Learn how to turn empty rooms into extra cash in Bristol


As anyone who has tried to host a wedding in the East Bay knows, there is an acute shortage of guest rooms our towns. Maybe not in February, but from May to October, it's a real problem. "It's one of the major factors limiting our ability to expand events and tourism here in Bristol," says Mike Byrnes, Chairman of Explore Bristol.

With that in mind, and literally hundreds of weddings scheduled to bring tens of thousands of visitors to our area in 2013, the Rhode Island Small Business Development Center is hosting the first in a series of workshops: "Renting Guest Rooms." Co-sponsored by the Bristol Economic Development Commission and Explore Bristol, the workshop will feature speaker Katheen Seguin, owner of Bristol House B&B.

The workshop will teach local residents how to utilize extra rooms in their own home as a "room for rent," earning extra income while providing in-town accommodation for visitors coming to the area. The workshop will focus on issues including:

• Rules and regulations

• Zoning ordinances

• Insurance

• Financial issues

•Advantages and disadvantages

• Legalities

• Marketing

The workshop will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20 at the Burnside Building in Bristol, with another, on starting your own B&B, scheduled for March. For more information, please call 401/263-5131.


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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.