Recently, a lone innkeeper in New Jersey has received lots of attention from social and traditional media for her vile comments against persons based upon their sexual orientation. It pains me to read some folks posting that they choose to NOT stay at a B&B/Inn out of fear that there will be some freaky crazy innkeeper! At Lookout Point, we join the thousands of other innkeepers across North America in the practice of genuinely welcoming all persons to the inn. We promise to provide exquisite hospitality, great rooms, and be professional!
It is my privilege to serve as the Chair of the Board of Directors of our industry association, The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII). Yesterday PAII issued a press release condemning the actions of bigotry. Here’s the press release in it’s entirety (sorry, it’s long but just in case you are interested in reading…)
Innkeeping Association Condemns Innkeeper’s Facebook Rant
In response to the recent episode in Edgewater, New Jersey, in which the innkeeper at the Whitebriar Bed and Breakfast posted hateful remarks on their Facebook timeline about LGBT people, the board of directors of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) made the following statement:
“B&Bs and inns all across the world have been well-known to welcome all persons, including lesbian, bi-sexual, gay and transgender travelers. Many LGBT travelers have sought out the unique, warm hospitality offered by innkeepers as their preferred means of lodging.
While we believe in the First Amendment right to freedom of speech in the United States, we take issue with the extreme hatred displayed by the innkeeper at the Whitebriar Bed and Breakfast in Edgewater, New Jersey. The attack is not becoming of a professional innkeeper, and it is an embarrassment to our industry.
The board of directors condemns the action of this individual innkeeper, and encourages all innkeepers to maintain proper decorum when communicating with the traveling public. In addition, we urge all innkeepers, as proprietors of businesses open to the public, to create and support warm, hospitable experiences for all travelers, regardless of their sexual orientation.”
“On social media web sites, we expect to see some form of bigotry almost daily,” said Jay Karen, President & CEO of PAII. “But I was honestly shocked to see such hatred from an innkeeper. My experience with the thousands of innkeepers I’ve met over the years has been quite contrary to the behavior we saw this week. I stand with our board in condemning the language expressed by this innkeeper.”
Kristie Rosset, chair of the PAII board and owner and innkeeper of the Lookout Point Lakeside Inn, Hot Springs, AR, concurred, “As professional innkeepers, our industry strives to provide all guests with an oasis from life’s demands and stresses. I am deeply saddened by this lone innkeeper’s actions. In an industry of over 20,000 properties in the U.S. and Canada alone, I hope travelers will give B&Bs and inns a try, and experience what many travelers already know – B&B’s offer the best experience of lodging and hospitality.”
About PAII:The Professional Association of Innkeepers International, founded in 1988, and headquartered in Charleston, South Carolina, is the innkeeping industry’s largest trade association. PAII provides education, communications, public relations, advocacy, networking, and research services to its membership and the greater industry. In addition, PAII has created and is spearheading the “Better Way To Stay”, an industry-wide campaign to help travelers discover today’s inns and B&B experience. For more information, visit www.innkeeping.org.