The History of Bed and Breakfasts

Bed and breakfasts, like our darling Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast, have a history of comfort and charm.

Bed and breakfasts, like many classy things, started over in Europe catering to travelers just like they do today. In Europe, after World War II, soldiers were left waiting for transport home, according to Open Your Own Bed and Breakfast, Fourth Edition by Barbara Notarius and Gail Sforza Brewer. Young women or families opened their homes to these young men, offering a room, a hearty breakfast, and advice on local attractions in return for a few dollars. Even after the young men were gone, entrepreneurial spirits kept their doors open to other travelers.

The idea spread across the globe. You can find B and B environments in any country in the world, where friendly hosts make their living by offering one-of-a-kind fare and rooms to small numbers of travelers.

They didn’t catch on in the United States until the 1960’s although there were several starting in the 1800’s. These early establishments were frequented by pioneers traveling out west. They were usually a private residence with numerous rooms that were rented out and breakfast was served in the morning before they headed out on the road again. A lot of places catered to certain types of people like doctors and lawyers in one and real pioneers in others. They have become particularly popular in mountain areas, like here in Colorado, and out east in New England.

Our own Avenue Hotel Bed and Breakfast was the first in Manitou Springs. We have been nestled here for the last 30 years. We have restored much of it to its original Victorian spenldor, very much like how the original visitors would have seen it.

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