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Prospect Hill Bed and Breakfast Inn
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Wedding has come out with some 2015 trends. Here are several we at Prospect Hill can easily duplicate for you.

Says  From table runners to decorative wreaths, garlands, and more, we’re seeing greenery emerge from the sidelines and into the spotlight. It’s versatile, and provides an Old World look that’s so chic right now. In this same vein, we’re betting on animal topiaries becoming a hot decor item in the New Year.

Prospect Hill version: Use boxwood and yew to fill in your bouquets and bring greenery to your party decor. Available locally. Shady Grove Gardens has other forms of greenery available (from miniature to branch sizes) to give you that “Old World romance” look.

Astilbe (feathery plant)

From WeddingWire.Com:  We’ve already started to see this feather-like flower everywhere this year, and expect to see even more of it in 2015. We’ve seen it solo or as an accent in bouquets, and love the variety of hues – deep red, light purple, pink, and white.  Also available from local grower  in Vilas, NC has them--very feathery and romantic.

Marquee Lights

What a bright idea! Whether they’re spelling out words like “Love” or the couple’s names, these vintage-style marquee lights are popping up all over reception décor.

Prospect Hill version: we’ll make a very large board with the word “love” spelled out in bright lights and a background of black (or other color) chalkboard paint so your friends can write well wishes. $100 (4x8-feet) and you can take it home. $90 for a 4x4-foot size.

Miniature Wedding Cakes, Sweets

Here’s the trend:  Instead of or in addition to featuring a multi-tiered wedding cake, couples are also serving several smaller cakes to offer a wide variety of flavors. We’ve even seen a cake displayed on each reception table for an extra-sweet touch.
Innkeeper Judy can make most flavors in an 8-inch cake. Buy as many as you like. $35/cake (serves 10-12 each).

Frugal Gourmet Catering makes numerous bite-size dessert treats. They arrive in cake papers and require no cutting. Order one smaller cake just for cutting
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Wedding Inspiration:  Big Ideas at a Budget-Friendly Price (1) 1000 Wishes (2) Artsy (3) Boho/Bohemian.  All are casual and all are easily do-able at Prospect Hill:
1) Wish Wedding Theme - Are you ready to fold 1000 origami paper cranes?  Do them in romantic, colorful paper then attach them to strings (indoor use)  or netting hung from the gazebo for a beautiful backdrop–make’s an all-flower backdrop look boring.

2) Artsy wedding - hand paint your candle holders and anything else that you’re using–from cloth napkins and program covers to table runners and vases. Be abstract, be wild, whimsical or childlike. Retro/geometric is OK, too.  Don’t do it if craft projects you crazy or you don't have to finish weeks ahead.

3) Our favorite of the week is BOHO or Bohemian: The inspiration wedbsite says:
"Despite the fact that a Boho wedding theme is relatively inexpensive, it’s become super popular. The great thing about this theme is that anything goes. You can wear a vintage dress you found at the thrift store and the wedding will be just as breathtaking as if you wore a $1500 gown. Decorations are created out of whatever you have on hand."

My thought is BECAUSE this theme can be relatively inexpensive, it can be hugely popular and do-able.  Yes, the great thing is that anything goes.

One idea is to use ribbons shimmering in the breeze as a theme. Cut lengths of ribbon or stips of ripped/frayed fabric are stylishly tied to a chair.  Hang them from the gazebo, trees, bushes, fence line or patio's overhead lights.  Use a lace tablecloth, borrowed from Grandma or purchased at the Thrift Shop.  Mismatched China of Boone will rent you vintage china. (Expect to spend at least $5 or more per person for this.)  Alternatively, use the inn’s white china and do everything else up around it. Use patterned vintage sheets or chenille bedspreads as table cloths and buffet table cloths. Buy bandanas cheaply use as napkins and tell the guests to take them home.  Paisley hankies come in at 29 cents each!
Remember:   everything old can be new again (for your guests and your wedding).
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Here are some wonderful summer photos of the inn. When the sun's out the green really 'pops.'
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Book our cottage in the woods for up to 6 persons for July 4 & 5 and pay only $125 for July 4. Free fireworks viewed from the inn lawn (with snacks) also included. Rooms available for this weekend at the inn, starting on Saturday night.  Go to RESERVATIONS.     We expect stunning weather this weekend. It's a great time to be in the mountains!
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GREAT WAY TO CELEBRATE - Visit Prospect Hill and get a discount.   Through June 30 we are offering a very special deal:  In honor of our house's 125th birthday, YOU pay $125 plus tax for any room, or $125/night (2 night min.) at our cottage. See the SPECIALS area of our online booking pages to snag your savings. Savings are up to  $64/night!  Tell me, do YOU like incentive programs at bed and breakfasts?  (B&B discounts)?
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Cherry blossoms here are tracking those in Washington, D.C. Do you have time to come check them out?
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Looks like this is the photo Google attaches to all my Prospect Hill/Google posts. So, thought you might enjoy the front facade. Can't wait to get a shot of the new paint job (approx. the same colors) once the sun moves around there in summer.
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These photos go with my blog about easy, interesting wedding themes. The sunflowers provide a lot of bang for their cost. They make the set up both "rustic"/rural but sophisticated.  Photo on righ with pink and gold ribbon on a chair back is an example of how to "fancy up" for a Bohemian theme wedding.  These streamers--made from ribbon or cut/ripped/torn fabric are knotted onto the chair back but could be attached to low-hanging tree branches, the wires holding over-patio lights or the wedding gazebo itself.  For a "gypsy feel," use patterned fabric in a variety of bright, but mismatched patterns.
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You simply can't beat a wonderful morning in summer with low humidity, bright sun, rich (growing) grass and my camera in hand before breakfast is served.  Today we made our "always famous" (and our thanks to Southern Living magazine) Brown Sugar and Oatmeal Pancakes. Tomorrow:  Cranberry Stuffed French Toast.  Special diets are being accommodated, too. Photos show the lawn where guests will enjoy fireworks on July 5th. Come join us (two rooms remain).
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The term "bed-and-breakfast" is no longer code for teddy bears, floral bedspreads and doilies.

There are nearly as many types of bed and breakfast properties and businesses as there are innkeeper/owners.  The Wall Street Journal in 2013 ran an article about people turning historic homes into high end B&Bs, the top 10% of the market. 

LINK to referenced article:

In reading this nearly year-old article in light of the fact my property is now for sale (yes, I’m one of the older ones wanting to retire), I am heartened. We have done A LOT of the things the high-end properties do to enhance their market share.  These items belong to the inn and ready for the new innkeepers to use to their benefit and for the enjoyment of their guests.

What follows is where I’ve excerpted parts of the original article and added my view of the topic.
The excerpted parts of the article are shown in BLUE TYPE.

Judy Hotchkiss's profile photoBed & Breakfast's profile photo
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Winter is finally over. Mark your calendars:  Next weekend marks the opening of both the Watauga Farmers Market at Horn of the West in Boone, NC and the Johnson County Farmer's Market, behind the courthouse (222 W. Main St.) in Mountain City, TN.  Time to eat fresh AND local!  Check out Shady Grove Gardens & Nursery at the Watauga Farmers Market. I'm posting some spring flowers they made for a honeymoon last weekend. Enjoy.
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Couldn't have asked for a better place to stay. It not only was beautiful but there are so many things to do not far from the Inn. Although we didnt get to experience them on our short visit we plan on coming back. We have already experienced and survived The Snake :) Delicious breakfast and wonderful hospitality! THANK YOU JUDY AND ROBERT!

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    An inn’s location drives its potential for hosting business travelers.
At our first inn–near downtown Atlanta–we could stand in the street and see the state capitol. The nearby subway traveled under three miles to the World Congress Center (conventions) and CNN Center.
    While we went blindly into open our first B&B, we shortly learned that it attracted business travelers because of its price and convenient location. Opening our second inn just down the street from the county courthouse, in a town with not-so-great motels, also brought us business travelers. But they would not have flocked to us without some work.
     Thinking back, our very first guest was a college friend's brother from Seattle. HE was in town for a job-related meeting at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta. After opening, we very shortly got into the AAA book. This may well have been the best 1990s source of business travelers. At that time (1992) there was no internet. Even when we rented housing for the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 there was still not a strong online presence, although we did try a few ads and directories.

     We didn't have a plan.   At first, it was who was calling. In Atlanta, I also worked 20 hours/week as a reporter for the daily newspaper and belonged to the local merchant associations. Through that work  and those contacts I knew the local live theater managers, the administrative assistants at several newspapers, the key real estate developers and so on. I also happened to have a small ad agency and was familiar with the local neighborhood newsletters so I was able to quickly inform nearby residents of our property.

   Here at Prospect Hill Bed & Breakfast Inn, in Mountain City, TN,  we sought them out by working our way into the first-ever Leadership Johnson County program sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce. Through that eight-week intro to the key economic and political and social entities in the county, I met the school superintendent, the head of the hospital, the judge, the current and future town mayors, the county executive, the prison warden, the police chief, the golf pro (course manager) and several managers of industrial complexes in the area. The key person in our welcome center was married to the key purchasing manager at the prison.
    The chamber participation also lead to my joining an economic development committee where I met the key players at the electric coop, headquartered in town. I volunteered for then served as representative for the county on the regional tourism committee where I met our state representative who is now lieutenant governor and a key player in developing a very important state park which happens to be right out my back door. DOE MOUNTAIN DESTINATION  My husband serves on the renovation committee for the local theater building. HERITAGE HALL  http://heritagehalltheatreorg

     I also did some leg work and invited ALL the business owners up and down the highway in town to an open house. No one came. In the end, word of mouth works.  These days, business guests also find us online on their own.

     Innkeepers accustomed to hosting leisure and getaway travelers have to learn to switch gears. Business travelers  are in town to work in one form or another, not to socialize or enjoy time with their partners. They have schedules and they have tools which need to work (such as lap tops and cell phones).  You need to understand them, embrace their needs and offer them hospitality in the form they require.

     In our first inn, Oakwood House (now a private home), the guest rooms were nearly identical. We got away with not having a whirlpool tub or fireplaces at the Atlanta inn (85% business travelers). At Prospect Hill, female business travelers more often enjoy a tub; a whirlpool IS a nice perk to offer as an unexpected upgrade. On a whole, we place our business travelers in our "standard" rooms which have queen beds, private bath with either a large shower or a large shower plus a claw footed tub. We reserve the right to select a room for them.  When we have a larger group, such as the planners for DOE MOUNTAIN PARK,  someone does get a whirlpool tub room (we have three).
    This week's gentleman is typical. He travels 45+ weeks per year. He has lots of frequent flyer points, flies first class, knows how to use a GPS well and has the sense to rent a 4x4 vehicle if a snow storm is predicted. He plans in advance and has a schedule. Since he is doing a week long training session he has to be at work shortly after his client opens each morning and he is gone until well past 5 pm.  He is by himself, he is not focused on a leisurely breakfast or the needs of a partner (he's working solo). He often does homework or classwork in the evening.

    A leisure guest has a price point he or she would like to meet but rarely a carved-in-stone budget.  A business traveler often has his company paying his way or an expense account or per diem or some sort of set budget. Once the basic criteria--clean room, privacy, and budget--are met, he likes you! 
    Business travelers rarely spend hours agonizing over "which room" or "did I find the best place??"  They also understand checking in means paying up-regulars "belly up to the bar"--to the counter- next to my office, credit card in hand. No pulling it out of them. We offer a flexible cancellation policy for business travelers and rarely see abuse (they are supposed to tell us as soon as their plans change, whether early on or last minute).

   A leisure guest, especially these days, is looking for good value in an exceptional experience which they are personally paying for. They are interested in a large, leisurely breakfast. They have activities they plan to participate in but might not have specifics or a schedule (wedding guests excluded here).  They have a number of choices in our region with many kinds of architecture, many price points and many different sorts of amenities--log cabins, whirlpool tubs, views,  proximity to shopping, hiking or skiing. They care about the bathtub, a fireplace and how big the bed is.  They may want to check in early and stay late.  They may not be experienced travelers so they need help with directions, suggestions for places to go and what to see--they rely on the innkeeper for some of this or their research. They have many choices to make and lots of free time to fill.
    Meanwhile the business traveler is work-oriented, generally well-traveled, and busy with his own concerns.

     Business travelers, I think, are far easier for the hosts. For one, there are rarely couples. They generally show up when they say they will or at least rarely get sidetracked on their way to check in.
They like a friendly face and a brief chat but mostly they have their "stuff to do."  They appreciate the assistance but they don't need to be lead by the hand.  On a whole they are self sufficient. They really do like it when lodging is very nice, their needs are met in a superior way and they don't have to "make do" or "improvise.”
      To that end, we have WiFi throughout the inn, televisions in the rooms with CNN, Weather Channel and ESPN essential, always a shower (and perhaps a tub), coffee and tea kettle 24/7, guest refrigerator, a desk if need (folding table at ready), flexible check in times and cancellation policies, take American Express, including third party payment (which is not cheap).   We issue folio/confirmation numbers and can electronically submit receipts. We print zeroed out receipts and carefully staple the credit card slip to them.
     We know where all the local restaurants are, their open times along with the locations and driving times for all local corporations, medical and educational facilities.  We print boarding passes and provide an iron and ironing board as needed.
    We accept state per diem rates (sans breakfast) which is sometimes 50% of leisure rates–for Sunday through Thursdays. We negotiate long term rates, being careful to front load the payments in the event they leave early. We rarely charge cancellation fees and we always provide receipts.  We do charge an up-fee for tag-along spouses and bill that separately.
    We love our business guests. If you want to locate your inn in an urban area or one so far from your  state government state workers MUST stay over night, be prepared to welcome business guests.
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Contact Information
Map of the business location
801 W Main St Mountain City, TN 37683
801 West Main StreetUSTennesseeMountain City37683
Bed & Breakfast, Wedding Planner
Bed & Breakfast
Wedding Planner
Wedding Chapel
Mountain Cabin
MOUNTAIN CITY, TN (1889)  --Col. Joseph Wagner (late of both the Confederate and the Union Army of America) has built a "retirement" home on 30 acres on the edge of town. A fine home with five bedrooms, it stands on a hill with Appalachian Mountain views. all around.
     TODAY -- Still named Prospect Hill,  Col. Wagner's Shingle style Victorian home is now a five-guest-room bed and breakfast enjoyed by people visiting the area for hiking, biking, scenery, Watauga Lake, the Virginia Creeper Trail, Appalachian Trail or to visit family.
     The building has been invisibly updated so all rooms have private baths, TVs and wifi  plus modern baths and heat/air/fans while keeping the feel of an historic home.
     Rooms are large, very private and the beds comfortable. Prices range from $109 (winter) to $179 (October) to $235 (NASCAR weekends).
     Come enjoy the tranquility of a small mountain town, nearby fine dining, gourmet breakfasts at the inn (included) and the time to reconnect with the special person in your life.

    WEDDINGS IN A NATURAL SETTING - Perfect place for your outdoor wedding with mountain views and indoor reception (seating up to 60). Our main website offers many photos so you can see how others have used the facility. Intimate elopements and second marriages, commitments also available.
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Unfussy B&B in an 1889 mansion, offering rooms with fireplaces & en suite bathrooms, plus WiFi.- Google
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Carol Lewis
6 months ago
I recently stayed at the inn for 2 nights prior to my daughter's nearby wedding. What a great idea! The inn was beautiful, Judy & Robert were warm & accommodating, and the food was terrific! I highly recommend it!
Innkeeper Seely
11 months ago
I'm an innkeeper so I like to stay at B&Bs even if the owners don't know I am "in the trade." I confess I took the road from near Bristol that Judy calls "the snake" and warns people to avoid. It is extremely curvy, steep and slow but also goes through beautiful country. I thoroughly enjoyed the views. My room was clean and lovely. The bed was comfy. The only thing it lacked was a hook near the shower. Breakfast was yummy and freshly made. Judy and Robert made me feel at home. I wouldn't hesitate to stay with them again.
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Michael Pollack
11 months ago
I loved the house and the surrounding community. I saw the most amazing crafts at local stores. The Inn was extremely comfortable and the hosts are like family. I would go back again.
Matt - Amanda
2 years ago
My wife and I are frequent visitors to Prospect Hill and it is simply the best B&B experience we have ever had. Excellent inn, friendly innkeepers, and a fantastic location!
Sheila Morefield
6 months ago
Several years ago when this inn was actually just getting started my family decided to have a tea party for my mother's 70th birthday. We could not have asked for a better experience. The owners are such marvelous people willing to help in any way and making fantastic suggestions for our event. I highly recommend this facility for any event as it is amazing with an amazing history.
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Yvonne Martin
11 months ago
What a great old house, sitting high on a hill with fantastic mountain views. It's right on the edge of Mountain City. Not a lot going on in that town, but it's a convenient location to go out and explore some of the surrounding towns, or just get out and enjoy nature. It's a lovely scenic drive to either Boone or Blowing Rock, NC, or a pretty jaunt to Elizabethtown. If cycling or hiking is your thing there are lots of choices. Innkeepers Judy and Robert have lots of information and suggestions for things to see and do in the area. We've stayed twice, both times in the Hideaway Room. We've also peeked in the other rooms - each one has something unique and interesting, specially the Rose Romance room which has a curved iron staircase going up to the bathroom. Most of the rooms are a generous size, nicely decorated, and have whirlpool tubs or oversize showers, and fireplaces. Unfortunately not a lot of choices for fine dining in town, and it's a dry town so you can't get liquor or even wine with dinner, but both are available in Boone. It's just a nice quiet place to get away and relax.
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Lee Carmen
a year ago
I had my wedding here with 50 guests. After checking with other destination venues, this was the best package and truly the nicest place! I had mountain views with easy access, hard to find! We had a simple Hors D'oeuvre menu, and the food matched my venue. Tributary Restaurant did the catering, and coupled with Prospect Hill, out did themselves! Highly recommend!
A Google User
4 years ago
My boyfriend and I spent Valentines day here. It wasn't far from where we lived but we still felt like we were getting away for a night. Judy and Robert were very pleasant and helpful, Robert helped us figure out where we would eat dinner and gave us a tour of their house. Judy visited with us during breakfast and had a parting gift for us as we were leaving. They really seem to love what they are doing. Our room, the Rose Romance room, was large and very cozy with a fireplace, a large beautiful window, spiraling stairs which led to an over-sized bathroom, and a whirlpool tub fit for two people! I could have stayed in that tub for days. There were lots of little extras in the room like snacks, candles, bubble bath, and wine glasses which made us feel even more at home. They also hard a large selection of complimentary teas and hot chocolates downstairs, we made ourselves some after dinner and sat out on the covered porch next to our room and looked at the town, it was so nice. In the morning we ate breakfast in the dinning room with another couple. We were served water, our choice of juice, coffee, a cup of fresh fruit, and then oatmeal pancakes with homemade cinnamon syrup and a side of bacon. Absolutely delicious, and large servings. Judy even gave me a recipe card to take home with me so I could make them for myself. This was our first visit to any B&B and I was a little worried it might not be worth the extra money, as compared to a hotel room, but I was not disappointed at all! I don't know that I could ever stay in a hotel room again after this experience! It was certainly worth every penny and I just hope that we make it back sometime soon! I highly recommend a visit to this beautiful and comfortable B&B!
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