It's an interesting job running a place that has two very different trades. On the one hand we have a section of the building allocated to providing an establishment that has comfortable rooms and a restaurant that serves quality food. Carpeted throughout and we're trying to raise it's standards.
Alternatively we are in the middle of the mountains. It's beautiful and there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities. When it's sunny we get very busy with passing trade. When it suddenly starts to rain everybody runs for cover and many make it to our bar. We get muddy boots, wet dogs, dripping waterproof clothing. When it rains for a few days on the trot, which it can do, it all goes very quiet. For 6 months of the year it is just very quiet.
Our hotel trade is far more lucrative, is stable for more of the year, the customers demand higher standards and due to the lack of wet clothing, muddy waterproofs and careful control of resident's dogs the place is more comfortable.
3 years ago we segregated the general public from our lounge bar and reserved it for residents and restaurant use only. We have now gained 3 stars with the AA for our accommodation. The muddy path that crossed our lounge bar carpet has gone. We are increasing the revenue from the hotel operation.
We think of ourselves, in some ways, as a hotel with a pub attached. The pub is here because there is a hotel, not the other way round.
We still welcome all manor of wayward walkers, dogs, muddy boots and even, if we have to, children into our walkers bar. Our walkers bar is sparse but robust. Some fail to understand the need for segregating the bars. I was inspired to write this after this post appeared by Adrian Tierney-Jones, he's a good guy and entitled to his opinion. To be fair we really TRY not to be grumpy, at least most of the time and we don't treat "off comers" with disdain. Meshing quality with the outdoors can be tricky. Matching tourist trade with local trade is also a problem.