I’m here at the Aroostook Hospitality Inn in Van Buren, where the owner Steve Dobson has won the 2013 Best of Business Award for the first time, and for the second time at his Washburn location. Dobson says it’s all about the atmosphere and the family feel.
“Everybody who comes in here is treated like that special aunt or uncle or special cousin that comes to visit, and you know how excited you feel, but here it’s genuine. Here you get the genuine treatment like you’re really welcome here.”
This is a great honor for the Dobson’s. According to the committee who issues the awards, only 1.4 percent of businesses actually win the award for the second time, and Dobson achieved this with his Washburn location. The Van Buren location has seventeen rooms and offers a different feel than the Washburn location. Many community functions like prom, club and society meetings, and even family get togethers are held at the Inn in Van Buren. When asked if Dobson changed anything in order to win, he said no, besides some minor physical changes. He said it’s all about how people are treated.
“There’s no doubt in my mind it’s the way my staff treats the people, they greet them with a smile, they’ll stop if they’re in the middle of doing something. They’ll stop and talk to the guests ask them if they need something, and if they need it, they will stop and do it then. They don’t say just a minute, I’ll get back to you. Take care of your guest, make them feel welcome, make them feel like they’re at home, and I think that’s part of the winning formula.”
The Dobson’s say, they take pride in their Inns and care for their guests. They say a friendly atmosphere seems to be the winner.