HostelManagement.com interviewed Robin Alexandra Rothschild from the Silverton Inn, hostel in Colorado:
How was the hostel started?
Before I took it over
When did you first have the idea that you would start a hostel?
I actually came into Silverton Colorado looking for property to buy and this fell into my lap.
What was the early period of the hostel like? Was it easy to attract guests, and how did you do it?
When I first took it over I had to deal with the hostel having a bad reputation. I had to clean it up first and that was difficult since it was filthy. Hours of scrubbing. The past owner did not care about the place and just let it go. Transients showed up a lot and I tried to clean it up and rent the place for more money and then that would alleviate the problem of vagrants and homeless coming. It wasn't easy turning the place around from a bad reputation but as I cleaned it up and painted the outside and made it look nice inside visitors started giving me great ratings. I did a history check and discovered it was an old brothel at one time and I now play up on that and use our new extreme ski area Kendall Mountain to draw in skiers that want to save money
What are the most fun aspect of running your hostel?
Meeting such diversities of people and learning their culture. Our hostel is like a home away from home. The Durango Newpaper calls us Home Sweet Hostel and that brought us herds of people flocking here
What are the most challenging aspects of running your hostel?
Dealing with the past owner allowing drunks, and homeless. I rarely get them in now but I have put up a sign that I run outstanding warrants checks on all people and do not allow drunkenness nor drugs and I stick to it
Did you have any issues with zoning or hotel regulations in your area?
If you had to do it over again what would you do differently?
I would have started my business from scratch and that would eliminate the bad ratings. Cleaningup after another persons bad business choices has been trying for me but I took the hostel from $300 monthly to $10,000 a month and have happy repeat customers.