What do you do?

Bill: "We provide exceptional guest services and an inviting atmosphere. We offer friendliness and we do what we can do to satisfy, from rooms to meals. This is a very beautiful place and it is a park, just three blocks from downtown. We have a conference room with a stage and piano. It is perfect for meetings, retreats, conferences, catered affairs, family parties and weddings or events."

Shelley: "I came from a restaurant background. My family owned a restaurant in Portland. Our meals cater to all tastes. I can cook for vegetarians, from mild to vegan, and meet anybody's dietary needs.

How did you get started doing this?

Bill: "The inn is owned by an investment company. The former innkeepers simply gave their two-week notice, and we saw an add on the Internet for this position. Shelley pushed me into applying. The owners originally wanted to send a chef from San Francisco. But I think that would have been overwhelming for the chef. I have a large knowledge base and hospitality experience. I can take care of electrical problems and I know how to make people happy."

What is your volume of business?

Bill: "Volume is off, I think down about 30 percent."

Shelley: "We are full this weekend, except for the pricey room. We have had 47 stay here in the last 3 weeks."

Are you doing anything special to adjust for the economy?

Bill: "We are moving the quality up several notches. We are buying all fresh product when possible. We are in a negotiating stage. While we can't give it away, we are asking 'What's affordable to you?' We have to be flexible because it is better to have some income than none at all. I think the economy is going to work in our favor. The majority of calls now come from Portland and Seattle as more people are taking shorter trips."

Shelley: "We have to step out of the box and our restaurant experience will make it work. We are going to add three-course dinners with a glass of wine, for example."

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