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B&B operators may add rooms, meals under legislation enacted this year

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 8, 2012) — Kentucky bed and breakfast operators are optimistic about their prospects after passage of HB 128 during the 2012 Kentucky legislative session, which was initiated by the Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky to expand opportunities for B&Bs.

Innkeepers may now expand the number of allowable guest rooms, in accordance with local planning and zoning regulations, and meal service to include more than just the breakfast meal without having to obtain a commercial kitchen license for nine or fewer guest rooms. The Kentucky Farm Stay designation became officially introduced, promoting bed and breakfast operations on farms and providing added liability protection as defined by recent Agritourism legislation.

In the past 10 years, there has been a 50 percent reduction in B&Bs in Kentucky. The recent downturn in the economy has brought further financial challenges for innkeepers. The Bed & Breakfast Association of Kentucky has been working with state legislators and state tourism to help address the current needs to stem further losses and help create the means for expanded revenue opportunities that improve financially viability.

HB 128 was sponsored by House Reps. Jody Richards, D-Bowling Green, and Rita Smart, D-Richmond, who owns a bed and breakfast in Richmond. B&B regulations have been recently updated and expanded in collaboration with the Kentucky Department for Public Health.

“The last seven years investing the time and effort at the state level, has lead to positive actions that will help innkeepers across the state to be more successful, enabling them to expand their services and better cater to the growing needs of Kentucky tourists,” said BBAK President Todd Allen, who lead the effort and was actively engaged every step of the way. “We are excited to represent the B&B Industry in this manner, which will not only help existing operators and those that may be struggling to survive during these troubled economic times, but also to help attract and actually grow our industry in the years ahead.

BBAK is a non-profit professional Kentucky B&B Association, comprised of nearly 100 inspected bed and breakfast inns, boutique hotels, boat and breakfast inns, cottages, country inns, and farm stays. Information is available at kentuckybb.com or 1-888-281-8188.

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