate to the half-acre property—one of the largest in the area—to work remotely.

“It was an insanely difficult year,” Suzanne Weichert told The Wall Street Journal about their decision to sell.

B&B revenue dropped 43.7% to about $1.3 billion in 2020, compared to 2019, according to the research company IBISWorld. The number of B&Bs also fell, dropping about 1,400 to a total of 7,340.

Dave Elliott, who co-owned two properties called the Taylor House B&B in Jamaica Plain in the Boston area, told The Wall Street Journal that running a B&B has never been profitable, even before the pandemic. The inn has 11 guest suites in two adjacent properties. The properties are “worth more money on the open market as a residence” since it has both a pool and dock access, Paul Leys of Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty told The Journal. The inn closed after 24 years and was listed on the market this summer for $3.35 million.