On June 21 of last year, at 11:00 AM, we closed on our building. After a quick lunch we went back to the building, changed into work clothes and began the hard, dirty work of renovation that consumed virtually our every waking, non-vocational hour for the next nine and a half months.
Since our open house three weeks ago, our workload has changed. Now that the construction dust has (mostly) settled, we find ourselves working hard getting ready for the next phase of our adventure: Welcoming our guests.
Making construction plans and executing those plans is easy compared to trying to predict the many needs and wants of people we don’t yet know. While we’ve been very thorough setting up the Flats the way we would like them to be, we have found the old adage “different strokes for different folks” to be abundantly true. Every time we get an inquiry from a prospective guest there seems to be some new question that we didn’t expect. We’re happy to have these questions to help us anticipate the things that our guest will value so we can make sure to provide as many as we can.
One of the things we have been working on is the building automation that will provide our guests with safety and convenience. Our Z-Wave systems will ensure that their flat’s temperature will be comfortable when they arrive and give them secure access with a unique key code. As soon as one guest checks out, the technology will allow us to change the lock codes for the next guest to arrive even if we are away from Fayetteville.
Speaking of technology, we’ve not talked much yet about some of the tech features that we’ve built into Lafayette Flats: Large screen LED 1080p HD televisions, with expanded cable channels, are in every flat. WiFi is of course available for guests as well. Make sure you bring your mobile phone if you want to be reached by the outside world, though, because we very intentionally excluded land line telephones from all of our flats because it is after all, a vacation rental.
We’re also very happy with the low-tech creature comforts we’ve bought. We are pleased with the bed linens we’ve found as well as the bath towels, and we hope our guests love the philosophy toiletries half as much as we do.
Kitchens have been challenging to equip. Since the kitchen spaces are small, we don’t have a lot of extra space to store unnecessary items, and we opted for mostly open shelves and cabinetry since we didn’t want to make our guests hunt around too much for that spatula they are looking for. We’re sure that we’ll get some welcome feedback on some items that folks would like to have in the kitchen and that will helps us improve as we go along. Of course, with the great restaurants we have within walking distance, who needs kitchens?
So now, finally, after all of the work we’ve done over the past many months, we will be meeting our first guests. We can’t wait to hear what they think of the finished Lafayette Flats.